Doug's Darkworld

War, Science, and Philosophy in a Fractured World.

Blogger Tries to Blog About Puppies but Makes Mistake of Scanning Headlines

with 6 comments

american_justice.jpg
American style justice. Credit: PA

I was going to make a nice post about the science of puppies or something equally innocuous, but alas I couldn’t resist the urge to at least scan the headlines. Big mistake, sigh. Yes, the USA, not content with a proxy invasion of Somalia, has decided to further inflame the situation by launching air-strikes there. What is hard to understand is the almost unbelievable arrogance of stuff like this, this is “might makes right” illustrated. Bush and many Americans really do seem to live in a Hollywood movie where there are good guys and bad guys, and all the good guys need to do is blow up the bad guys. And of course since the Americans are the good guys, they can do anything they want in pursuit of their “noble” goal. This is not only simplistic and stupid, it is counter productive. At least it’s counter productive if regional peace is the goal.

There is a dual standard at play here that is almost frightening in its scope. I urge anyone to ask themselves how they would respond if a nation on the opposite side of the globe launched air strikes in their country in a purported attempt to kill criminals? How about if their wife and kids were killed in such “justice from above?” Most people would go ballistic, yet westerners cannot seem to grasp that the people in other countries are going to react the same way to our bombs. Every time the USA or Israel does something like this it creates hatred, drives more moderates into the radical camp, and gives fringe groups like Al-Qaeda an incredible boost. It hurts our friends and helps our enemies all over the world, how can possibly killing a few Al-Qaeda agents possibly be worth paying a price like this?

It’s not, unless the goal is to create failed states, radicalism, and terrorism in the affected part of the world. The world is a complicated place, “kill the bad guys” is not only a stupid and simplistic foreign policy (assuming it can be called a foreign policy at all,) it is a frighteningly counterproductive policy at that. Sigh, now I need to go stomp on some puppies to relieve the stress. At least the local news is a bit better, Jon Carroll has written an amusing column pointing out that cats are Republicans. I never would have suspected, but he makes a persuasive case.

A reader commented on how they liked the picture I chose for the header. I take great care selecting pictures for Doug’s Darkworld, so I appreciate it that people notice. The header picture above is US Marines operating a flame throwing tank in Vietnam. I chose it because of a number of both artistic and content related criteria. Vietnam was a big deal in my youth, but I missed the draft and the Vietnam war by a few years. I have always thanked God for that blessing. If I had gone to Vietnam I would have killed people, been killed, or worse. That would have been a bad thing I think.

I did eventually join the service, they sent me to the far off foreign land of Texas. It was a bit of a let down, though like everything in life there were lessons. Driving into El Paso I saw a big hill to my right, almost devoid of vegetation and covered with what appeared to be shacks made out of cardboard and wood scraps. I’d never seen anything like it before and was completely mystified for a few minutes. Then I realized…I was seeing Mexico! On one side of the river, American subdivisions neat and tidy, on the other side, muddy squalor. And if I understand correctly, it’s gotten worse since then. I still don’t know what the solution to the world’s inequalities are, but seeing something like that it’s impossible not to see that there are major inequalities and it is a problem. Building a wall might hide Mexico from view, but it’s hardly a solution.

Moving right along, there have been exciting new discoveries and theories about Mars, Titan, and the universe itself. I will however save them for tomorrow, unless there are more puppy crushing headlines. I stopped watching the TV news years ago, maybe I need to expand my “news” avoidance zone. I’ll go sit quietly in my cone of silence now.

(The above PA image is claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law. It is central to the subject of the post and it is not being used for profit.)

Written by unitedcats

January 9, 2007 at 10:35 am

6 Responses

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  1. Hi Doug,

    I hope you didn’t think that when I said that the only way to achieve peace was through the eradication of evil, I was meaning “killing the bad guys.” I don’t really believe that, nor do I believe that on this earth will we ever see the eradication of evil.

    I do believe, however, that there are good people and bad people in this world, but would be the last to say that the United States is always the “good guys”. The US does good and bad just like any other nation–its far from perfect.

    As far as this story is concerned, having just started reading about it, I’m not sure I have much of an opinion on it yet. I understand where you’re coming from, but I guess I still have too many questions (a drawback of getting old…). Was this airstrike requested by the recognized Somali government? Was this a cooperative law enforcement effort? What precautions were taken to safeguard innocent civilians? Probably a couple thousand more. :)

    I guess actions like this may boost terrorist recruitment, but does doing nothing make it go away? Age old question, I guess. One that I definitely can’t answer!

