10.18.2006

Remember the Fallen


Military coffins at Dover AFB.... More images here.

News item from today:

11 U.S. troops killed as Ramadan attacks mount
With 70 slain, October on pace to be deadliest month in two years NBC NEWS EXCLUSIVE

Updated: 10 minutes ago BAGHDAD, Iraq - Eleven more U.S. troops were slain in combat, the military said Wednesday, putting October on track to be the deadliest month for U.S. forces since the siege of Fallujah nearly two years ago...


I find the current situation in America so unsettling and depressing. I think that Iraq is like this terrible 'tar baby' (no I am not being racist by using that analogy), touch it and you are stuck. I frankly don't care much for which grouping of violent sectarian tribes run that shattered and completely hopeless country.

As I understand it, Iraq (lost Babylon) isn't much of a much of a nation at all as much as a geographic region cobbled into a nation-state by the colonial European powers encompassing incompatible tribes who basically hate each other... more like the former Yugoslavia than anything else. Why is this my problem? I don't have a vision of 21st Century America as a shining city on a hill, who are we to expend thousands of shattered lives and many billions of dollars trying to fix this mess. In some ways the anti-war argument is deeply cynical but perhaps more sensible: Why are we involved in this situation? These resources would be better spent at home, coming up with a sensible energy policy, etc.

Here at home, it's almost holiday shopping season (too depressing), gas prices are falling, which is widely perceived to be a 'good thing', and the business climate is surprisingly good. The stage is set for an upbeat holiday season. And yet 11 lives were lost today in a fruitless cause, no major party politician that I have heard has seriously addressed energy/environmental/security issues in a way that I remotely agree with, and life goes on, seemingly oblivious to it all. It's very discouraging if one stops to think about it.

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