Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Troops

I've been giving a lot of thought recently to the Troops. Most people are in favor of supporting the Troops, but more and more Americans are starting to see problems with the wars they fight. Poll

How can such a discrepancy exist? Granted, we don't want another situation similar to the one after Vietnam where veterans were ostracized and defamed for their service. However, our two current wars are unlike Vietnam, where American men were drafted to fight. Any soldier in Iraq or Afghanistan signed up to be there. Maybe they believed in the cause, or maybe they just wanted an opportunity the service provided; either way, they are there by choice. Is it right of us to blindly support them?
The war in Afghanistan has been ongoing for nine years, and we have occupied Iraq for over six. I remember hearing a quote somewhere that I always attributed to Che Guevara that said something along the lines of, "If you want to bring down Babylon, make it stretch farther than its arms can reach." With our blossoming debt and blooming fiscal concerns, is it wise to be spending money on two foreign occupations? Perhaps we should further re-evaluate our devotion to causes that demand so much of our blood and money.

Friday, November 13, 2009


The picture at the top of this blog is a view of Chernobyl from the city of Pripyat, a once rapidly-growing city built near the infamous plant. What was once a flourishing, modern metropolis is now a ghost town, abandoned and still blanketed with pockets of radiation.

Photos of the city are hauntingly beautiful. Inside the abandoned buildings are the remnants of a communist regime that fell not long after the city was deserted. It now stands as a testament to some of the greatest glories and tragic failings of the human race.

We are able to build and create and better our world, but often we end up just making a mess of things. There are reports from the area around Chernobyl that without a human presence wild animals are thriving, although there are also reports of mutation and sterility in some species.

When Europeans were colonizing America, some settlers opted to live with the Natives rather than stay with their brethren. Ben Franklin remarked on the phenomenon, "No European who has tasted Savage Life can afterwards bear to live in our societies."

For more on Chernobyl, look here: http://www.environmentalgraffiti.com/featured/chernobyl-then-now/14634