Monday, May 21, 2007

Many stupid things are done in war because the whole thing is stupid.

I went to an anti-war demonstration on December 30, 1990, about two weeks because the first Gulf War started. The people on the stage read the names of soldiers who had died already, and there were quite a few. The war hadn't started yet, and they didn't die in combat. In lots of cases, it sounded like they died of carelessness. The whole scene, and the youth of the lowest level, and the being someplace else entirely, doesn't encourage care.

Doctors may not always reach their ideal from Hippocrates: "First, do no harm." Military people don't have that ideal.

When I heard the names of several dozen people who had died in Kuwait before the invasion of Iraq, they were people who had died in non-combat in Operation Desert Shield. Operation Desert Shield, taking many U.S. troops and other troops to Kuwait was followed by Operation Desert Storm, the invasion, the war.

During the time of Operation Desert Shield, when these folks where dying in car wrecks and in what sounded, as the list was read at the demonstration, like industrial accidents in a industry that didn't do much to prevent them, an art gallery in Mill Valley displayed a print of sand dunes looking beautiful with the words above the beautiful sand dunes: "Cooperation. Desert healed."