I was on my way out last night, heading for the first of two events (the latter being at my house) and I hit the airwaves just as this commentary from Benjamin Barber started on Marketplace. [The Wayback Machine’s link is here, but the actual recording is gone. Sorry about that. -CT]
I find his take on the subject enlightening in a different way than you might expect. Seeing the big picture is what I seem to be about these days.
I was at the gym earlier in the day when I noted the 1999 on the daily CNN scroll tally, and had actively wondered when 2000 would be reached. It honestly didn’t take long. Not even 12 hours. I had intended to write something meaningful and profound concerning the milestone. How we are so focused on the storms and their aftermath, or on gas prices, or on the new threat to our very existence (Asian Bird Flu). Focused on everything except the daily toll being paid in lives lost. And how are we paying for it? In immeasurable ways.
I recognize that there are people out there who firmly and honestly believe we are doing the right thing in Iraq. We made the mess, and we should clean it up. Yeah. I’ve heard that rhetoric before. And I am certainly old enough to recall the divisive nature of the Vietnam War and its effect on the population. Just look at the pop culture from the time, and you’ll understand. And then go have a look in any store right now and you will discover another disturbing parallel. We’re dressing the same way we did then. We’ve got a leader who’s in just as much trouble as our leader was then. His Vice President is about to be hung out to dry (if we’re lucky) because it appears the leak came from the tippy top of the current administration. Corruption was then and is now just as rampant.
See CNN for more information on the subject: CIA leak probe has Washington waiting
And I believe my friend Jeff has the right of it, too. It isn’t that 2000 is a milestone. And it isn’t the number itself that is bothering me so much (although, believe me, it does bother me), but that the media is so focused on the US casualties (and boy, do I despise that word). I would be ever so much happier if they’d report with equal accuracy and frequency the total number of people who have died over this abortion of political planning. I don’t care where they’re from. I care that they’re people, and they are being killed because of the whole ideological mess we have caused over there.
Stupidest thing is, there is no elegant way to simply pull out. If we’re tossed out (like we’ve just been in Uzbekistan), then we’ll have no choice but to leave. It’s Saigon all over again, folks. Just 35 years later.
No wonder this time around the hippies are hip and it’s the vampires that have taken over the subculture. This whole situation sucks.