Absolutely Nothing

Monday May 28th, 2012 – Fox Lake, IL

War…Huh…Good God y’all. What is it good for? Absolutely nothing. Edwin Starr said it best, and I wholeheartedly concur with those sentiments – even though he didn’t write the song. It was written by Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong, two of the all time classic Motown songwriters who didn’t pull any punches and wrote from the heart. They tapped into the pulse of the people.

Today is Memorial Day, and while I’m eternally aware of and grateful for the extreme sacrifice made by the generations of American Armed Forces who gave part or all of their lives defending my  homeland, I find their valiant efforts to be an extreme misuse of underappreciated resources.

I can’t figure out why war still has to exist at all. We’ve had thousands of years to work out our differences, but there’s no sign of anything being resolved any time soon. What the hell is wrong with us as a collective? I’m really getting cynical in my old age, and I wish I didn’t need to be.

Can’t we as a species of pissed off hairless apes find a way to work this out already? Wouldn’t one think there would have been some kind of worldwide truce pact drawn up by now that we all can live with? I’m not angry at anyone in Iraq or Afghanistan. There are a few people quite a bit closer to home I’m not all that thrilled with, but that doesn’t mean I’m planning on killing them.

Wars have been going on since Biblical times, and I’m sure a lot longer than that. I don’t think anyone who ever lost a child in one can come up with a cause that’s bigger than the loss they felt when their child died. Today was a day to remember all of the families who have had that horror pay them a personal visit. My heart goes out to them for their loss, but why does it still continue?

The unpopular but true answer is – money. There’s money in war, even though it comes with a price of total devastation to a percentage of the population on both sides of the battlefield. I don’t think any amount of money is worth that high of a price, but my thoughts don’t mean anything.

I’m just a grunt – exactly the class of people who end up having to fight the wars. I was lucky enough to have been too young for Vietnam and too old for the Persian Gulf, but there are those that weren’t and lives were wasted in both places. I don’t think that’s fair. Make the leaders go.

If there was a dispute in a neighborhood between two families, wouldn’t the fathers be the ones to be expected to work it out? They’d meet face to face, and either settle it peacefully with words or maybe have a fist fight. If that didn’t settle it, maybe they would stop speaking to one another.

That’s a pretty good way to avoid a body count if you ask me. My sister Tammy has chosen to give me the silent treatment for going on twenty years now. I might not like it, but at least I’m on the sunny side of the dirt and can move on. That would be a good solution to wars in my opinion.

If our country doesn’t get along with another country, let’s just stop speaking to them until they either shape up or die on their own. We kind of did it with Cuba, and that wasn’t so bad now was it? As far as our government is concerned, Cuba is dead to us. Joking aside, war stinks. I wish it were avoidable, and I bet so do all those who have lost a loved one to the bloodlust of mankind’s greedy nature. If we’re going to evolve, war has to stop. What is it good for? Absolutely nothing.

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