the creatures grow in the dim torches
black and white lines become beasts
in the perpetual night of the cave
prey and those who prey upon them,
in the combat of the hunt
testaments to the bravery
a simple religions message of hope
their tribe will eat again
I just watched an Obama speech about Heatlh Care, sent out to the faithful from his organization. I have been writing about this issue and thinking that the left was being petty towards Obama, and dismissing his program before it was even brought to a vote. Way premature.
I also wrote in the entry that it ain't over until it is over. The white house press security used a paraphrase of this speech when he was responding to health care critics. I like when my ideas are in sync with what is actually being said and done by politicians. So different than the bush years, when the legislation he was pushing was evil. Better to have a president who presses for equality and takes the flag of the common man, even if this fight does not prove to be the be all and end all to our health care woes. Obama will not stop until everyone is covered by some sort of health care. This is his goal. Everything else is bullshit. How to afford that is what the problem is. The private insurance companies have been the best served by our health care system so far, as we played a 'throw them to the sharks' game with the sick poor.
Funny.... the Democrats always act so surprised when the Replicans fight dirty. We want to believe the clean fight wins. Which fight to you think really wins? IF you were in as many fights as I have been in, you learn that your enemy has a choice of weapons, and if he want's to play dirty... that is the sword he pointed out for the duel. I will fight however I have to. I only fight when there is a need to preserve someone's survival. Usually my own.
In the speech, Obama basically laid out that he is still fighting for what he believes in, and anyone on the left who is ready to dismiss him is starting to become a self-fullfillinng propechy. The less support he has, among the voters who can change who our politicians are, the less chance he has of winning.
He was effected by the onslaught of cries of foul when he talked about the public option did not have to be the be all and all. He stated a pragmatic truth. The strictures that a president really acts within, not the blind,thoughtless cheerleader-dum that stays on positive messages, to the point of going to Iraq what a hundred years ago, and declaring Mission Accomplished (can't you just see him under that banner on the air craft carrier, looking he has just conquered the world).
Health care is a tough fight. He has thrown himself into the middle of it, and unlike Clinton, he has the house and senate under his party, and trying to work together for the most part, with the exception of the Blue Dogs, who I know a lot of voters are going to kick out, if not for a democrat, than, even more likely, the Republican they seem to really want be. Who knows though?
The war. I think a lot about the war, how my beliefs have changed over the years. I did not think we should have invaded. As the years passed, though, I began to see getting out of that country was much more complex than just packing up and going home.
I wanted that, though even when I wrote about wanting peace, I knew my words would ultimatly have no effect. Why would they? The government did what it did, no matter what I thought should have been happening. War especially. South America specifically. The semi-covert wars we were always running seemed ruthless, and to prop up the worst of dictators. What a sickening time.... which while not over, has certainly been toned down with the wane of the cold war.
Then, about two years ago, in the midst of mania caused by a drug that went away the day I stopped taking them, though i went a long time not making the connection, I started seeing Iraq as a country that the Taliban was going to take over, just like Afganistan. That is like settting ourself up for a forever war.
so I began to think we should try to win the war, for the sake of the civilians who would be left in chaos if we were to pull out. A lot of the Afgani's felt this way. I know having an occupying country has to suck, but it is better than death squads and bloody, horrible civil wars.
Civilian causalties aside, I am with Obama on setting a date, and pulling out trying to do as much good as we can. I hate that we are there.
Afganistan is another quagmire. This I hold Bush responsible for. The fight that I did back was against the Taliban. Not just because of 7-11.... these people scare me. I pity anyone who has to live like that, especially the woman, and they get no respect from me. Then again.... with the fighters for the Taliban...I have to view them as individual victims of a bout of cultural/religious madness, conscripts, etc...
So when we went after them, I supported the invasion. Iraq, no... I don't like saddam hussein, but this war was unneccesary, and left us with Stop-Gap, which has caused our soldiers more pain than we want to admit, though we see the evidence piling up all over that these kids are paying a heavier price than we should ask of them. Nine months in and out in Vietnam as opposed to getting shipped back in again and again, with no idea when your service will end.
I like soldiers. I wrote poetry and short stories they seemed to like. I could never blame them for the geo-political situation that they were trapped within. Whether they were behind the cause or not, they were risking their lives, going off to suffer deprevation and anxiety and grief in amounts that are over-whelming to some 30 percent of them.... who end up with mental damage to varying degrees. A lot of people will come out of war just fine. Let's hope most.
I have recieved criticism at times that makes me think I am being taken as very right wing. Lie T. Smothers saying 'anyone who thinks we can war our way to peace is ignorant.'
I wonder what has been done with this phrase to make him say this. First I think, I must not be getting this across very well.
The revolt I see in this country is about Justice more so than peace. One follows the other. I think that war is sometimes necessary for peace, as history points out. Not very often.
I wanted to use the idea of total war for total peace as a way to inspire the soldiers who read me, as well as the part of myself that wants peace. In the case of Iraq, right now, in the policing action and withdrawel phase, it is easy to finally say that we are moving in the right direction. Before, not so much. If we had pulled out instead of Surging under Bush, who knows what would have happened? There sure would have been a lot of blood. Or Not.
I started my peace campaign thinking the war would not end under Bush, but Obama. This is why I wrote, as the first act of announcing what I was doing, put signs in my window, back in 2007, saying Obama forgive Osama, send all the warriors home.
