The World Is Stupid

Today I got a text message and an email from the U.S. Embassy in Tbilisi, warning me to vary my routes because of global terror activity. Yeah, what the fuck ever, embassy. Maybe instead of emailing English teachers making $300 a month in random countries and telling us to watch our asses, you could email the President and tell him that torturing prisoners and killing boatloads of innocent civilians all over the world isn’t making anyone any safer. Not that Obama’s the one doing the murdering – no, for that, he has thousands of willing volunteers. America’s armed forces: making the world safe for democracy by dropping bombs on funerals full of women and children.

Today a peaceful demonstration advocating LGBT rights was attacked by Georgian priests. I’ll let that sink in for a second. I thought priests were all about nonviolence and being Christlike or whatever, but apparently not in Georgia. Some savage death cult called the Union of Orthodox Parents is apparently concerned that if Georgians don’t beat every gay person in Georgia, their children will fail to grow up to be hateful, primitive sacks of shit like them – an outcome which would, apparently, violate thousands of years of Georgian tradition.

Georgia is far from unique in this respect. It’s not like there aren’t hateful, primitive sacks of shit in America. Rick Santorum and Rush Limbaugh and all the others have conspired to deprive me of my imperialist feelings of self-righteousness and smug superiority. There’s still anti-gay violence and bullying in New York City, of all places. What the fuck, America?

I don’t understand why we human beings are so fucking evil sometimes. My country murders innocent children with a disgusting regularity, and then we call the murderers “heroes” and throw them coming home parties and wonder why their suicide rate is so high, why they can’t live with themselves after seeing the real consequences of “fighting for their country”. Ever look at pictures of all the birth defects that America caused in Fallujah? Don’t bother, if you haven’t seen them it’s probably because you don’t care, and not caring is the only rational way to cope with membership in the human race once you start to fully appreciate what we fucking do to each other.

There are people starving all over the world, others dying from preventable diseases, others dying from treatable diseases, and all the while we use up the planet’s resources and we can’t replace them and when they run out, we are all going to be incredibly, apocalyptically fucked, but instead of doing something about it, a disturbing number of fucking shortsighted scumbags decide that beating up on gay people is a better use of their time. Really? Is that what you want to leave behind on this planet?

Christians believe that if you suffer in this life – suffer in a specific, Christian way, that is – you will be rewarded when you die. They worship a god who died, and decorate their churches and walls and necks with figures and replicas representing the ancient torture device used to kill said god. They inflict suffering on each other and on everyone else to ensure themselves a good place in the afterlife, and seem completely unaware of the dissonance between the love they preach and the cruelty they practice. In their religious rituals they symbolically consume the body and blood of their dead god who preached peace and love and forgiveness. Blood and suffering and death and more death: Christianity in a nutshell, not that it’s significantly worse than any of the other psychotic death cults we humans like to belong to.

Will the bloodlust of humanity ever end? Is there any point to any of this? I like to think so – I like to think that as we move through history we become more civilized and enlightened and less brutal and we kill and maim – per capita – fewer people in every era. I like to hope that one day we will fucking learn how to live with one another without constantly resorting to violence and I hope it happens before we wipe ourselves out with our own stupidity.

After a day like today, that hope seems paltry and foolish.

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34 Responses to The World Is Stupid

  1. geoskeptic says:

    I thought of this masterpiece while reading your post : ) enjoy if you’ve never heard this.. if you have – enjoy once more. this never gets old

  2. Yes, homophobia seems to be a worldwide problem. It’s unfortunate that the LGBTQ community has to stay in the closet in Sakartvelo (or in Texas) for fear or reprisals.

    The US is a 3rd world shithole, sorry if anyone–er–everyone disagrees with me. This woman’s blog pretty much sums up my feelings about the United States at the moment. Check out the link:
    http://requireshate.wordpress.com/2012/03/20/open-thread-the-us-is-a-third-world-shithole/

  3. Tom says:

    http://tomspeacecorps.blogspot.com/2012/03/true-hero.html

    Here’s all I want to say about our service members.

    • panoptical says:

      “Whether you like it or not, whether you realize it or not, he is YOUR hero too.”

      Your brother is not my hero. I’m sure he’s a nice guy, but I regard his choices as immoral. In my life, your brother is a villain.