    Looking forward to the universe posts. Could you possibly share your thoughts on dark matter?

    -Jack

    bereans

    January 9, 2007 at 2:29 pm

  2. Hey Doug,

    You think these strikes in Somalia have anything to do with the announcement set for today? Word is, Bush may do the terror speech in justifying the surge..

    Dmitri

    Dmitri Marine

    January 9, 2007 at 11:53 pm

  3. Good God…. save us from the “terror speech”…..

    Apparently, the “war on terror” speech is still effective with Americans…. Nobody is buying it anymore, but they still refuse to go against it. The anti-GI label is quite a stain….

    Doug, I have no idea why you don’t write for Slate.com … your content is totally in line with what the mag does and you are just as witty and informative as Jack Schafer, Christopher Hitchens or William Saletan….

    krispydixie

    January 10, 2007 at 2:35 am

  4. Containing Islamists is what its all about.. Who is doing the killings in Darfur? Jalaweed (Islamists), yet the press tip-toes around this fact.

    Who blew up the US embassies? Bad Islamists who just got clobbered by US gunships.

    War is hell.

    Sam

    January 10, 2007 at 7:41 am

  5. Hello Doug, Good post. Just wanted to drop in and see what’s going on. I want to respond to Sam: ‘containing’ Islamists is not even possible. I am thinking of a day in September 2001 when they proved that they cannot be contained.

    While I approve of the STRATEGY of taking the fight to the bad guys in the Middle East, there has been a poor use of TACTICS in executing the plan. Do I have an answer? Not really. I can only point to some folks who have more knowledge and experience than I who made good suggestions, and who may or may not be able to influence the President. The good news is that war-making power is in the hands of a Chief Executive. the bad news is that the MSM and Congress seem to believe that decisions about war-making should be based on polling the American people or subject to a vote in Congress.

    Anyone who has worked for a large corporation can tell you that the worst decisions come from committees, and the bigger the committee, the worse the decision.

    This is a generational struggle, and it is going to require sacrifice and soul-searching from millions of people around the world. I thank God every day that the front lines are in Afganistan and Iraq, rather than NY City and LA. We did not start this business, no matter what John F’ing Kerry says, but we need to finish it.

    Sometimes minds can only be changed by pointing a gun at someone, and while that may seem like a harsh statement, there have been millions throughout history whose fondest wish was for someone, anyone, to point a gun at their oppressor and make them stop.

    Words and negotiation are fine and dandy, but there comes a time that one party or another will not agree to the terms of the discussion, and you have to change the format of the diplomacy.

    Violence sometimes does solve problems.

    Mark Steyn says it better here:

    The other day I found myself, for the umpteenth time, driving in Vermont behind a Kerry/Edwards supporter whose vehicle also bore the slogan ‘FREE TIBET’. It must be great to be the guy with the printing contract for the ‘FREE TIBET’ stickers. Not so good to be the guy back in Tibet wondering when the freeing thereof will actually get under way. For a while, my otherwise not terribly political wife got extremely irritated by these stickers, demanding to know at a pancake breakfast at the local church what precisely some harmless hippy-dippy old neighbor of ours meant by the slogan he’d been proudly displaying decade in, decade out: ‘But what exactly are you doing to free Tibet?’ she demanded. ‘You’re not doing anything, are you?’ ‘Give the guy a break,’ I said back home. ‘He’s advertising his moral virtue, not calling for action. If Rumsfeld were to say, “Free Tibet? Jiminy, what a swell idea! The Third Infantry Division go in on Thursday”, the bumper-sticker crowd would be aghast.’

    God bless our leaders with Wisdom.

    Shoulung

    January 10, 2007 at 10:34 am

  6. Doug, indeed in this tragic movie America is always portrayed as the good guy and whoever it opposes is the bad guy. What America does not realize is that the more they target innocent civilians and kill indiscriminately, they more they are seen as bandits and reviled in the Muslim world. The most sophisticated weaponry America possesses is used to target one man in a dusty village somewhere South of Somalia, and it ends up killing numerous people who probably have never heard of Al-Qaeda, let alone welcome it. oh, the logic!

    I hope though, for the sake of thousands of lives on both sides, this is not a repeat of Operation gothic Serpent.

    shafi

    January 10, 2007 at 10:59 am


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