Keira Knightley.com Forums - View Single Post - Patriotism. Second try.
View Single Post
Old 29-07-2007, 04:31 AM   Officer #30
DragonRat
Officer
 
DragonRat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: California
Posts: 507
Quote:
Originally Posted by Keira lover View Post
We can not give up. We can not pull out. To do so is to surrender. If we surrender, we will have another 9/11. We are fighting them there so we don't have to fight them here.
What do you mean by "give up" or "pull out" or "surrender"? Must we fight fire with fire? Then the entire world will burn. Must we pay eye for an eye? Then the entire world will go blind (as I paraphrase the Mahatma). It cannot be as Beethoven alludes, that "Muss es sein?" (Must it be?) "Es muss sein!" (It must be!)

No, the history of the world has gone too far into this petty mode of vengeance. They attacked us first. Oh, that certainly then gives us the right to invade a country that may or may not have had anything to do with al-Qaeda. They killed innocent lives. Oh, then that certainly gives us the right to shoot innocent civilians in the wake of civil war, simply because they seem to dislike us. We never wanted them to attack us, but somehow, we feel it's right that we're over on their turf, attacking them.

Tell me, Keira lover, if war sounds like a GOOD thing to you. Would it be right for you to die for your country? Would it be right to send another person--even someone you know and respect--to die? Would it be right and proper, as the Latin poet Horace once wrote, "Dulce et decorum est, pro patria mori." (It is sweet and proper, to die for one's country.) I dare you to read Wilfred Owen's poem of the same name, for HE was a soldier during World War I, and he certainly had some things to say about war (before he died in the trenches, mind you, a brilliant poet cut down by the tragedies of hate, misunderstanding, and revenge).

The politics of terrorism are indeed personalized. So in such a way, we feel that the attack of 9/11 is our personal, intimate matter as well. However, in making international politics a PERSONAL affair--as I think Pres. Bush and several other higher-ups do--it only leads the rest of Americans into THEIR own personal crusade (and I use that word with the heaviest of connotations), not ours. We may feel it is wrong for terrorists to have attacked and killed innocent lives, but is it right on our part to do the same? How do we manage this sense of right and wrong, if everything that the U.S. does is right, and what everyone else does is wrong? (And indeed, imagine that the terrorists, or many Arabs, think the exact opposite view.) If you believe that what we are doing is right--sending troops over to the country to secure OUR form of democracy--then so be it. But you do not know half the story (and really, neither do the rest of the American people).

In short, I do not think there is anything to WIN. You want to win a game, Keira lover, win at Scrabble or Jeopardy. Don't EVER say that war is something that people win at. War is NOT a game. Tag is a game. Blind Man's Bluff is a game. Shooting innocent people, and skirmishing over gunshots and artillery fire--NOT a game. Fighting blood for blood over each cheaply bought barrel of oil--NOT a game. (And yes, I am presuming that you think that this war can be won. If so, then it is a game. It's a game that the Chiefs of Staff, the Secretary of Defense, and several major generals play. It's not yours to win. Let them play their game, but they will lose eventually, too.

And if you think that I am being too harsh, or too connotative, then you miss the point completely.)

Ever heard of a Pyrrhic victory? In fighting the Romans, King Pyrrhus suffered heavy losses for a single major victory. It is said that Pyrrhus mentioned that one more such victory would be his (and his kingdom's) undoing. So, if you want to win, go right ahead. But we'll lose so much more in the process. All in the name of winning a stupid game. A stupid game that risks life, limb, and a generation of disillusioned souls that may once again ring in the modernist despair post-World War I.

Remember: who demonizes whom in this parlay? Do we demonize the terrorists for their actions, or do they demonize us for ours? And who was the first to demonize? I think that's the better question to ask, before we can even consider asking who threw the first stone.
__________________
"I like refried beans. That's why I want to try fried beans, because maybe they're just as good, and we're just wasting time." - Mitch Hedberg (1968-2005)

"Football is about if you want to run and fight for each other, if you really want to play that killer ball." - Robin van Persie, Arsenal FC
DragonRat is offline   Reply With Quote