Dorinda D.

Dorinda D.
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Orlando, Florida, United States
Birthday
May 20
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I teach writing at several universities. My two daughters are seven and 18. I adore my children, have trouble raising them, and you will read more about them than you care to. I am a professional cancer survivor. There is a lot more that I don't know than I do know.

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Salon.com
MARCH 12, 2012 8:56AM

"Get Out of Afghanistan." -- Gilgamesh

Rate: 9 Flag

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).

http://www.ancienttexts.org/library/mesopotamian/gilgamesh/

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.


Read more: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/g/george_santayana_6.html#ixzz17MYg7od1

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

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We shall not quit on our quest for freedom (and, uh, oil)! If we have to kill every civilian in Afghanistan in the process, so be it. I'll be sure to make a phone call afterwards.

But the quote I cherish is this: "Those who study history realize mankind never learns from history." That's because this time it's different! Vote to reelect the war in 2012!
No more war. History. It is time. No more.
Prior to the establishment of Islam, Afghanistan (or that general area) was periodically conquered by various empires or highly motivated tribes. Alexander the Great kicked the Persians out. It's worth noting that it took Alex three months to conquer Persia, but three years to defeat all of the Afghan tribes. Historically, Afghanistan has been a colossal pain in the ass to foreign occupiers.
Uruk was a country east of what is now Iran which fell from prominence after war with it seems Babylon and Elem also eat of Iraq two thousand years before Christ. Sound familiar to anyone? Anyone?
But wasn't our Mission Accomplished a decade ago?
Impossible Mission, still not accomplished and the soldiers pay the price in their sanity and overall health, as do the civilians. Good post.
I'm a student of history and I now that every time we British have entered Afghanistan it has seldom gone well. Why the hell did we think that it would go otherwise this time???
There's a reason Russia pulled out before we went in. Isn't it sad that we have too much oil in our eyes to see what war in Afghanistan did to their soldiers? Isn't it tragic that we manage to forget that it took our Vietnam vets to help the soviets with the then-emerging PTSD issues? Ah history...and we who never learn from it!
We are on our way out in so many ways. And this warring mentality is one of them. I would move to Canada if I were a free bird, I really believe. Probably Vancouver.
I am sorry, but Uruk was a very old city just east of the Euphrates River, in what is now Kuwait, so that is west of Iran.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uruk

The basic premise of the post is good.

I recommend the book The Fourth Turning for some insight to a cyclical pattern in Anglo-American culture.

Review this page Turnings in History.
http://fourthturning.com/my_html/body_turnings_in_history.html

The writers of this book postulate an 80-year cycle of four 20-year turnings, the High, the Awakening, the Unraveling, and the Crisis.

Recent Crisis turnings are:

Glorious Revolution 1700
War of Independence 1776
Civil War 1860
World War II 1940

And the current millennial crisis which is occurring about 2004-2024. This cyclical pattern gives me confidence that no matter how bad things are getting right now in our culture, we are transforming into something better.
Afghanistan on the plains, not the mountains, was long named Bactria by the Greeks after Balkh, one of the oldest cities. Long after the period you describe, this land is where Zoroaster was born and first preached Zoroastrian, which happens have had a huge influence on Christianity though few know about it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Balkh

Christian concepts of a war between a god of light and god of darkness, the last judgment, the eternal life of the soul after death in a paradise, the son of the god of light as messiah and savior of the nation -- these ideas all came into Christianity through a Zoroastrian offshoot religion called Mithraism. The legend of Mithra says he was born on December 25 from a virgin and rose from death to save the world. The Mithra worshippers in Turkey would place gifts under pine trees to celebrate his birthday.
I really think we could get the people of Afghanistan to like us if we ask the Disney Corporation to build a new Disneyworld in Kabul. Then it would be the Happiest Place on Earth!