Big Smoke

'cause it's hard to see from where I'm standin'

bin Laden

Tags: , ,

Osama’s dead!

And all it cost was three trillion dollars, the lives of six thousand US servicemen and about a million Afghanis and Iraqis.

In a way, our War on Terror’s kinda been like a complete reversion of the States’ involvement in World War II. Consider:

  • The War on Terror cost more than WWII and lasted longer, except no palpable sacrifice was demanded.
  • WWII was fought with clear goals in mind and a clear end. The War on Terror was fought with less clear-cut results – if any results at all.
  • In WWII, we started in a depression and ended as the richest nation on earth. The War of Terror started with us as the richest nation on earth and ended – if you can say it’s ending – in a depression.
  • The US started WWII as isolationist and ended it as an internationalist, and now at the tail end of the War on Terror there’s a severe backlash against interventionism.
  • The US entered WWII with many and strong allies. The US entered the War on Terror with few and reluctant allies.
  • WWII had a relatively clean and painless post-war occupation. The occupation forces during the War on Terror arguably saw more war than during the war.

So uh, what exactly have we accomplished?

We’ve Been Down This Road Before

Tags: , , , ,

Get us.

The fuck.

Outta Afghanistan.

After WWII, no war the US has run has ended in peace, let alone victory. Of course, WWII was the last war we unequivocally bombed civilian centers and practically salted what we didn’t glass.

Republicans love to mock Democrats and liberals for being squeamish and unrealistic about the costs of war; not being manly enough to conduct one. If so, why is it always Republicans that try to run wars under time and under budget?

  • Author:
  • Published: Feb 23rd, 2009
  • Category: Society
  • Comments: 2

Traudl Junge

Tags: , , , ,

There’s a rather serious comic from Subnormality – a webcomic site that usually does quite erudite vignettes when not enmired like the rest of us in narcissitic navelgazing – on the story of one Traudl Junge, a shockingly apolitical secretary of none other than Hitler during the war. It speaks to the point of why political activism is important, as the ability of such monsters to control the power and trappings of their offices is largely due to the apathy of their constituents, and thus is an obvious parable of, oh, say, the American political process, but I read another and somewhat more unsettling moral from it.

The story pits Traudl Junge against one Sophia Scholl, a political dissident who was not only her contemporary but also killed for treason, and argues that Junge had to live with her eventual shame while Scholl was true to herself until she died. A cynic (me) would point out that when all was said and done, Scholl died and Junge lived. This began, in my mind, to feel something of a broken aesop: The moral mutated into one whereupon facing an oppressive regime (as is constantly relived throughout all of history) the ones who survive both its peak and its fall are those who are complicit and can play dumb, and those who are cognisant and can lay low. That the first to peek his head above the crowd is the first to get it shot off.

I see either a call to martyrdom or a plea for fatalism – either way, that one will be exonerated long after one’s ashes have been lost to history. In our “pick your battles” sense of self-preservation, pleas such as this cannot but fall flat of their goal. This isn’t, I suppose, to say that resistance is always futile, but resistance without guns tends to get crushed.

© 2009 Big Smoke. All Rights Reserved.

This blog is powered by Wordpress and Magatheme by Bryan Helmig.