Monday, September 21, 2009

We Invaded Them

This was originally a response to a post over at Facebook but got too long and Facebook doesn't like it when one gets verbose, so I'm putting it here instead. I was responding to Rick Yost who said: "Afghanistan- again we've moved in without a clear purpose or a plan to leave. I don't think we can win this particular fight?" I wanna start this off by saying I fully understand religion and pollitics are two places I really shouldn't open my big fat mouth. I want to continue this by saying I'm gonna anyway. I'm just doing it HERE which is my virtual home and not on Rick Yost's Facebook wall cuz that seemed kinda imposing on my part.

Now understand, we're laymen. Rick Yost is a phenomenal musician. I'm a guy who answers a phone all day. I don't even really have a real career anymore. My career went overseas and I don't know what I'm doing with my life anymore, but I look at my country and my world and the humanity I'm stuck with and I really feel no incentive to fix my life and make it something profound and wonderful. I'm basically just surviving nowadays. I don't really like to think much about why. I just try to get through the day to day. I can't do anything about the injustice I see all around me. Well. I can complain. I do that a lot to no one in particular. I'm rather powerless. So I whine a lot.

We are invading their country. I say "WE" in the same way I say "WE THE PEOPLE" when referring to the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution. I'm a part of this WE due to my place of birth. I didn't get a choice. Just like most people who live wherever they are and have spent their lives there don't get a choice. I can't just pack up and move to Ireland cuz I happen to agree with their politics more. I don't. In fact, I can't think of any place on the planet where I'd be content politically, so where I am is just as good a place as any.

No one asked me if it was okay for my tax dollars to be used to invade Afghanistan, and nobody went up to some middle aged guy in Afghanistan who makes a living answering phones all day and asked what he thinks about it. We didn't get a say in this, and yet by proxy we are each forced to be a part of this WE. Well. It's WE to me. His WE is a THEY to me and my WE is a THEY to him. I'm sure over there they got different words for WE and THEY and they write right to left where WE write left to right. Same difference.

Anyway. We invaded their country.

Maybe the government of Afghanistan asked us to come in, and maybe we invited ourselves because we think Al Qaieda is in there, and the Afghanistan government was powerless to stop us. I don't know. I imagine there were power lunches involved where our people talked to their people and they did lunch and then we did lunch. Whatever. We may or may not have gotten some kind of formal okay from somewhere to go in and that makes all this kosher.

We are invading their country. That makes us the bad guys. If a guy puts a gun to my head and then asks me to break bread with him, I'll smile and be civil, but only cuz I'm allergic to lead.

Since I was a kid I've been told by my elders that America is the hero. We're the good guys. I have since looked at American history objectively as an elder myself now. When were we heroes? World War Two maybe? That was only cuz what the Nazis were doing was pretty damn bad. We'd never make a concentration camp where we gassed masses of people, but we would ride a terrorist around a room naked with a bag over his head while making dogs bark at him. We'd threaten to drown him and then later tell people we were only pretending to drown him. We'd make terrorists climb on top of each other like high school cheer leaders making a pyramid. We'd never gas them. There's degrees of evil here.

I was born during the days of Vietnam and while I was sucking on my thumb and peeing in my Pampers, my elders would take a hill and the enemy would just dig underneath us. We napalmed babies. We tore homes apart. We burned down communities. We weren't being heroes then. We were stupid and crazy.

Where's our cape now? We look more like bullies to me, and I don't appreciate being on the wrong side of the argument due to my place of birth. I've had people tell me if I don't like how America does things, I should just move. That's ludicrous. I shouldn't have to move. I should be able to count on a representative government to represent me when dealing with other governments. They don't, cuz I'd never go into someone else's country and blow it up. I'd go into someone else's country and put my feet up on their coffee table. That's about as insensitive as I get.

1 comment:

Jan Bergmans said...

Hi Zach

I do understand where you're coming from.
I was an army conscript in Europe in the eighties.
We discovered long ago that the emperor remains without clothes.
Share your thoughts.
You are obviously someone who cares for the truth about day to day realities.
If you ask yourself the right questions you will find what you are looking for.

Take care

Jan Bergmans