      • Tom says:

        That was pretty uncalled for and rude. I never insulted you, your family or your beliefs. I see you are not a objective person. In fact, you are not that much different right now than the people who went after the marchers. You’ve made a moral judgement on someone else without knowing them. The only difference is you use your words. You still stink of the same ignorance and close-mindedness. You still lack the respect for others and their choices.

        • panoptical says:

          If you can’t see the difference between the choice to love who you want and the choice to murder children and civilians in foreign countries, I think you are closer to the people who went after the marchers.

        • panoptical says:

          Also, let’s be clear. It’s not rude to say that you consider someone’s choices immoral or even villainous. It’s not uncalled for to me to respond to your comment by expressing a clear and direct opinion, even if that opinion is negative.

          You love your brother, but I don’t know the man. I’m sure he is good to you and to his family, but I am also sure that by joining the armed forces – a group guilty of a series of heinous crimes against humanity – and waging war overseas, he has made the world a more dangerous, miserable, violent place.

          You judge him by the effect he has on your life, but if you ignore the effect he has on my life, and on Afghan lives, then you are the one being closed-minded and ignorant.

        • tcjogden69 says:

          I feel a little split in two here. I served for three years with the British Army, and one thing we learned in Basic is that we do things verrryyy differently to the US. Since this is a post about gay people, I feel I should mention here that homosexuals have been allowed in the British Armed Forces since 2001, while the debate is still raging in America, and I met many fine soldiers who were lesbian or gay. As far as we were concerned, it’s the military; you’re there to do your job, not to fuck anybody, so as long as you’re an effective soldier what does it matter?
          As for Afghanistan, it’s not a conflict I’m a big-believer in, since I had many mates go and not come back, but it made me feel good when we heard how happy the Afghan people were after the Royal Engineers had built a new school or the infantry defended their power station from Taliban attack. The distinction everyone must draw here is the difference between the Afghan people and the Taliban. One thing we always found interesting was how American civilians are divided into two camps; soldiers are either ‘murderers’ or ‘heroes’. I think incidents like that terrible shooting recently when that US soldier gunned down 16 Afghan women and children help seal the deal on Neal’s opinion. I’m not saying either of you are right or wrong. Let me explain why.
          We were training with a contingent from the US Army’s 82nd Airborne division who were visiting the UK. It was a mock operation of hearts & minds while looking out for ‘enemy’ forces that was to last two weeks. Here’s something that sticks in my mind.
          While patrolling through the streets, the American soldiers had their fingers on the trigger and weapons at the ready. ‘What are you doing?’ we asked. ‘This is meant to be hearts and minds! We meet the local people, we ask them how we can be of service and if there’s anything they can tell us about enemy activity in the area, and if we can help.’
          ‘You kiddin’?’ one of them says, for reason I remember his name as Buck or Butch or something equally redneck. ‘You let the people get near you, you can die!’
          I hope that gives you some idea of the differences in our style. We’ve had close to 50 British casualties in Iraq and Afghan thanks to American ‘friendly-fire’. Trigger happy and xenophobic is generally our opinion of US troops. Not to say there aren’t some excellent soldiers, but you get the idea…

        • panoptical says:

          To be precise, homosexuals have been officially allowed in the U.S. Military since the 1990′s, but they were required to keep their sexuality a secret. That policy has now ended and now American soldiers can be openly gay.

        • tcjogden69 says:

          Aye, we heard about ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’. Only changed very recently if I recall. It’ll take time for those troops to find full integration, I imagine, not a healthy serving environment at all.

  4. m says:

    People tell you to run for office? Really?

  5. @Panoptical

    “Whether you like it or not, whether you realize it or not, he is YOUR hero too.”
    Your brother is not my hero. I’m sure he’s a nice guy, but I regard his choices as immoral. In my life, your brother is a villain.

