Thursday, February 23, 2012

War And The Cultural Divide

Over the past year, thanks to the in your face reality brought to us by today's technology, we've watched time and again the slaughter of civilians by their leaders.  It is gut wrenching to say the least.  Even more so when we are shown the mutilated bodies of women, young children and babies.

Those leaders have fallen like dominos. Now it seems to be Syria's turn.  We've involved ourselves in some of the conflicts but not others.  Why is this?  Political expediency and self interest for the most part.

As difficult as it is to watch I wonder if we should have been involved in any of them.  None directly threaten our national security, not even the ones pending like Iran.  Iraq was entered into under false pretenses as was Afghanistan.  The pretenses being supposed weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and the hunt for Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan - where he wasn't, but rather being sheltered by a supposed ally, Pakistan.

What happens in war?  People get killed.  All ages, sexes, religions and a myriad of other charateristics too numerous to list.  Entering into one should be one of the most difficult decisions ever made by our leadership.  Why is it then that the last time the government actually declared war as laid out in the constitution was in 1941?  Everything since then has not been a declared war but rather an armed conflict or as in the case of Korea, a police action.

If the constitution had been followed perhaps many of the conflicts could have been avoided all together and thousands of our young men and women would still be alive.  Let's face it, we have not accomplished much.

Setting aside Korea and Vietnam, let's just look at Iraq and Afghanistan.  Neither country nor any of their neighbors like us.  We've put into political power people who have never intended to live up to our expectations, but rather their own.

Take the recent burning of Korans.  They supposedly contained extremist inscriptions intended to incite those who passed them among themselves.  So they were confiscated.  What was to be done with them?  Put them in storage?  It would have been the only acceptable way to get them out of circulation and even at that Karzai would have found a reason to call his people to riot - and kill ours.

Well, that's what happens in wars.  People get killed.  The reasons for them escape us these days.  The people we're fighting for don't want our presence in their land.  All they want is our money of which we seem to have a bottomless supply.  They're making their own pacts with the devil as we sit haplessly by. We cannot appease these people.  We do not understand their culture, how they think or why we can't make them come around to our way.  It's really pretty simple.  They don't want to.

This is what happens when we have no set foreign policy, no set guidelines to follow on the road to war and no congressional debate to determin whether or not a war may be a worthy one. If there is such a thing. The President may be the commander-in-chief but he does not have carte blanch when committing us to war.  It's time we elect one who not only realizes it but respects it and will follow the protocol of the constitution.

Our military deserves no less.  What they don't deserve is an apologist.


Margie's Musings said...

I couldn't agree with you more, Mari!

Margie's Musings said...

The trouble is...there's no better alternative...certainly none of the Republican candidates.