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Today, I heard something that resonated deeply with me... because it… - John [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]

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[Nov. 1st, 2004|10:01 am]
Today, I heard something that resonated deeply with me... because it spoke to how I feel about the direction my country is in.

Moving under forces so large that I have no control over them, and knowing that things are going horribly wrong, and knowing you can't leave, because someone has to keep trying, but knowing, deep down, that you're only holding on because there really isn't another choice.

No one is sure how many people are dead and gone in Iraq, but one thing is certain.

We did not have to invade.

We didn't *have* to, there was never a compelling reason, and there was never a situation in which, if we'd waited just a little bit longer - a few months, even a year - that things might have gone horribly wrong.

The common 'dove' wisdom was that we could wait, and it was scorned.

The common 'hawk' wisdom was that we could not wait, we'd waited too long.

Every single piece of the hawk's arguments has been found to be wanting, and still they screech their battle cry and say it was necessary.

It was okay... because it was. The doves were wrong, despite the facts.

We fight honorably in the overwhelming majority of cases. Our soldiers don't want to hurt innocent folks. We use precision guided munitions, and all that, don't we?

But a bomb so precise that it can't hurt innocents is too weak to have an effect. A bomb can't kill an insurgent in a row house with any certainty, if it's not a grave danger to the next house over.

And even the foot soldiers with naught but a very accurate rifle will no doubt, sooner or later, recognize that the danger to the civilians is not the bullet with an innocent person's name on it... it's all those sent "to whom it may concern".

I've said it before, and I'll say it one last time before this election:

War is the penultimate evil, and only justified when you've found a worse evil that requires war to prevent.

As long as we think of war as something useful, as a tool, we're stuck in this train, on this grade.

Read on, and see if you can't just picture a train named "America".

Tons Of Steel
Lyrics: Brent Mydland
Music: Brent Mydland

I know these rails we're on like I know my lady's smile
Re-see a dozen dreams in every passing mile
Can't begin to count the trips
That she and I have made
But I wish I had a dollar
For each time we both been down this grade

Nine hundred thousand tons of steel
Made to roll
Her brakes don't work and this grade's so steep
Her engine's sure to blow
Nine hundred thousand tons of steel
Out of control
She's more a roller-coaster than the train I used to know

It's one hell of an understatement to say she can get mean
She's temperamental, more a bitch than a machine
She wasn't built to travel at
The speed a rumour flies
These wheels are bound to jump the tracks
Before they burn the ties


Murphy's sure outdone himself to pick this stretch of track
I can only hope my luck is riding in the back
Well I have prayed to God
This ain't the day we meet
I've done about everything
But try dragging my feet


Oo, oo, I wanna go down slow
Oo, oo, oo, oo, oo
Nine hundred thousand tons of steel
Out of control
She's more a roller coaster than the train I used to know

[User Picture]From: eleccham
2004-11-23 06:00 am (UTC)
It's sick, I know, but it's the bent my mind's in right now... I snapped, somehow, to the warped-mirror carnival-house-version of "Thirty Thousand Pounds Of Bananas". Or maybe that's the other way around, Harry Chapin's the one in the funhouse mirror?

You'll have to 'scuse me tonight...
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