Wednesday, December 2, 2009

What Place Is This? Where Are We Now?

Let this title--lines from Carl Sandburg's "Grass"--serve as an epigraph.

Last night, President Obama announced his plan to send 30,000 additional troops to Afghanistan to "finish the job."

I can't help but recall the wisdom Vizzini imparts to the disguised Westley in The Princess Bride: "You fool! You fell victim to one of the classic blunders--the most famous of which is 'Never get involved in a land war in Asia.'"

Although Vizzini's subsequent insight ("Never go against a Sicilian with death on the line") fortunately proves false, history supports his former assertion.

The decision to escalate U.S. military involvement in Afghanistan is attributed obstensibly to fighting terrorism, replete with invocations of 9/11 & the continued search for Osama bin Laden.

If true, then why is our government reportedly working with the Taliban? Why help keep a corrupt government in power with our resources, our lives?

I'm not anti-Obama. I opposed Bush's invasion of Afghanistan & Iraq from the very start--& lest we forget, let's not gloss over the fact that our troops are still in Iraq, despite the president's campaign pledge to bring them home.

I reject the administration's hawking further involvement in Afghanistan as fighting the good war. No war is good. Some may prove necessary, but this one isn't being fought from necessity, but (it would seem) for political expediency.

Ah, but alas, this is a poetry blog, so here's a shortened version of Kenneth Koch's "The Pleasure of Peace" for your perusal & well, yes, pleasure.

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