Tuesday, September 10, 2013


Or John Donne was right. "Never ask for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee."

Yes, this entry turned into a rant. And I'm not going to apologize. Either we find another way to solve our problems besides trying to kill them or there are going to be a lot more Syrias. 

It looks like we might dodge the bullet this time on Syria. Evidently Russia is attempting to broker a deal that would allow Syria to turn its chemical weapons stocks over to a third party.

It’s straight out of Animal Farm. “All weapons are bad but some are worse than others.” I know this will sound really weird. Full dose of poison gas. A minute or so of total terror while I suffocate and then I’m gone. Trying to cross a river with a crowd of refugees, kids in tow, mortars firing, choppers overhead, death squads shooting into us; several hours of terror and dying slowly of wounds or starvation. Or worse, watching my children die. Frankly, I’ll take the gas.

I believe it’s the idea of nuclear weapons or poison gas that makes them seem worse than so called conventional weapons. Hiroshima and Nagasaki were horrors. So were Tokyo, Dresden, Hamburg, Cologne, Manchester, Coventry, Rotterdam and Warsaw. The laundry list of bombed out cities with their incinerated or homeless inhabitants. All were very efficiently destroyed using good old fashioned bombs loaded with TNT or whatever the masters of war were loading WWII bombs with back in the Forties. You have to hand it to us. We’re very efficient when it comes to taking out the enemy. Even when they’re aren’t wearing a uniform.

What was the death toll in Syria? About seventeen hundred or so? December 11 to the 12 a battalion of the Salvadoran army entered the village of El Mozote. By the time they were done the village was dead save for one survivor. A woman was not in the village at the time, hid in a tree and watched as the soldiers used every abomination known to man on her neighbors. It was the Atlacatl battalion and they were trained at the School of the Americas. Their teachers were members of our armed forces.

 It wasn’t the last massacre committed by this unit. And they weren’t the only killers. Armed with intelligence, arms, ammunition and equipment provided by the United States the army and the death squads managed to kill over seventy thousand men, women, children, priests, nuns, lay workers and an archbishop in over a decade of civil war.

And that was just El Salvador. And if we had had eyes to see where would we have found the Savior? In a mega church in the US listening to the empty words that equated patriotism with love of God or comforting the children dying of – hell it doesn’t matter what they were dying of. Most of the causes were stenciled Made in USA.

 But hey, what was the saying back before the USSR fell apart? “Better dead, than red?” Too bad we didn't ask the peasants who were doing the dying if that was a choice they would have made.

There’s a hollow ring to our protests now. We were so silent then. A story in the morning paper catalogs the lack of support from most Americans for military intervention in Syria. Yes, most Americans are tired of a decade of war. And just maybe it's finally sinking in that you can't kill your way to a solution for the world's problems. 


Lisa :-] said...

Sorry, my friend...I have to disagree. Some weapons ARE worse than others. There is a problem with the stance that "people die of war all the time so what's the difference what kills them." The thing is, to end the killing, you have to start somewhere. I don't have a problem with starting with the most heinous weapons first. Nuclear weapons pretty much serve as their own deterrent, but weapons that can kill thousands of humans and leave the real estate intact? This is not the stuff of science fiction doomsday stories. We have them right now. And they should scare us to death.

I firmly believe we would be singing a different tune about this whole thing if the 9/11 terrorists had used sarin instead of airplanes...

JACKIE said...

All weapons are ungodly and I mean that literally. I forget who said it, the quote is somewhere in the 400 odd pages of Cry of the People. "We can't promote democracy by killing people." or much of anything else either. I think what scares us the most is that you don't have to "see" the people you're killing. Same with the saturation bombing we used in WWII and Vietnam. I wasn't saying gas isn't horrible. At least if you get a lethal dose it's quick.

Back when they were getting ready to destroy our stocks of chemical weapons at the Army depot south of Umatilla they set up the High School gym as a safe haven. Able to seal and pressurize. Just in case something got loose. And we won't even go into Hanford. Let's see store materials that are dangerous for a thousand years in tanks that break down in less than a hundred. What could be a problem with that?