Friday, February 24, 2012

Kill 'em all and start over

I've been posting on Comics and...Other Imaginary Tales for a few years. I don't run that blog and sometimes I have something that strikes me that I want to shout about to the world, but Comics and isn't really the right forum. So, here I am with my own blog. Of course, it'll probably be just me reading it, but what the hell.

Don't expect anything fancy here. It's about what I have to say, not the graphics.

I'm going to try to post at least daily on work days (M-F), but maybe more, mabye less.

I'll start with Afghanistan. I haven't checked my history in any depth, but I'd venture the US is the first to occupy Afghanistan not because it wanted to control the territory but because the mooks who did control the territory allowed it to be used as a base of attack. That's an arguably more laudible reason to control a territory but the end result is the same. We're stuck in a primitive land that has only a mariginal interest in being a part of the 21st century.

This week brought us the baffling spectacle of people being killed over the burning of books. Now, as a general rule, I'm opposed to the burning of books. I don't care if it's the Quran, Shakespear, Fanny Hill, or Mein Kampf. If it's to be disposed, recycle it into another paper product, but don't burn it. Too much symbolism with that.

That being said, what the hell's the matter with a society that thinks the solution to book burning is to kill people? They value a book, not books in general, to such a degree that they have to kill someone over any insult to the book. It's a weak faith indeed that can't withstand a burning of the holy book, whether intentional or not.

Maybe it can be traced to the early history of Islam, where the answer to persecution was to wage jihad, but this is hardly the same. Despite the diatribes of Islamic extermists, no one who spends any time observing the current state of affairs can make a reasoned argument that the US or Europe are waging a war on Islam (the occasional idiotic statement of politicians notwithstanding). So killing Afghans and NATO soldiers because a few Qurans (which, by the way, were being used to spread extermist propaganda among prisoners, via notes in the margins), were burned is a disporportionate response to an action that did warrant objection. Christians wouldn't be happy if Muslims burned the Bible, after all. However, I know of no country where it would be acceptable for Christians to kill Muslims over it.

I shouldn't expect much of a land where women are chattel and the only export is opium. Human life is a devalued commodity and the supposedly devout are highly hypocritical. Islam, like Christianity and Judaism, not to mention Buddhism, Hinduism, and just about any of the other faiths of the world, can be read to espouse peace or violence. Certainly there have been examples in each of them where people have used the faith as a basis for killing on a large scale. Fortunately, the vast majority of Muslims around the world take the peaceful view.

Which, to me, means that the problem with Afghanistan is one of culture, not faith. The Afghan culture, fractured amongst several tribes, seems to have one commonality, that it's ok to kill anyone who disagrees with you. Not much of a basis for forming a united nation.

When I was in college, where I was a government major and history minor, a friend and I posited, in darkest jest, the Mexico Plan. To our minds, Mexicio was such a mess it was unsalvageable. Therefore, the Mexico Plan was simple: Kill them all and start over. Sometimes that seems like the best option for Afghanistan. It's not, but it feels like it.


  1. I think you mistake the purpose of the war there. I believe that the mountains huge “huge veins of iron, copper, cobalt, gold and critical industrial metals like lithium.”

    I am suuuurrreeee we went there because of some terrorists, not the trillions of dollars in rare metals.

  2. I think we should not be there and the whole thing is a quagmire.

  3. Hard to mine during an active war. Besides, if memory serves, those deposits weren't noted until after the war started.

    As far as a quagmire, that's hard to avoid in any war that isn't a simple shoot 'em and get out sort of thing. Techinically, I suppose, the reconstruction of Europe after WWII was a bit of a quagmire. It went on a long time and there was the Cold War going on at the same time. Length of time to work something out doesn't mean it's automatically something we shouldn't pursue. It's how it's done that's the thing.