    Neal,
    This is EXACTLY why I didn’t join the navy as an officer. I couldn’t bring myself to do it, in spite of my very real frustration about not being able to utilize my MA degree and my language skills in this horrible economic recession. I knew that joining the military wasn’t the answer, it would make me a part of the global problems that I complain about. It kind of sucks because many Brown and Black people join the US military due to decades of economic disparity and social marginalization; they see it as a way out of a severe situation that has been perpetuated by the gov’t and other institutions for generations.
    I was talking to a friend of mine, who was in the military (he’s Mexican and Portuguese from California) and he told me that if he’d known the full gravity of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, before he enlisted, that he was being sent overseas to kill other Brown people and establish the ideology of American superiority, then he wouldn’t have enlisted after high school. He saw it as a way out of a bad neighborhood and poverty (which is created by the very same gov’t and social institutions which seek to establish American superiority and presence overseas). It’s a vicious cycle and it makes me angry and frustrated at the same time. The last time I spoke to him, he said that the US military’s presence in Iraq and Afghanistan eerily reminded him of the US gov’t and military’s campaign against the Native-Americans, post-civil war. He brought up the historical names of Geronimo, Sitting Bull, the battle of Little Big horn, Custer’s Last Stand and how the gov’t offered food, shelter, and Jesus all while taking over territory, exploiting resources, and establishing American superiority–er democracy.

    • panoptical says:

      I actually considered joining the military myself – when I was young and depressed and discouraged about life. Fortunately a guidance counselor, and trusted friend, in school talked me out of it. He seemed shocked that I would even think of doing such a thing.

      I have one friend from school who did join the Army. She’s now an active member of Iraq Veterans Against the War.

      People of conscience can and do make mistakes. As I said in my entry, this is probably why the suicide rate is so stunningly high among our soldiers and veterans. They know, better than we do, the horrors of war, the dehumanization they go through, the evil that they are called upon to do, and the human cost of our military adventures around the globe – and in very high numbers, they find themselves unable to cope with it, unable to even live with it.

      And yet, by calling these people heroes, by honoring them and worshiping them, we send the message to our vulnerable young people, loud and clear, that soldiering is a good option. When we call soldiers heroes, we become even more complicit in sending those brown and black and poor people away to die.

      • wow says:

        We don’t live in a concentration camp!
        People in America have choices!
        Join the junior college, work on your basics while the Pell Grant helps out.

        These military as a last resort is no more!

        If you join the military as a last resort it is not because you are green or purple it is because you can’t your lazy ass on the bus and attend junior college!

        • panoptical says:

          Wait, are you calling our service members lazy asses?

          Soldiers are a lot of things, but lazy is not one of them.

  6. JJ says:

    Is this really you writing, Neal? Because if it is, I almost mistook your entry for some college freshman’s Facebook post. We all know the world (America included) is messed up, thanks for pointing that out in a particularly sensationalist manner. So, what? And implying that members of the military enlist to actively kill civilians… are you serious? My friend, that’s a gross and inaccurate assessment of what members of the military do. Following your train of thought, would you rather have no military? And yes, the embassy tends to err on the side of caution, but the bottom line is the embassy is there to protect your ass in case something happens to you in Georgia.

    Wake up.

    • panoptical says:

      Are you saying that members of the military do not kill civilians?

      I’ve seen members of America’s military gun down reporters and children from a helicopter, and from the tape they seemed to be enjoying it. I’m not saying that’s what every American soldier does – I’m just saying that’s in the job description. I’m saying that if you join the military, you might be called upon to kill innocent civilians, including children, in countries that do not pose any kind of credible threat to America’s safety.

      Iraq was never going to invade the United States. American soldiers went into Iraq and used depleted uranium weapons on Fallujah and contaminated the area to the point where children are now being born there with horrifying, and often fatal, birth defects. American soldiers tortured and humiliated their prisoners of war. All this was in violation if international law, the Geneva conventions, and the U.S. Constitution. Those soldiers were never brought up on charges.

      Afghanistan was never going to invade the United States. America sent soldiers there in retribution for an attack carried out by a terrorist group that happened to be based out of Afghanistan at the time. Now, ten years later, American soldiers are still killing Afghan civilians, some of whom were not even born yet on September 11th, 2001. Children. Murdered by the United States military. Do you think that burning Korans and pissing on Afghan corpses is making anyone safer anywhere?

      Would I rather have no military than a military that murders civilians, tortures prisoners, violates the Geneva conventions, and executes wars of aggression against other nations based on lies and distortions? Absolutely. Fortunately, though, we live in a world where those are not the only two choices. Somehow, almost every other country in the world in the 21st century manages to have standing armies that do not flagrantly violate every rule of law and morality in defending their countries’ safety and sovereignty.

      You’ve been fed the American patriotic kool-aid your entire life, and I get that, but objectively speaking, the American military makes the world a worse place for everybody, and anyone who joins the American military is making themselves complicit in all of its crimes.

