Friday, March 23, 2007

Glass Half Empty

Iran 'seizes' 15 British Marines
A dispute ensued over whether the Marines were in Iraqi, international, or Iranian territorial waters, and the 15 were then seized and taken to Iran, the U.S. military official said.
I'm not saying that we're going to war right away. What I'm saying is that when they teach about this in schools, it will be reported as the incident that brought Iran in to World War III.

I would be so, so happy to be wrong.

See, here's the thing - every once in a while we see a news item or a blog post that talks about how military recruiting numbers are down, or how we're now spread so thin that we couldn't really defend ourselves militarily on a new front. Perhaps you recall reading about soldiers being taken off medical disability or individuals with criminal records now being accepted as recruits. I believe that all of these things are true.

If all of these things are true, then how in the world can the U.S. ever achieve victory on any of these fronts. Hell, I'm not even sure that I understand what victory is supposed to be, any more. These two wars that I'm thinking of, Afghanistan and Iraq, who exactly are we in a war against? The Afghani and Iraqi governments? Aren't they now constructs that we helped build? If we're not fighting the governments, than who are we fighting, and more importantly, who can we negotiate a truce or a cease-fire with?

Who's in charge of all this violence and conflict? Who's working towards all the killing and the destruction? Without clear sides, how can the war ever stop?

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