A Letter to Americans about Afghanistan, from the Margins of Empire

Kenn Orphan gives us a lot to think about in this post. Read it, think on it, and share it.
Larry

Kenn Orphan

Dear Americans,

I wanted to share some thoughts with you on Afghanistan, as it sits amongst the rubble of another indifferent imperial folly with the dread of more fundamentalist authoritarian terror on the horizon. And especially on the American public’s disconnect from its own government’s culpability in spreading misery there and throughout the Global South. I wanted to talk about reflection too.

I wanted to talk about twenty years of drone bombing civilians like a grandmother picking okra in her field, incinerating people, even in hospital, of Marine night raids on terrified civilians, including women and children. kicking in doors, torching villages. Twenty years supporting and propping up a corrupt Afghan proxy government even though the US intelligence were informed countless times of their corruption. Even though the Taliban will likely be worse, let’s not pretend that these last 20 years under American occupation has been a bucolic 4th of…

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Wise Words

Here’s a good helping of perspective for all the whiners out there during this Covid-19 crisis. What we’re asked to do doesn’t compare even a little bit to what our parents and grandparents lived through. Surely we can sit at home a little longer.
Larry

hughcurtler

I have no idea who wrote the following piece, but it strikes me as worthy of wider dissemination than it has had so far. My son sent it to me the other day and said, simply, “it was written by a co-worker.” It strikes me as particularly important given the fact that we are all feeling fed-up with the coronavirus and all that it entails. We simply cannot wait until things go “back to normal” — refusing to admit to ourselves that there may be no return to normal and that the “new normal” will be like nothing we have ever experienced.

In any event, we wallow in self-pity since few of us has ever had to deny ourselves much of what we want. This is, after all, the “Age of Entitlement” not only in the schools but in the homes as well. We buy on plastic and run up…

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Whatever Happened to Peace?

Maybe that’s a ridiculously naive question, but I still think it’s worth asking.

I just don’t know if anyone in Washington bothers asking it anymore. It’s as though the word has become quaint.

An entire generation of Americans has grown up in wartime. Peace, to them, is an abstract concept; maybe even a myth. That’s sad to think about.

Oh, well, I guess the defense contractors are happy, ‘cause their stocks went way up this week because of the events in Iran.

 

I guess it’s because peace requires maturity and toughness. I mean, think about it: anyone can fire missiles and beat their chest and talk macho. You want to prove how tough you are, have the guts to sit across from your enemy and work out a peace agreement.

I think women could do it if they were in charge. I think they are more acutely aware of the effects of war on children, and that would greatly influence their strategy in these situations.

Just sayin’.

Peace, not domination, not destruction, should be the objective in foreign relations.

You think Iran isn’t interested in peace? I’m willing to bet a large portion of the population actually is. We just never hear from them.

Just like they probably never hear from us. That’s got to change.

I don’t know how, exactly, but it’s time for those of us who cherish peace to take a stand for it.

Our opportunity, I think, is perilously close to ending.

 

 

Day Trip to France

 

Have to admit, most of what I know about D-Day, which commemorates its 75th anniversary today, I learned from watching Saving Private Ryan. (A terrific movie, by the way.) I know it involved a lot of young men who knew they would probably die that day on the shores of Normandy, France, yet despite being scared out of their minds, courageously carried out the mission that ultimately saved the world.

And some of those young men are still alive today, and though they are much older now, the memories of that day are no less vivid, no less haunting. War stays with you your whole life.

It would behoove us all to take some time to read about the events of June 6, 1944, and appreciate just how historically impactful they were.

And to remind ourselves of just how undeniably horrible war is.

To all the remaining veterans of World War II and D-Day, I salute you, and offer my heartfelt gratitude. Your courage and heroism in the face of grave danger is why we are all here now.

Peace in Our Time.