gonzo liberal's Left Hook

[ Monday, November 15, 2004 ]



I thought recently what it would be like to be "collateral damage". We live in Annapolis, Md, home of the US Naval Academy; we are twenty miles downwind of Washington DC; we are midway between two major airports and minutes, by air, of the Bay Bridge. During one of the terror alert, I was sitting out in the park one evening stargazing, watching the lights of the airliners as they circled overhead to final approach at BWI. I got to thinking about the scenario of the US Air Force shooting down an airliner due to hi-jacking. I got to thinking about that stricken airliner coming down in my neighborhood, propelling our little spot of Maryland into the international spotlight, and probably killing a couple of hundred innocent Marylanders or so.I got to thinking that, in that case, we dead Marylanders would be considered "collateral damage" in the war on terrah.

A decision had been made that our lives were worth sacrificing for the greater good, in order to save the lives of the president and congress, I suppose.
How do I feel about being such "collateral damage"?
I wonder about the person who would have to make such a decision. Would it be George Bush? Would it be Dick Cheney? Has the order already been given, and the decision will be left to a nameless beaureaucrat deep within the Pentagon?
I guess it doesn't matter how I feel about being "collateral damage".
Nothing I can do will affect that decision.No one in power really cares; their concern is on "protecting" the president.
But what if the goal was something, um, smaller?Instead of the president and congress at risk, what if the decision was made to shoot down the hijacked airliner to save a capitol where the president and congress were NOT there, just full of ordinary people, kind of like Annapolis, Md. Would my leaders make a decision to sacrifice one neighborhood simply to save another?
I like to think about HOW people make decisions, the process they use, the feelings acknowleged. I still don't understand entirely why the (p)resident went to war in Iraq. I've read all about his reasons. I've my own theories. But none of them really add up.
A decision was made to attack and "liberate" Fallujah.There are reasons and theories.Someone decided that these people over here must die so that those people over there don't have to. There was no other way to meet the "objective".A decision gets made.halfway around the world, people die.Their families bury them in gardens and in basements.They are collateral damage.
If we pay no more penalty than discomfort, let us at least stand and recognize that one of the costs of war is the seemingly senseless loss of innocent life.
Today, Fallujah pays the cost. Tomorrow, it may be Annapolis, Marryland, or Abilene, Texas. Just yesterday, it was NYC and Washington and Pennsylvania.

But today, it's Fallujah.

gonzoliberal [9:43 AM]