"…people are running around making strategic decisions and plans based on asymmetrical warfare and terrorists." - from an article in the New York Times on Monday, August 22, 2005
Buried In The Past
Old generals and admirals sit around collecting retirement checks unable to offer a clue about the current threats facing modern society. They still envision massive armadas sailing up to the shores of New York to launch salvos at the city. Some suspect the Chinese of preparing to sink merchant ships sailing to California. Generals refuse to understand the simple reasons why a huge army is unable to defeat a few guerrilla warriors in the desert. The Air Force calls for more nuclear warheads while militants slip across the border along with migrant farm workers. Old outdated concepts die slowly while the world rapidly changes, for better or worse.
The facts stare us in the face but the eyes of those in power remain firmly shut. An intercontinental missile provides no deterrent to a suicide bomber with a backpack full of explosives. Billion dollar submarines or aircraft carriers are no match for a small nuclear weapon packed into a 40-foot shipping container. A thousand B-52 bombers cannot stop a car bomb assembled a few blocks away from the intended target. Explain how a battalion of soldiers can stop a man in any city from building a bomb from common grocery store items?
Failing To Learn
The nature of war has changed in fundamental ways but the people paid to protect us have not changed tactics and tools to meet the threat. It seems only a few people are learning to speak the languages used by our enemies. Law enforcement agencies cannot get a decent computer system up and running. Borders flow and cities brim with undocumented immigrants. Nevertheless, the admirals cry out for more submarines and carriers. Will anyone learn about effective deterrents to asymmetrical warfare before the next big attack? Sadly we must expect the old commanders will always refuse to change, even after the next attacks and the next and the next.
A few million dollars in job training can take thousands of unemployed former soldiers off the streets of Baghdad or Gaza. Effective diplomacy can steer a trusted ally on a path certain to quell massive civil unrest. Thousands of people could be put to work manually inspecting air and sea cargo containers. Yet the old men in charge ignore these ideas and continue to spend billions mostly on big bombs.
Will the Old Guard ever see the sense in using human eyes, hands and ears to combat a rising militant underground? Give people real jobs and they will be less likely to want to blow us to pieces. Must the obsolete ideas of old men continue to be tolerated while young soldiers or civilians lose arms, legs and lives? How many rows must be added to cemeteries before we learn that bullets teach us nothing at all?
There must be some reason for all this pointless death other than just ignorance and stupidity.
Lost History Lessons
National policies promoting imperialism and colonialism were proven wrong during the World Wars and the Cold War, at the cost of millions of lives. So why do the leaders of superpower nations suddenly feel the need to establish new colonies in the Middle East? Do teachers in Great Britain still teach students about the great tragedy of the Colonial Wars? Students in the United States do still study the reasons for the American Revolution. Why don't they understand how Iraqis feel when an American army occupies cities in Iraq and shoots all who object to the occupation? History is taught but apparently the lessons learned are not applied to present-day situations.
Censorship and Propaganda
The results of terrible national policies are carefully hidden by clever leaders. Censorship prevents newspapers and television from showing pictures of the dead on battlefields or returning in coffins. Sadly, the history of our times is illegal to teach. The poor suffer more from this censorship than do the rich, who mostly refuse to serve and die in the military.
Politicians stand before us announcing victory. We were told the mission was accomplished years ago. So why not bring the troops home? Fake evidence and fake numbers are used to claim the Army is winning when it is actually losing. George Orwell's novel 1984 addressed this very issue. It seems nobody learned the lesson.
Poor military gear is called "state of the art" in order to protect a rich man in the Pentagon. The people that die using these lousy war tools are held up as patriots instead of the victims of poor planning. It is all so much war propaganda, learned from Hitler's example. When the grisly truth finally comes out the real criminals will be safely in retired in Texas and Wyoming.
Blindness and Greed
When we fail to properly educate ourselves we become blind to gross injustice. Poor citizens continue to send their children overseas to die to provide huge profits for rich business executives. Greed does not stop at pointless bloodshed. Humans love their own children but some still think nothing of sending other people's children to die for that next tank of gas. All the money rich countries spend on war and weapons is really money that should be spent on education and jobs. The people that spend millions of dollars to become our leaders know this fact. They also know that the rich people who donate money to their political campaigns make more money from war than from education.
In a rich capitalist country it is better to kill your neighbor to make a big profit rather than improve the schools so people can make smarter decisions. People are allowed to die for lack of health care but there is always plenty of money for guns. The war veterans are denied decent health care and good jobs. They can no longer fight so why spend money on them? The real terrorists are the people called "leaders" in these nations.
A nation will never know peace when the rulers are cold-blooded killers. Good citizens must learn the truth and fight for positive changes or perish as cannon fodder. Stand up for what is right before it is too late. Educate your children about the real cost of wars fought blindly. We must stop the carnage caused by the old men who refuse to mend their evil ways.