      • JJ says:

        Yes, you might be called up to do terrible things, but just because you’re in the military doesn’t make you a villain. As someone mentioned above, a lot of the people in the military are less fortunate “black and brown” Americans who don’t agree that they should be intervening in the affairs of other countries. But because they perceive the military as their way out of whatever jam they’re in, they choose to do it. Does that make them bad people? Absolutely not. I hate all the crap that America’s done over its history (ruining the lives of civilians in AfPak, the Middle East, Vietnam, Korea, and Japan) but I can hardly label the members of her military as evildoers. Would you go the Vietnam Memorial and point out that all those listed on the wall were villains because the military firebombed civilians and sprayed Agent Orange on the North Vietnamese? Don’t shit on the military just because you came from a more fortunate, educated background and had the luxury of doing something else in your life.

        • panoptical says:

          “Does that make them bad people? Absolutely not.”

          I don’t think you can judge a person’s entire moral character based on one bad decision, but the fact remains that the decision was bad. We all make mistakes, and we all have the capacity to resort to evil behavior to get out of a bad situation – but only soldiers are labeled heroes for their bad moral choices.

          If I robbed someone’s house to feed my family, I’d be labeled a criminal. If I murdered Afghan children to feed my family, I’d be labeled a hero. It’s a fairly obvious double standard that Americans choose to ignore because we have been taught from a very young age to worship our military and almost no one ever questions these teachings.

          “I hate all the crap that America’s done over its history (ruining the lives of civilians in AfPak, the Middle East, Vietnam, Korea, and Japan) but I can hardly label the members of her military as evildoers.”

          Why? You just listed a bunch of the evil that they have done, but you can’t follow that premise through to its only logical conclusion. Why? By your own admission, they did evil, but you can’t label them evildoers. I have my own theory as to why this is, but I’m curious to hear how you would explain it.

          “Would you go the Vietnam Memorial and point out that all those listed on the wall were villains because the military firebombed civilians and sprayed Agent Orange on the North Vietnamese?”

          Several things – one, in Vietnam there was a draft. That shifts the moral calculus at least a little because “kill for us or go to jail” is a materially different set of options than “kill for us or find a job that doesn’t involve killing but maybe doesn’t pay as well”.

          Two, my goal in arguing that our soldiers are not heroes is not to offend or upset people. Yes, people do get offended when I say anything bad about soldiers, and this is, unfortunately, unavoidable. And yes, I am somewhat abrasive and condescending by nature, and regardless of how hard I try to rein in these aspects of my personality, a little bit of that is going to slip through the cracks sometimes and that’s going to piss people off. But I write what I do to get people to think, not to get people to have a negative emotional reaction, and on balance, going to a memorial and insulting peoples’ dead relatives is not an efficient or rational way to get people to reconsider their hero-worship of American soldiers.

          Three, Vietnam is not our struggle anymore. Vietnam vets came home and were called baby-killers – rightly so, in my opinion, but we can argue about it all day – but that chapter is over. The moral question of our generation is whether the American war machine will continue to decimate the civilian populations of countries that pose a minimal threat to America’s sovereignty and safety, or whether we will instead turn our resources to solving some of the problems that we have helped create that threaten the entire human race.

          So when I point out that American soldiers have chosen to direct their efforts to bringing more War, Famine, Pestilence, and Death to the world, rather than combating these things, my goal is not to assess their moral character or their worth as human beings. My goal is to encourage everyone to think rationally and objectively about how we use our time and energy on this planet and what the real consequences of those choices are – because if we keep labeling the people who are bringing death and destruction to our planet “heroes” we’re going to keep getting more death and destruction. You reap what you sow.

          “Don’t shit on the military just because you came from a more fortunate, educated background and had the luxury of doing something else in your life.”

          Maybe you didn’t read the first paragraph of the post you are commenting on, but I came to Georgia to make $300 a month doing a job for which the only qualification is having been born in a country in which English is widely spoken. My family was poor and neither of my parents had a college education when I was born. I went to a public university and received need-based and merit-based scholarships and subsidized federal loans from the government to cover my tuition, and I had to take years off to work various random low-paying jobs just to support myself because loans and scholarships don’t cover food and rent. I’m not saying this to enter the hardship Olympics – I’m saying this because you’ve apparently made some unjustified assumptions about my background.

