This must have been a good 30 years ago. My Dad and I were standing at the foot of this great painting. It was a battle scene. Judging from the uniforms, they were Persian soldiers on horse backs charging Indian soldiers on the backs of elephants. The host, my Dad's friend, explained that it was one of Nader Shah's wars, where he brought a very famous diamond back to Persia. He mentioned what the battle was and the diamond, I don't remember now.
My Dad, the ever sarcastic critic he always was, said rather quickly, "Yeah, where is that jakesh Nader Shah himself?" "He's probably at the palace drinking wine and humping women". Our host pointed out, rather promptly while actually pointing to a figure in the painting, that "no, here is Nader Shah himself, he was always at all of his battles". Sure enough, the boy was on a white horse, way in front of the charge, sword drawn and his mustache flinging in the air.
I have never forgotten that. I guess there was a time when leaders, kings or generals, were in front, side by side, and in the trenches with their soldiers. Sure, they got the better horses, finer fire arms, had protection, got a tent with hot food, but they were there. They smelt the gun powder, saw the blood and were killed at times.
Compare that with today's wars. Our leaders have a suit on, live in a mansion, have no idea how to fight and the only time they ever used a gun was in open range, at some pheasants who didn't shoot back. They are ordering "CH.... AAAAA... RRRRR...GGGE", when the only charge they have ever done was on dady's credit card.
Well, at least we can take comfort in the fact that we have fought wars for stupid reasons for the most part, anyway. So, what's another one?
A scene from Fahrenheit 9/11 has stuck with me. Michael Moore, the maker of the film, went and stood in the front of the house or senate in DC and with a signing sheet asked many of our elected representatives if they would sign their sons/daughters to go to war in Iraq. One said sure, he would. The rest, even though they voted for the war in Iraq, would sign. I found that to be very strange even in a country where "Hypocrisy" rules.
I have learned one thing that there will be wars, soldiers have to fight the wars, and soldiers die in wars, that cannot be changed. Despite millions of years of evolution, humans will fight. Back in the cave-man age, they got the other cave dwellers involved then they evolved in getting other tribes involved, regions, villages, countries....and I don't know when and where it would end, if ever.
Right in the midst of these thoughts, I am quite sure that I understand defending one's home land, village, or cave, in the event of an attack. What I don't understand and cannot fathom is packing up, flying some 10,000 miles to go fight in a country that had not done anything to me. All because one man said these people have weapons that may hurt us. I don't think even US has weapons that reach Iraq. But the Iraqi government had WMDs that they were going to load on invisible ships, park at New York Harbor and shoot at will!
And even after a couple of years of being there, where it was proven that there are no weapons, destroy the country and it's infrastructure, capture their leader and the other 51 playing cards, find out there were no intelligence and your leader lied to you, keep going back for second and third tour of duty... when do the big blood vessels in your neck going to open up, send blood to your brain to resume activity and decide for yourself that I as a soldier, should not be fighting this war any more?
That I don't understand. And for all of you who will write me and say that they attacked us first, remember, November of 1989 we attacked Iraq. This, when we were french kissing Saddam ever since we helped him into power back in the '60's, I think.
We have got to be able to smell the BS, so should our soldiers.
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