On God and Todd, Gilgamesh, and Durand's Line
You can't fix stupid. Here is evidence.
Another U.S. official said the sergeant is married and has two children. He served three tours in Iraq, and had been serving his first deployment in Afghanistan since December.
Does not excuse the murder of 16 people. Maybe this was the soldier's way of saying "I quit" since he was likely to be needed in Iran soon. He probably was not to see the wife and kids any time soon.
Punish the soldier but also change the system and punish those who had him on his fourth deployment.
People are not robots. They can only take so much pressure before they explode.
During September 2010 I saw The Great Game at the Shakespeare Theater Company in Washington D.C. The Great Game is a 9-hour theater production presented by The Tricycle Theatre from Great Britain consisting of many short plays. The plays are presented within three historical periods:
Part One: 1842 – 1930 Invasions and Independence
Part Two: 1979 – 1996 Communism, the Mujahideen and the Taliban
Part Three: 1996 – 2010 Enduring Freedom
The point of the The Great Game was the progress and outcome of foreign intervention in Afghanistan is both predictable and cyclical. One element of every intervening foreign power's psyche was the belief that their culture improved upon tribalism and Islam which are integral to the culture of Afghanistan. Tribalism and Islam always trump foreign intervention and always will. Foreign intervention is inevitable, futile, and unwise. The same actors played similar characters such as Afghan leader, foreign diplomat, foreign soldier, and Afghan woman in each part to underscore the inevitable cycle.
However, I have been reminded of that play daily EVERY TIME the television at home or the airport or the hotel or in the restaurant is on CNN, MSNBC, or Fox. News reports of whatever activity taking place in Afghanistan ALWAYS seem to fall in line with the predictable and cyclical history presented by the play. My inner reply to the talking head or heads on the TV screen is “we are stupid and willfully ignorant people who refuse to study history and learn” or the less intelligent “Obama needs to get us the hell out of Afghanistan.”
The Great Game was presented a mile or so from the White House. Maybe somebody wanted him to see it. I’m just saying.
At some point a lightbulb went on over my head and it began to seem possible that the history of any country might be predictable and cyclical when a particular form of government and a particular religion are integral to that country.
Afghanistan: tribalism and Islam.
The United States: a republic and Christianity
Thus in the United States for example there will be a rise of populism and religious fundamentalism following economic distress. Easy peasy. It will happen every time.
I slept through Western Civilization class in college but assume a professor at the University of Arkansas probably tried hard to tell the students the history of any country is predictable and cyclical when a particular form of government and a particular religion are integral to that country. I did not hear what that professor was trying to tell me so I spent many years afterwards wondering why I ever had to learn about Gilgamesh.
This is probably because
The Epic of Gilgamesh is, perhaps, the oldest written story on Earth. It comes to us from Ancient Sumeria, and was originally written on 12 clay tablets in cunieform script. It is about the adventures of the historical King of Uruk (somewhere between 2750 and 2500 BCE).
What the long suffering professor was trying to get through my 18-year-old hormone impaired brain was the truth stated by Harvard professor and philosopher George Santayana
Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
If anyone cares to read the texts of the tablets of Gilgamesh at the linked URL I am betting that whatever happened to Gilgamesh the King of Uruk and the Urukians has happened to everyone ever to live on earth. Uruk was a country east of what is now Iran which fell from prominence after war with it seems Babylon and Elem also east of Iraq two thousand years before Christ. Sound familiar to anyone? Anyone?
1. We need to get the hell out of Afghanistan.
2. Populism will end but not before an attempt to install whatever is perceived as “the good old days” at the time.
Thing one and thing two cannot happen fast enough for me. Yesterday would be fine.
Wait a minute . . . at the end of his failed quest Gilgamesh sees his city’s walls and weeps at the futility of his efforts.
Jesus wept too.
God and Todd – Sarah Palin