          Even if I had been born with a silver spoon, though, I wonder what that has to do with the validity of my moral arguments about American soldiers. Are middle-class people less capable of moral reasoning than working-class people?

  7. loe says:

    Hmmm….I don’t know what triggered so much negativity towards you lately. Certain things are just so decently clear that hardly need in-depth analysis. I appreciate how you’ve been sharing your observations on social issues and what not in this firm, convincing, yet subjective manner. Hope you don’t get discouraged and keep up the good work that you’re doing.

  8. JJ says:

    In response to the above thread,

    I think the government needs to be held responsible for its actions moreso than the military. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think the military is free of any accountability. By and large, though, the actions of evil that are committed in war are the results of executive decisions. The top always get away scot-free, though, because they delegate the dirty work to those at the bottom of the pyramid. The men in the White House aren’t the ones waterboarding a suspect or shooting at an insurgent who is using a woman as a human shield. There’s a huge spotlight on the actions of those in the field, but there’s virtually nothing directed at the commander-in-chief and his cronies. Obama is generally portrayed as a “good guy” by the media (maybe with the exception of FOX) even as drones continue to kill civilians in Pakistan, and Bush has a library named after him when he should be tried for war crimes. Where’s the fairness? Who’s going after the honchos?

    I happen to agree with you on the danger of the hero ethos that emanates from the military. I’ve seen the Hollywood movies and recruitment ads that glamorize and lie about military service. They are indeed dangerous and manipulative. However, we do need a military. There needs to be people on standby and who are ready to lay down their lives if need be. You have to respect the troops for that.

    I understand you weren’t born with a silver spoon. However, believe it or not, you are far more fortunate than many other Americans. You’re white, and you grew up in NYC. Honestly, you had more things going for you than Juan on a crime-ridden block in Modesto, CA or Chad in where-am-I Mandan, ND (real places, by the way). And no, being a member of the middle class would not mean you are less capable of moral reasoning than a working-class person. However, it would mean you’d generally have more opportunities than a member of the working class to do something other than join the military. Therefore, it makes it easier for members of the middle class to demonize those who serve in the military, when instead they should be decrying our leadership.

    • panoptical says:

      To be fair, in my initial post, I did call out Obama first.

      “I happen to agree with you on the danger of the hero ethos that emanates from the military.”

      It’s like I said to Left Eye – when we call soldiers heroes we encourage more people to sign up, which is bad. It’s bad for them and it’s bad for the world. Not to mention that when we call soldiers heroes regardless of what they actually do on duty, we’re pretty much allowing them to skate with whatever bad things they might have done. A particular soldier might have heroically saved the lives of a group of fellow soldiers, or they might have used illegal weapons, like white phosphorus or depleted uranium, to subjugate an innocent population. We don’t know, but we call them heroes anyway, because we don’t care what they do.

      Like I said in my post, most Americans don’t care if we cause thousands of stillbirths in Fallujah or blow up children in Afghanistan or murder American citizens without trial in Yemen (a country we’re not even at war with). Our soldiers are heroes and anything that threatens to contradict that creed is discarded as irrelevant.

      “However, we do need a military.”

      Why? To keep Canada and Mexico from invading us?

      “you are far more fortunate than many other Americans. You’re white, and you grew up in NYC”

      You forgot smart and attractive. And male – I mean, that’s huge. Except for the money thing, I really hit the lotto when I was born.

      Still, it wasn’t easy at all for me to come to the conclusion that everything I had been taught my whole life was a steaming pile of bullshit designed to keep me compliant and complicit in America’s global hegemony, and it certainly wasn’t easy to think through the implications of that knowledge only to come to the least popular opinion ever, which is that respecting American troops is misguided and dangerous and calling them heroes is just ludicrous.

  9. Mzuri says:

    When you generalize about any group, be it LGBT, Christians and Christianity, military members, or people who, if they don’t know about “this,” then they therefore “don’t care,” … and then level verbal abuse on them, then indeed, it is only a matter of degree in which you differ from the very behavior/attitudes you decry. … Isn’t there a quote out there somewhere that goes something like “be the change you want to see in the world”?

    I had the same thought as another poster – is this really Neal talking or someone who hijacked his blog?

    • panoptical says:

      “then indeed, it is only a matter of degree in which you differ from the very behavior/attitudes you decry”

      Wrong.