I believed Obama would be the next president, and would stop the war. He voted against it alone by himself. Gotta respect that. Now, I think I am seeing the fruition of this thought.
All during what I think of as my political campaign during the radio show, I incorporated what was true, like the fact that Bush was president and intent on war, and that Obama would not be.
In fact, at one point, I wrote about a year and a half before Bush left, You have a year and half before peace comes. Glad to have you there to fight.'
On a poster for a reading, I drew a cartoon, years ago, with a guy saying, "I think we should stay in Iraq and afganistan until kicked PRE-SCIENTIFIC-HEAD-IN-THEASSICA'S ass."
I was convinced at the time that religious delusions were at the root of war. And that education and an open press would make Iraq and Afganistan more secular, western. As a writer, and a proponent of free speach, wome's rights, religious freedom, and pot... and.... I cannot help but look at their culture as something that would drag ours backward. I think of these socieities as pres-scientific. I know this reeks of elitism, but I mean this in the same way a sociologist would.
I still am convinced of these things. And something else I wrote in a poem,
"War never goes the way you want it to."
Should I feel ashamed of having this touch of violence about my world view? I do not think that playing the cop to the world is all bad. Darfur sure could have used us, Bosnia did... pirates off Somalia.
Like my misgivings with being associated with anything religious, supporting a war while Bush was president was kind of tricky, especially when I did not support the invasion.... I wanted the soldiers to enjoy my comedy, have somewhere to go to read violent funnies, etc. One of the few people who acknowledged me on the street, was in the Navy and knew me from my shows, and face.
The problem, is what Obama is faced with. I felt in the same boat back during the surge... no matter how much you want peace, sometimes it just isn't time...
Stilll.... I miss that thirst for peace that I had when I first started my campaign. I saw all the protests growing and was sure that we were going to get the troops pulled out... I think I wanted that believe that the left, as in Reid and Pollossi in their heroic efforts to try to win the war, was going to work.
I think soldiers especially at this point want peace more than anyone else. When this failed, I told them, Well, than win the war... " They were already fighting dirtier than I knew about, but they took it up a knotch during the search, really kicking ass... burning people's houses who witheld info, etc...
I remember around this time, John McCain coming on tv and saying that he had seen a defeated army in Vietnam, and there is nothing worse.
Hmmm.... hindsight. Now, we are seeing the sides getting ready to battle for Iraq when we leave. As we go just across the boarder, to attack our original target... we won this war before, and would have been building on this victory if we had not attacked Iraq. I would venture to say that we would be done there by now. Taliban routed and on the run.
This means that all of the renewed deaths in Afganistan could have been avoided, had we not split our army in two. This is going to considered quite a military blunder in years to come.
Why did Bush really go into Iraq? Because he felt flush with Victory from Afganistan, and the people who advised him were always trying to get him to after Saddam. Tragically irrational reasons that cost a lot of lives.
Into this mix, then, if you are like me, you have to sympathetically insert the actual people who are fighting these wars. In that regard, I would say getting rid of Saddam is a big deal, and they should be proud they helped bring down a ruthless dictator. In Afganistan, few dispute that our enemies are regrouping and will strike out at the mainland if allowed to flourish.
To the politicians.... Bush, I say that you listened to the wrong people. You believed that God was on your side a bit too much. Iraq was your big mistake. And the entire world is paying the price.
Afganistan, despite your torures and renditions, was ignored why? The marines have been saying for years, we need to be in Afganistan, not Iraq.
To Obama, my thought would be that his right on target with my thinking on this matter. Thing is.... Obama should actually do a recruitment speech for the armed forces. A national address, where he brings up things like stop gap, and the need for soldiers, and why they are fighting. I think this would clarify a lot of things on the right and the left, as well as get more people to join up. This sounds right wingish to me, but it could bring just the right kind of people into the military who share is vision of a community of equal voices.
Just thoughts. I write this recruitment shit because I do not want to see more people forced to go back into combat for years and years. Other people who support this war have to step up and do their part, not smugly sit back and give talk, talk, talk.... while the actual soldiers are being driven half mad. Constantly suffering from flight or fight reactions plays havouc on the head, no matter how sane you may be. It is a testament to how tough some people are that most survive such things mostly unscathed.
I toe no party line. I once thought, hey, if you are a citizen of this country, and Bush is president, what respect do you owe that very tradition, and the laws that uphold his office, etc..we all like the military in the end, we may not believe in what he is doing, but he is a collectively chosen leader (sic) and the chain of command stops with him. I think this way. I would not vote for Bush, but I would protect his right to serve as the way the law operates, basically. Assassins set up a horrible presedece, and in this case would have made Cheney the president.
I mean, this is the oath people try to take when a new president comes in -- Imay not respect what you do, but you are the president of my country.
Obama it is a lot easier for me to just say that I respect the man and the office. Bush represented hundreds of years of checks and balances that have kept our country going on despite major problems, and I respect that we at least have some citizen representation in politics. This country has been good to me over-alll. And the people who voted Bush in are people I see and like all the time.
This is closer than I like to come to even writing about guns and presidents on the same page.
I guess I am a little nervous about all these right wing guys showing up with guns at Obama rallies. Killing the face of a movemeng does not kill the movement, just makes you a murderer.
Rambling today... sorry. Just liked that Obama video and was happy to hear he is going to change health care for the better....
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