Thursday, March 16, 2006

Vikings in Iraq

This is very odd. I tried to post this late last night and it caused my site to disappear for about 12 hours. I guess I could have included some words in here that got this post "flagged" or something. It happened fairly instantaneously, which leads me to think it may have been technical problems, instead. But it was kind of odd that the last time we had such as outage followed DoktorDee's Flight 93 post. (I've cleaned up the language a bit, maybe there's just a flag against offensive language. But here it is. I don't think it's anything too serious):

You know what bothers me so much about this current war in Iraq? As Country Joe and the Fish put is so eloquently over 35 years ago, "1-2-3-4 - What the hell are we fightin' for?"

I got to questioning my motives behind reading up on the Viking invasions of the Great Britain and Western France area during the Middle Ages (600-1000 AD). I was thinking, maybe I need a little violence. But no, that's not it. I have no desire to read about other wars, like the Civil War for example. Nor am I that interested in participating in the Iraq War.

Then, I got to thinking, what was the difference between these Viking wars and the Iraq war? And one answer came to mind - Plunder. Where's the plunder associated with today's war? Does it all go to Dick Chaney and his cronies? Is that really fair? Who wants to fight that kind of war? And these Iraquis, blowing themselves up for God? What's with that? What happened to gold and silver and land and women that you could take from your opponents and at least enjoy a little bit. This fighting for god and country - what a bunch of bull.

Carry on.



Jennifer said...

you raise some good questions there... I wonder what we *really are fighting for.

... The fighting for God bit... I think about that.

Many of us *think that there is a god/God/gods. And some don't. But assuming one has "faith," how do they really know it's "God" and not just their own crazy voice? We don't always make the best decisions, so how do they discern their own thoughts by God's will? \Maybe I'm a don't believe it til you see it kind of gal but sometimes I wonder, or atleast consider, the possibility that we've convinced ourself there is a higher power and a heaven and a hell. I'd like to believe there's something higher. I just can't believe that anyone's God would cause so much hate and violence on another. Even if their relgions are different.

Ralph said...

Right, it's the old "did God create man or man create god?" question. No question there are forces out there beyond our control - in fact, almost everything seems beyond my control, so we have to chalk this incredible power up to something. And I guess I can understand that these Muslims want to kill because they think it is the right thing to do in deference to the will of this higher power - but that's a heckuva whole lot of faith. I guess I'm a heathen because I'm still stuck on this plunder thing...

DocTorDee said...

I see the "fighting for God" part...To some degree, we're into the modern-day Crusades, a time period from history which still evokes rancor from Arabs.

But there's still plunder, right?

Cheney is in office to make money. That's what strikes me about him. He's like the CEO and the White House is all about serving big business along with the very wealthy.

Along with war-monger Rumsfeld, Cheney sold Bush on the idea of invading Iraq in a couple of fairly easy ways.

First, they guaranteed WMDs (and even played Colin Powell for a fool at the UN).

Second, they sold the idea of radical Islam (which needs to be dealt with, but not in an open-war situation).

Third, they reminded him that Saddam tried to kill his daddy. From there, it was all downhill.

Cheney had the war he wanted, and it was right on top of one of the largest--and some say largest--oil fields in the world.

Plunder: Didn't big oil earn record profits last year? Those guys love the war: American troops on the ground in Iraq not only ensure the flow of oil but WAR itself creates the instability necessary to create market uncertainty, which always drives up prices.

A beautiful equation, yes?

And then Halliburton goes in and does the rebuild on the taxpayer dime. Like my great friend Willie from Ellwood City used to say, "It don't get no f***ing better."

God, shmod. George Bush tells us that his favorite philosopher is Jesus Christ, but our government doesn't practice Christian values; it's way too plundering.

Stan Langerhaus said...

For anyone who is interested in how the "War on Terror" is destroying fundamental ideals of justice in our country, I recommend listening to last week's This American Life. Here's the link ---

I found the comparison of 16th century English Puritans (the one who founded our country) with today's "terrorists" to be particularly amusing.

Ralph said...

Doktor Dee:

Addressing your comments. Stan - I'll get to your link in a bit. At least preliminarily, I have always seen some similarities between Osama bin Laden and Sam Adams. But back to DokD. Yes, I guess the point of my original post was that the plunder isn't tricking down enough to the soldiers - the guys doing the fighting and killing. That's the big difference. Of course, according to Guns, Germs, and Steel - and also that Custer Book I read - there are good reasons that individual plunder has gone by the wayside - mainly, it's an inefficient way to run an army. Armies of individuals - such as the American Indians for the most part - will typically be wiped out by well-oiled machines fighting for god and country.


Jennifer said...

It's nice to see some intelligent discussion! You all bring up some interesting points to think about.

I'll probably stop back (clicked your link on ErieBlogs)

Ralph said...

Stan, which "This American Life" episode are you talking about?


Stan Langerhaus said...

Ralph, the air date for that This American Life episode was 3/10/06.

Best regards,