      You’re the second person who has made this argument – that my expressing ideas on a blog is somehow the same kind of behavior as physically attacking an LGBT march or as dropping bombs on women and children in Iraq and Afghanistan.

      Even if my ideas offend you, they’re still not violence. I am not forcing anyone to read this. I am not inciting violence. No one is being beaten or killed because of what I say on this blog. The same is cannot be said for gay-bashers or U.S. soldiers.

      The difference between words and violent actions is not a matter of degree. Honestly I can’t even believe I have to make this argument, or that I have to make it twice. It seems self-evident to me, not to mention that it’s enshrined in both the Georgian and the American legal systems.

      While we’re on the topic, I’d like to point out another false equivalency. Being Christian is a choice. Joining the military is a choice. Being attracted to members of one sex or another is not a choice. Feeling a mismatch between your biological characteristics and your gender identity is not a choice. Christians and soldiers get judged based on their choices, and if those choices end up being harmful to others (as they so often do), we have the right and the responsibility to try to encourage them to make better choices instead. LGBT people get judged based on who they are. Trying to encourage them to be who they are not is harmful to them.

      So even if we were talking about decrying LGBT people vs decrying Christians or soldiers, it *still* wouldn’t be an equivalent behavior. Decrying LGBT people would be seeking to harm people based on who they are. Decrying Christians and soldiers seeks to prevent people from making harmful choices.

  10. Mzuri says:

    “The difference between words and violent actions is not a matter of degree. Honestly I can’t even believe I have to make this argument, or that I have to make it twice. It seems self-evident to me …

    I understand it seems self-evident to you, but that has no relevance. Many people hold beliefs that are “self-evident” to them.

    Not appreciating that there is a continuum of violence, which includes verbal abuse, emotional abuse, hate-speech, subtle (and not-so subtle) intimidation, and physical contact is a surprise to me.

    And, personally, I get weary when people connect adult women with children.

    • panoptical says:

      “I understand it seems self-evident to you, but that has no relevance.”

      You may have noticed that aside from saying it was self-evident, I also provided several arguments to support my claim.

      “Not appreciating that there is a continuum of violence, which includes verbal abuse, emotional abuse, hate-speech, subtle (and not-so subtle) intimidation, and physical contact is a surprise to me.”

      I don’t see how this can possibly be true. It is surprising to you that someone would not accept your unorthodox, expanded definition of a perfectly ordinary word even though you offered no explanation or reason for them to do so? If you want me to believe that violence means anything other than what it says in my dictionary, you’re going to have to at least offer some kind of argument.

      Even if I did accept your assertion that my words fall on a continuum of violence, there’s still a difference between violence used by a powerful, privileged group, in conjunction with a social system of oppression and domination, in order to suppress the identities and rights of a group of socially underprivileged people, and violence leveled against a powerful, privileged group to oppose a social system of oppression and domination in order to defend the identities and rights of a group of socially underprivileged people.

      Participating in oppression is different from opposing oppression. Words are given power by privilege, which is why gay people don’t have a word for straight people that carries the same power to harm as “f****t”, why black people don’t have a word for white people that carries the same capacity for harm as “n****r”, why women don’t have a word for men that carries the same level of malice as “c**t”. I could go on but it’s making me queasy to type these out. The point is, there is nothing I could ever call a Christian that could possibly amount to the impact of a group of Christians surrounding an LGBT rights march and yelling “burn the Sodomites at the stake”, let alone physically attacking that march. English doesn’t have a word that is adequate to describe my feelings towards people who would beat or murder someone based on their sexual or gender orientation – and that fact is a direct result of the fact that words directed against privileged groups are qualitatively different than words directed against oppressed groups.

      “I get weary when people connect adult women with children.”

      I connect them because they are similarly situated persons with respect to warfare. Women and children both occupy low-status, low-privilege, low-power positions in their societies. Women and children are usually both excluded from participating in warfare due to prevailing social ideas about their capabilities and their roles in a well-ordered society. Women and children both bear a disproportionate amount of the hardship of war – in terms of poverty, starvation, famine, and being targeted and victimized with beatings, rapes, and murders in order to humiliate and demoralize the enemy – in other words what we euphemistically label “collateral damage”. Women and children are rarely, if ever, allowed to participate in the decision of whether to go to war.

