Thursday, February 18, 2010
Honey vs. Vinegar: Survivor Afghanistan, episode 2
My friend the "Marine Mom" just shot me another e-mail. "If you are determined to write about the game of Survivor," she wrote, "why don't you write about 'Survivor Afghanistan'? I have a son over there now, serving in Helmand Province with the Marines -- and, more than anything, I want HIM to survive."
"But I know almost nothing about what is going on in Afghanistan right now," I shot back. "I haven't been there since 2006, plus it's never a good idea to write about stuff you know nothing about (even though Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin, the New York Times and folks in the Senate appear to do it all the time). You can lose credibility that way. But I do know a lot of stuff about the TV show's 20th season, Heroes vs. Villains." For instance I know that, even after ten years on the show, Jeff Probst is still HOT.
And I also know that I just sent a video application off to CBS so that I can be on their season 21 show -- and that if you watch my video, you will be voting for me to win a free audition trip to L.A. Just click here: http://www.cbs.com/primetime/survivor/casting_call/video_player.php?vid=4972&playvid=yes.
I'd be great on Survivor! Except of course for my knees.
But Marine Mom wasn't going to let me off the hook that easily and she e-mailed me again. "I have heard from many Marines and others in the military that having our troops on the ground and endangering them is totally unnecessary. It's like Joe Biden said. We can watch this all from the air." That's true. Hey, even the Pentagon has access to Google Earth.
"Also, most of the enemy has gone to 'ungoverned' areas of Pakistan. Since they are ungoverned, and Admiral Mullen and others say that they are such a risk to the USA, then we could bomb there, or use hammer & anvil tactics and just tell Pakistan that they should get on one side and we will be on the other and the enemy in the 'ungoverned' area will get crushed. These could be solutions to the problem. But, basically, I believe that this war is non-winnable. But if the goal is to give Afghans trust in their government, that's totally impossible. We don't even totally trust our own government!
"Also, there is a 'bait and switch' con-game going on in Washington now," Marine Mom continued. "A former Marine that I know told me that the Pentagon and Washington never had any plans to totally leave Iraq all along -- and that it is only an apparent switch to Afghanistan. And it's not only just a switch to Afghanistan, but a bait-and-switch too! We Americans were sold the con that we were leaving the wars, but after voting for 'change' away from war, we now find out that it was all bait-and-switch all along! The bait: Get out of wars. The switch: The Pentagon's forces are still in Iraq, although claiming to leave, and there's a massive build-up and huge bases being built in Afghanistan too! And here our Marines go now, off to Marjah."
And then a friend of mine in Kabul e-mailed me too. "Kabul is calm after an explosion on the Jalalabad road yesterday, east of Kabul; where many military bases are located. The target was a military convoy but civilians were again the victims. And yesterday five suicide-bomber organizers were arrested by the Afghan police in the eastern part of Kabul. The organizers apparently got their training and equipment from the other side of the AfPak border. They had guns, bombs, special suicide jackets and other explosive materials with them at the time of their arrest."
So. Has hearsay made me an expert on Afghanistan yet? Yeah.
And here's even more stuff from Marine Mom, regarding gays in the military. "We don't need to be separating the gays out NOW, right in the middle of a war. What we really need to do is to separate the WINNERS and the LOSERS -- both in the general and in officer corps. If a heterosexual is a loser and has a culture of losing, and the gay has a culture of VICTORY, they need to pick the one with the CULTURE OF VICTORY. The key is to WIN the wars they are sent to -- and, even more important, have politicians in office who will only send our troops to war IF IT IS NECESSARY."
Hmmm. That's all well and good. I like a victory as much as the next guy. But what exactly does "victory" in Afghanistan consist of? From where I sit, "victory" seems to consist of winning as many big contracts and as much resource booty as possible for globalized corporatists with no loyalty to America and also for weapons manufacturers. That seems to be the whole rationale for our troops to be spending nine long bloody years slogging around in Afghanistan. And it seems to be the only rationale that I can see for the war on Iraq and the nightmare in Palestine too.
There can't be any other reason. Nothing else is logical. Nothing else makes sense.
If one were to actually approach world relations logically, one would also discover that one catches more flies with honey than with vinegar.
Take Norway for instance. Its government serves its people. It doesn't have an oppressive ruling class. Everyone likes Norway. The Norwegians use honey instead of vinegar. For example, have you ever heard of Norway being accused of torture?
Okay. Now that I (and Dick Cheney) have let the cat out of the bag, let's talk about torture. Villains in the employ of the supposedly freedom-loving, moral and honorable U.S. are torturing Afghans, Iraqis and Palestinians like crazy -- and these torturers are torturing some pretty hard-core dudes. These dudes that are now being tortured have already been abused and tortured since their childhoods. They know how to either resist torture or to make up fancy lies while on The Rack. These dudes are USED to torture and abuse.
But OMG! What if you treat these guys kindly? What if you surprise them with the very first gentleness that they may have ever experienced in their whole lives? They'll crack!
Just let ME at these hard-core dudes. I'd do a half-hour of Jin Shin Jyutsu acupressure moves on them and soon have them crying like babies. "No one has ever been NICE to me before!" they'd wail -- as they spilled all the beans.
Of course no one has ever been nice to you, dummy. Duh. If you are living on land that has water or oil or whatever under it or you are standing in the way of a freaking pipeline or are a pawn in the Great Game? Or you are the only thing standing in the way of the Western "capitalist" money-making juggernaut? What the freak else did you expect?
Let's move on.
On the TV show "Survivor Samoa," Russell tried to weaken and destabilize his opponents in order to win the game. And that's just like what has happened in "Survivor Afghanistan"!
Pakistan has spent the last 40-odd years trying to destabilize Afghanistan.
Russia and the USSR have spent the last 40-odd years trying to destabilize Afghanistan.
The powers-that-be in Washington DC, the CIA and the Pentagon have spent the last 40-odd years trying to destabilize Afghanistan.
And guess what? This strategy is working! Afghanistan has been destabilized like crazy. Their socks are toast!
Right now, Afghans themselves don't seem to have a snowball's chance in Hell of winning "Survivor Afghanistan". It's like on the first episode of the TV show's Season 20 -- when one of the Villains shouted, "Break her arm!" If the Pentagon does switch to drone-only warfare in Afghanistan, Afghans are going to immediately get voted off their own country. It's like Jeff Probst says. "Fire represents life." And after the "Tribe" gets done speaking in "Survivor Afghanistan," chances are rather good that, if you are an Afghan, your torch will be OUT. And you will be dead.
PS: Here's the latest report on Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains. Which players on the show used honey this week? And which of them used vinegar? Let's find out.
James definitely used vinegar on this episode. "Stephanie needs to be gone!" he cried. And she was. But Cirie used honey -- and that worked too. My money is on her. I bet that James is gonna be voted out as soon as there's a merge. And I bet that Cirie will be one of the finalists. Honey wins every time! That, and a little bit of skullduggery.