Today in History:
On March 10, 1974, Second Lieutenant Hiroo Onoda of the Imperial Japanese Army emerges from the jungle and surrenders to Philippine authorities. He thought World War II was still underway and waged a 29 year guerrilla battle killing thirty people and engaging in several shootouts with the police.
For some odd reason, I can relate to this.
Today marks the 63rd anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor. My great uncle Al was in the harbor during the attack and survived. Most of his shipmates and friends died that day. He went on to serve on another battleship (the name of which escapes me but he eloquently called it “A goddamn tin can”), fought at Guadalcanal and witnessed the famous/bogus flag raising at Iwo Jima. Uncle Al never gave me lectures on freedom nor filled my head with idealistic notions of patriotism. The only advice he ever offered me was to appreciate every day and maintain a good sense of humor. Sound advice from a man with a half-naked hula girl tattooed on his forearm.
My favorite warfare oxymoron is friendly fire (peacekeeping force being a close second). I think it is safe to assume all shots fired on the battlefield are fired with malice since their intent is to harm or kill. Either way, it sucks that Pat Tillman met his end from the bullets of his own troops instead of taking twenty enemy soldiers out by lobbing grenades into their bunker while charging up a hill.
Are you still contemplating what to get your lover for Valentine’s Day? Look no further than an Afghan war rug. Nothing says Be Mine Forever quite like it.
American forces have captured Saddam Hussein. Instead of going out in a blaze of glory with cock and balls in one hand and firing a Glock 9mm with the other, Saddam sat cowering in his dirt bunker, weeping like a schoolgirl with a skinned knee and surrendered to a 19 year-old jar head from Jerkwater, USA. It was a positive event for President Bush who experienced a one second 100 percent approval rating from me. Shortly thereafter, I went back to hating his filthy, whitebread-eating Texan guts. Jake thinks the haggard Saddam looks like Charles Manson, whereas I think he looks like Jerry Garcia’s fucked-up Arab cousin.
The sweet winds of freedom blew into a liberated Baghdad months ago. After years of repression under a brutal regime, the Iraqi people celebrated in the streets, tearing down statues of their fallen dictator. Now, the country’s infrastructure is destroyed, a weakened puppet government friendly to western economic interests is firmly in place and Muslim factions are erupting into civil war across the country. In short, a democratic Iraq is in fucking shambles but at least they have Iraqi porn.
Iraqi citizens and United States soldiers are currently “toppling” an enormous statute of Saddam Hussein in Baghdad. It took all of three weeks for coalition forces to race across Iraq and roll into the capital city. A temporary interim government will be established eventually making way for an unstable Arab democratic regime friendly to Western economic interests. Those who support the war will have an orgy freedom fest and non-war activists will go on harboring the delusion that their objections will be listened to by their government. A coworker of mine compared the liberation of Baghdad to the fall of the Berlin Wall. I reminded her of the financial support, weapons and chemicals the United States gave Saddam Hussein over the past few decades and of the activities a unified Germany accomplished in the past ninety years (read: World War I and World War II). Sigh. Just another day in the life of an armchair anarchist.
I have accepted the fact that America will be going to war with Iraq (again). In my opinion, a policy of preemptive action is just a thinly veiled smokescreen (especially when North Korea, Iran and Pakistan continue to develop nuclear weapons) for the real reason the United States wants to invade; to establish a puppet government in an oil rich Arab nation that is friendly to American economic interests. As I write this, troops are deploying in the Middle East to support the campaign. Although a shot in anger has yet to be fired, Iraqi soldiers are already surrendering.