A law professor friend once instructed me in the chicanery of legal sophistry this way: If you have the law on your side, pound the law; if the facts are on your side pound the facts; but if neither are on your side pound the table.
Which brings me to Afghanistan, the Taliban, Americans and the absurd controversy generated by the release of POW Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.
And what I’ve come to realize is that the real war is not between East and West. The real war is between intelligent and stoopid people. And the stoopid folks are pounding the table.
And you can’t fix stoopid.
That is simply because most folks – particularly those who know the least – are shouting and shooting the loudest. They refuse to allow facts to get in the way of a good rumor. And they actually think they know what they are talking about. And the truth is few of us know bupkis about what the truth is most of the time. And especially this time – as of yet.
Yet in the court of public opinion we are already prosecuting a soldier named Bergdahl. We are sending death threats to his father and family and to his hometown in Idaho that wanted to welcome the return of their native son after he was held hostage by the Taliban for five years.
For 5 years!
Does anyone even know what he really has done… or hasn’t done… except serve his country?
Does anybody even know why we’ve been 12 years in Afghanistan while our own roads and bridges and public schools have gone to hell? And, considering the recent news, what were we doing in Iraq?
Hell, has anybody figured out why the heck we were in Vietnam? Does anybody really delve beyond the plethora of lies that our politicians and public servants espouse? Do we understand that Edward Snowden – condemned as a liar and traitor – has only revealed the truth?
Hmm… Unfortunately the truth is about as useful to a stupid person as a mirror is to a blind person. Life is tough, but it’s tougher when you act stupid, be stupid, do stupid and talk stupid.
Oh, what the heck: How many of you insipid, foul-mouth, overweight stoopid sumbeetches actually voted in the last primary or election? Or didn’t you know there was one?
Yet we do know all there is to know about the last pituitary, anthropomorphic linebacker drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles – or whatever your belittling Indian-named team is called.
No wonder I have spent my life judging the distance between American reality and the American dream.
Meanwhile just a couple of years back a young country surrounded and constantly under siege by its intolerant insolent Muslim neighbors traded 1000 inimical Palestinian prisoners for one Israeli soldier.
Talk about valuing the life of one of your own.
So who says ‘WE’ don’t negotiate with the enemy?
The solipsistic-petulant Sen. John McCain? Exxon? Amnesty International? The American government?…
But of course!
Indeed, I have met the enemy and it is all of us. We are all terrorists. And in return we are all terrorized. Our corporations as well as our government have long ago discovered that money has no loyalty, no borders, no boundaries. The only politics of currency is the exchange rate.
We negotiate with our so-called anti-democratic ‘enemies’ every bleeping day! And we do it so the old men can profit off our young men’s blood. And we do it to preserve our American way of life.
And if we don’t do it, we won’t have the oil to burn to keep our sorry, cottage-cheese asses warm while we watch fooootbawl!
And meanwhile we’ve got a bunch of gutless wonders — especially in Congress — where they appeared utterly shocked, dismayed, disgusted as well as surprised by all this unsettling news of late.
And I don’t just mean that ‘a’ veteran American soldier was actually still a POW in Afghanistan, but that most ‘all’ of our thousands of injured and suffering American veterans are still POWs right here — to American Veteran Hospitals. Thousands of miles from Afghanistan. Many only a few thousand feet from the nation’s capitol. They simply aren’t receiving care and attention by the nation’s long inadequate system.
Perhaps our privileged congressmen and senators wouldn’t have been so deaf, dumb and stupid to this if they, themselves, weren’t so comfortably ensconced in something like five choices of government-run health care programs – that is while our vets get stuck in the understaffed, underserved one-and-only-one government program where the toilets barely flush.
And we are simply outraged. How can this possibly be happening? In the U-S-of-A!
And I am outraged that we are not storming the Bastille.
And meanwhile we are assaulting the one, lone POW who did nothing against America but serve to defend the honor of our ideals. And maybe – or maybe not – who knows? — he did wander off one night. Got lost. Got confused. Got questions. Got captured.
So what duh hell, what duh hell, what duh heck?
Let me ask you one and all a very simple metaphysical question: How do you know what you are holding onto unless you let go once in a while?
We all go insane from acting, and pretending, to be too damn sane. Try being crazy now and then. Never forget: Judgment comes from experience, and experience usually comes from bad judgment.
For some obtuse reason of perverted glee it seems that most folks like to hold up a really big righteous sword when we think somebody else has made a mistake. Yet when Americans start turning on their servicemen without the full story or facts, then we as a people have a major problem. Because we’re turning on ourselves — instead of the lying, cheating bastards that continually create this hell on earth for the rest of us.
And this stresses me out. That is, when people say and do stupid things – which is most of the time. Because, supposedly, we are only born ignorant. Yet it seems we enjoy working overtime to stay stoopid.
The closest most folks come to anything threatening is a lightning storm. And look how frightened and tormented we act when the lights go out for a couple of hours.
So try serving a military outpost in a country where they stone their wives and ‘sleep’ with their camels. And think what they’d do to heathen like you and me, coming in where no man or beast has conquered in thousands of years.
And all the while, you and me and Bergdahl still don’t know what duh hell we are doing there. In an outpost. In the company of a band of odd and strange men who only know that they wanna drink some hootch, smoke some weed, and kill anything that moves in the shadows — before it kills them.
For you who have been deprived of little more than your TV entertainment, let me inform you of this: It is circumstances that cause us to act the way we do. Especially lonely, dangerous circumstances in a foreign land where nobody wants you in their neighborhood. And you are questioning yourself and your country’s venal, vapid, perfidious propaganda for doing what you don’t-know-why you be doing.
We should always bear this in mind before judging the actions of others. It was circumstances that perhaps caused the likes of Sgt. Bergdahl to sign-up, in the first place, to go to Afghanistan; and later, perhaps, wonder why; and perhaps, still later, go out an investigate what the natives were thinking.
After all it is intelligent to be curious, rather than judgmental. But the problem with most of us is that we think with our hopes or fears or wishes rather than our minds.
Hmm… And I repeat: No wonder I have spent my life judging the distance between American reality and the American dream.
When I used to coach all youthful age groups in baseball I would bark to the nattering gnomes of nonchalance: If you’re talking you ain’t listening; if you ain’t listening you ain’t learning; if you ain’t learning there can never be any peace.
And I come in peace, so just don’t ‘peace’ me off!
In other words: Violence is very easy to start… peace is much more difficult to keep.
I don’t care what you ‘think’ you know about Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. What’s important is what you actually know. And so far we don’t know much except the half-truths and full lies others are ‘cathartically’ getting off their sunken chests — for a variety of reasons and personal agendas.
I have honestly learned the hard way to really try to mind my business, without overly judging people for what they do. With the Bergdahl madness I am more troubled by the lack of space being provided for the truth to unfold. It seems we humans cannot wait for, nor honor the truth. Instead, we make it up based on our holier-than-thou expectations. We believe we know how others should or should not be. And, needless to say, we are always disappointed.
If only we judged the man in the mirror as harshly as a wife does.
I know. I fully understand. I mean I used to be married. It’s the only war where you sleep with the enemy. And like Confucius used to say: Man who fights with wife all day gets no ‘peace’ at night.
And dats yDrewIS on dis penal colony…