Terrified Peoples

December 22, 2015

map-afganistanOvercast-darkly awaiting rain this early Tuesday afternoon on California’s north coast, as the ‘conveyor belt’ storms continue
According to the NWS 48-hour rainfall totals note this morning, we received nearly two-and-a-half inches of the wet stuff in just a couple of days — a goodly drench.

And a goodly-long war without results continues, too. Another mismanaged boots-on-the-ground episode: ‘A suicide bombing near Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan killed six U.S. troops and wounded two other Americans and an interpreter, a senior U.S. defense official confirms to Fox News.’

(Illustration found here).

Hard to really fathom US GIs have been dying in Afghanistan since October 2001, seemingly without a freakin’ ounce of sense — Jason Ditz at Antiwar.com sums up the deal: ‘Despite reports of an ongoing leadership battle within the Taliban, as well as a growing ISIS affiliate which is primarily attacking the Taliban to try to gain territory from them, the Taliban insurgency appears at least as strong now as it was 15 years ago, in the wake of the US-led invasion.’

The war on terror started way-back in them days has been a total and complete failure. Not only overseas, here at home, too, as terror is reversed. A couple of weeks ago, I came across a piece by Mark Edmundson at The Hedgehog Review, reprinted from the Fall of 2014, and strikes the chord, hits the mark, especially with the GOP fear-mongering — some points:

Soon, a similarly unexpected question may be asked about Americans.
How did a people who settled a continent, created enormous wealth, and fought and (mostly) won war after war devolve into a nation of such tremulous souls?
And how did it happen so quickly?
Where once there was the generation of the Second World War, ready to leave home and fight fascists on the far sides of the world, we now have a nation that at times seems composed largely of field mice, prone to quiver when they detect an unfriendly shadow.
As a people, we seem to value security and prosperity above all.
When someone threatens either, or seems about to, we become (in this order) confused, then terrified, and then very angry.

On September 11, 2001, we were attacked in a cowardly and devastating way.
We needed to do something about it.
But rather than seek out and punish the perpetrators of this heinous crime, we invaded an entire country, Afghanistan.
A small radical group, Al Qaeda, was able to push the most powerful nation in the world into war because its members perceived, rightly, that we were too insecure to live with any level of risk.
Fear creates overreaction; fear leads to overkill.

So where did all this come from?
What gave rise to our culture of fear?
Why are Americans so anxious?
The easy answer is that 9/11 did it.
The attacks on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon made us feel as though any time, any day, any instant, it all might all go pop.
No doubt there’s some truth to this explanation.
But I don’t think it’s adequate.
We’ve been laying the groundwork for a culture of fear for some time.
The events of 9/11 aggravated an already developing condition, an emerging deficit of character.
Put simply, we no longer aspire to be courageous people.
Courage is not a virtue we cultivate.
We believe that we have passed beyond strife, agony, struggle.
So we do not teach our children, or ourselves, to be brave.

(h/t: War in Context).

And now six more Americans for crazy…

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