June 23, 2010

Guest post times

We're on a roll now blog people. Time for a relevant guest post from my brother Danz. "Guest post" means if you have a problem with content, take it up with him.

Allow me to preface this by saying that I am of the opinion that wars cannot be won. It’s not soccer or baseball or bowling or any other event where an objective scheme is implemented in order to measure the abilities, more or less, of those competing. It’s not like it used to be, anyway. Numbers can’t win. Over four thousand American military personnel have died since we started bombing Baghdad in 2003, not to mention over 120,000 civilian casualties, approximately 24,000 insurgent casualties, countless wounded, and even further countless affected by the emotional scarring of war, something not exclusive to our own troops, but also extends to Iraqi and Afghani citizens, especially the children.

And it goes on.

I was in a restaurant today. On CNN it was announced that General Stanley McChrystal had been relieved of his duty of commanding the war in Afghanistan over comments he and his aides made in (over a long period of time, not just limited to) an article in Rolling Stone magazine, which is where I and, I’m sure, plenty of others go for all of the hard hitting political commentary and information that one would expect from a magazine that has lost a goodly amount of cultural relevance. The comments, on the whole, gave clear insight to what the General and the people he surrounds himself with think: we have no respect for our president or his office and we will gladly give them the middle finger within the safety of a magazine article.

McChrystal and his people have issues with authority, though, ironically, they are the authority. What they all have a problem with specifically, however, is civilian authority. Politics. People who have to make decisions from behind desks, who may have never been to a warzone. This is the crux of the matter, things that are said publicly that you must know many others are thinking. You cannot, however, attempt to undermine the authority of the president you swore an oath to protect and the Commander-in-Chief who will outrank you no matter what. It’s not the first time McChrystal did this either. Before, he got a stern “shut the fuck up” talking-to. Now he’s been sacked.

I will end this brief message with an anecdote. While at this restaurant, the people at the bar behind me were arguing about this very issue. One man was extolling McChrystal as one of the most beloved Generals in American history, who was doing a great job, etc. People agreed, but a woman next to him boiled it down to bad-mouthing one’s boss. Anyone in any field could be fired for saying equivalent things about their employer, and even more-so someone who outranks you militarily. The man went on, cutting her off, ignoring her. He then suggested that there should be a military coup to oust the president and any semblance of government. In these United States. It shouldn’t have come to me as a surprise, but it did. It pissed me off as well. What the man is suggesting is treasonous in only saying, in reality, but it isn’t hard to imagine that there aren’t plenty of likeminded people out there preparing to do just that. There is law and order for a reason. There is ultimate civilian command of the military for a reason. The people with the guns should not be in charge, plain and simple. I know there are those who would disagree, and that’s fine. No one can convince you otherwise, that’s fine. Just understand that you may think that government is inherently corrupt and incompetent, but it is surely the lesser of the two evils.

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