Saturday, November 22, 2008

question about meaning

I have heard a lot of people talking about how our American soldiers are protecting our freedom abroad. And I would like someone who believes this to explain to me what they mean. I'm not baiting here. I'm just confused. Do you mean freedom from fear by fighting terrorists? Because I would buy that. But if you mean you think if they're not over in Iraq and Afghanistan, our nation will be enslaved by those governments, um, I have some news for you. Iraq and Afghanistan have enough trouble governing the square mileage they already have. They're not looking to expand. What precisely do you think will happen when we leave those countries? I haven't forgotten 9/11, and it's entirely possible that our presence overseas has changed hearts and minds, and secretly, the people who wanted to kill Americans are either altering their perceptions or are dying BECAUSE our soldiers are over there, but that's not what's being presented to us. What's being presented to us is not that we have more friends than enemies than we did seven years ago. As far as I can tell, there is no thesis statement to this war. Are we aiding the nation-building process? Are we hunting Al Qaeda in the hopes that one day we'll actually eliminate all of them, or that one day, Osama bin Laden's going to come out of his cave and say, "Look, you're right. I've realized the error of my way. Jihad's off"? Or that he'll kill himself a la Hitler and his groupies will just slough off their worldviews?

So if someone could explain to me what freedom specifically the soldiers are protecting, that would really help things because right now, I don't get how I'm more free than I would be if they were here instead.

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In summing up, I wish I had some kind of affirmative message to leave you with. I don't. Would you take two negative messages?
-- Woody Allen