I have very mixed feelings about the attack on Afghanistan. Justice and revenge are too complex and unrewarding for me to even think about. But I am afraid.
I am afraid because the Homeland Defense guy from Pennsylvania hasn't even been sworn in yet. We are so unprepared to fight against terrorists. Not so much chem/bio stuff, which is expensive and difficult to do on a nationwide scale, but the pipe bombs in the mall, automatic weapons in the football stadium kind of warfare that doesn't take much direct state sponsorship. Suggestions of reasonable precautions are met with cries of - that would show fear, and that's what they want us to do! Maybe somewhat, but that's no excuse for not protecting ourselves. The main thing we need is concrete barriers to prevent against truck bombs in large buildings, schools, malls, stadiums, etc. (Beyond airport security which is somebody else's rant.)
I am afraid that there is no military objective to this "war." Bin Laden, just like Hussein, is not worth taking out(from a military objective point of view) because there are a dozen others behind him who aren't much different. We can't bomb Afganistan into rubble, because it already is rubble. We aren't going to eliminate terrorism - we can't even define it, except conceptually. We aren't going to eliminate hatred of the United States, its culture and its policies, either. Military forces are designed to fight against other military forces, and there isn't an opposing military force here. So what exactly, on a physical level,(not justice or punishment)are our forces trying to do? Take over Afghanistan? Is that a quagmire or what?
I am also afraid that our country has taken a huge step backwards in judging people by their looks. I read an editorial that said an airport security guard wasn't doing his job if he didn't thoroughly inspect, interrogate, detain and harass every swarthy man that came by. What a shame. If Bin Laden isn't an idiot, (and he has made money)he will hire blondes for the next go.
I am afraid that civil rights will get trampled. Most of these terrorists do very little that's illegal until the big day, so how can you arrest them beforehand? Is it illegal to sit at the end of a runway and watch the planes take off? Is joining certain groups or reading certain books going to put you on the surveillance list? Or is it only if you are "swarthy"? What is a "link" to terrorism? What if somebody has video showing that I was in a Starbucks with known terrorists? Can I be locked up? or just interrogated and abused until I lose my job and my life becomes hell? McCarthyism is group dynamics at its worst, and I am afraid of it.
(and for the fbi nerds with their monitoring software, I don't even drink coffee
, so relax and look up hypothetical)
I am afraid that the financial success I built in the last two years will ebb away (I know, spoken like a true American!). But I wanted my daughter to grow up without war.
On the other hand, I always wanted to be a flower child and there were some great tunes about 1,2,3, what are we fighting for?
Thanks for reading, back to work!