      In other words, women and children are both groups that suffer the consequences of war without being permitted any agency with respect to the war.

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  12. wow says:

    So, you are from New York and yet you call service members murderers for seeking out Taliban members? Osama Bin Laden is dead and many more are also dead and other high ranking officials
    are in custody.

    God bless and protect our service members from all the nations that protect us further from this evil.

    You are not as progressive as you want us to think just because you like to spew gay rights.

    Seems like you have time and passion to pursue developing countries
    need for social globalization.

    Instead of ‘acting’ teacher in Georgia why don’t you go work at the camps in Afghanistan, Iraq, or even the Palestine.

    Then you will know the REAL reason why our service members that you disgustingly call murderers our in foreign lands protecting us from evil.

    You and your stupid rant about your sinus infection suck! Horrible shameful American you are to those Georgian people!

    The saying…….Don’t judge until you walk a mile in a person’s shoes or shall I say ‘combat boots’ applies to this less than worldly blogger.

    Stop it with the cussing. Foreigners feel that Americans cuss too much and it is such a bad ugly trait.
    Makes Americans look like poor uneducated trash!

    • panoptical says:

      “So, you are from New York and yet you call service members murderers for seeking out Taliban members?”

      The Taliban never invaded New York. So, yes.

      “Osama Bin Laden is dead and many more are also dead and other high ranking officials are in custody.”

      All this death pleases you?

      “God bless…”

      How can you celebrate the ending of human life in one sentence and invoke God in the very next sentence? You are a hypocrite, and if there were a Hell, you would burn in it.

  13. wow says:

    And, another thing you are suppose to go on these missions to become a more compassionate understanding person.

    The world is not stupid. There truly is evil out there.
    You will never be happy whether in New York or the simple life in Georgia if you keep up these rants.

    I take it you are (or were) suffering from culture shock and mad at the (political) world. This happens to all of us that do this type of work.

    My suggestion to you is to let it go. There will always be conflict in the world. If you let it consume you it will eat you alive and make you miserable.

    Enjoy your life! Enjoy the summer by the sea and your next exciting move.
    Focus on the good things (like you said friendships and food) and really let the world’s conflict slip out of our mind.

    There is NOTHING you can do about it. World conflicts make the world go round and even started our beautiful America!

    Just thought I would offer some advice from someone who gets it

    Please be more sensitive to suicide and depression. It happens and PTSD is hard to overcome if you don’t try to focus solely on your positive experiences.

    I was caught up in an African civil war and saw things no human beings should ever see.
    Two years later I was back in America and read a current article about it.

    After that it consumed me like nothing I have ever experience before.
    I was in deep depression, anxiety, and sometimes even hallucinations that attackers were invading my suburban American home.
    I was diagnosed with PTSD. I don’t even know how an article triggered what I call the worst year of my life.
    Talking to psychiatrists don’t help PTSD. I am not sure if the meds help.
    Let me tell you something these psych meds KILL your sex life!
    No desire and granny age dryness.
    So, now you have new problems in your personal relationships.

    All because some people in another continent wanted to be evil and I happened to be there at the time.

    You know what helped? A dog! A new puppy brought out all my loving and kind feelings all over again.

    Maybe you should get a dog to cope with the world’s evil!

    • panoptical says:

      “World conflicts make the world go round and even started our beautiful America!”

      America is not beautiful because of war. America is beautiful because it happens to be situated in a temperate climate zone.

      Conflicts do not make the world “go round”. You’re thinking of gravity.

      War is neither natural nor necessary. War is an evil that human beings do to each other out of ignorance, greed, or sheer malice. In your case, clearly ignorance is the problem.

      Without the Revolutionary War, America would still be under the heel of those terrible British oppressors. I can’t imagine the horrors and cruelty we would be facing at the hands of the evil Queen Elizabeth II… oh, wait. Who cares? The liberties our Founding Fathers fought for – Canadians have them too, but they also have health care.

      “Please be more sensitive to suicide and depression. It happens and PTSD is hard to overcome if you don’t try to focus solely on your positive experiences.”

      No, it doesn’t just “happen”. PTSD is caused by being in war zones, by doing and seeing things that no human is psychologically equipped to deal with. That’s what war is. So while you are whining about your libido and hugging your puppy, some of us are actually speaking out against the things that drive people to suicide and depression.

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