War on people not governments/organizations

With the change of the Art of War from targeting governments or even bad actors more and more people are becoming targets.

I started to think more about this today after reading about cluster bombs yesterday.  Seems that the US armed forces are dropping cluster bombs everywhere overseas. Wonder when a descendant of an American Government will drop them or something like them on an American City ?

Like mines, these devices are indiscriminate on whom they maim or kill .

Cluster Bomblet

Human Rights Watch on Cluster Bombs

Visiting the UN demining page – I like the subheading “Welcome to the United Nations. It’s your world.”   The page says that 15-20K people are killed most of them children annually.

Then there is follow the money – I wonder who manufactures these lovelies for the US?

Looks like Textron Systems is our local purveyor here in the USA.

Cluster bombs are a problem in Afghanistan and became a problem during the  Vietnam War in Laos also.

Where did morality go? God help us, please.

Adam Selene October 2014

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How and What I learned (part 1)

I am the oldest of five.   I grew up in the town of Milton, Massachusetts with my Mother, Father and 4 siblings. Of course we also had a dog.

My next youngest brother and I were close when we were very young.  I recall that we were playing in the ‘playroom’ when my Parents brought my newest sibling home.  We asked if she could play with us 😉

I also recall when my youngest sibling arrived home. I came home from school and went upstairs and said hello to my newest sibling.  He later grew up to become a Navy Seal and served in the First Gulf War.  Returning from the war, he became a pharmacist, got married and came down with ALS and went from diagnosis to death in 9 months.

My Mother also grew up in Milton.   My Mother was a teacher before marrying my Father.  I recall that during my youth, my Mother was my  Den Leader. When I became a Boy Scout, my Father, his friends, and other townsmen became our Scoutmaster and assistant Scoutmasters.

My Maternal Grandparents also lived in Milton,  My Grandfather was known as Mr. Democrat.  He promoted Al Smith for President for the 1928 Presidential Election.  I introduced him in the post “Character is not Partisan”.   One thing I learned about him is that during the Great Depression,  he would hand out overcoats to men that called at his back door for a handout.  If you know the weather in New England, you may know what a lifesaver this can be.  Our saying about New England climate, is “If you don’t like the weather, wait a minute”.

I have been chatting with some folks and have even parrotted what they have said about “Our kids can name all the movie stars, but can’t name the supreme court justices”.   Well, when I was a kid, I couldn’t either.   I could name “William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, Nichelle Nichols,  DeForest Kelley, James Doohan, George Takei, Walter Koenig, Majel Barrett, Grace Lee Whitney; Groucho, Chico, Harpo , Zeppo and Karl Marx, as well as Friedrich Engels, Joseph Stalin, and  Leon Trotsky “;-)  And of course, Plato, Socrates, Julius Caesar, Buddha, Confucius, Saint Francis of Assisi,  William Shakespeare, Jesus of Nazareth, John the Baptist, Moses, Samuel Adams, John Adams, John Hancock, Ben Franklin, Sir Issac Newton, John Lennon,  Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, and  Elvis Presley.  I was in love with Angela Cartwright.

For me and my contemporaries, it was a time of wonder. I really saw man walk on the moon.  

It was also a time of terror. The Cold War was stressful for all people alive during those times. For children like myself, it was terrifying.  It reminds me that “War is not healthy for children and other living things.”  I expected to either be vaporized or die in Viet Nam.  I recall when we got out of Viet Nam, that my family and I went on our knees and thanked God.  We then watched on the ‘Boob Tube’ when Saigon fell.

I recall when I had a copy of Mad Magazine with a pin-up of an American Flag with the stripes made up of Pejoratives for our fellow Americans.  My father became irate.  I knew my father had served in the US Air Force during the Korean Conflict, but learned later that he served with Chappie James.  No wonder he was angry with me.

God Bless America.

Adam Selene  Oct 2014

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War vs Diplomacy

It seems that our country’s leadership is getting us into another war.

I learned, likely from reading  Robert Heinlein, that War is a last resort after diplomacy fails.  How many young people have we lost to war on either side ?

My baby brother came down with ALS a few years after returning from Gulf War 1 and died 9 months later.  There’s a correlation between War and increased incidence of ALS. That’s in addition to the homelessness, alcoholism, PTSD, and difficulty readjusting to life away from the war zone.  There’s a long history of PTSD, particularly since WW2.  My family has members who fought in wars for our country since the Revolutionary War. I’m not a pacifist, but I hate the waste of resources we have been engaged in.

What’s the fully loaded cost of war to our nation ? Of course, many of military industrial complex do make money but, what could we do with that money if we didn’t spend it on war ?

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. (Mathew 5:9)

I postulate that if we spent 1/25th of the fully loaded cost of war on diplomacy, we’d have much more peace and less war.  Of course, there’s also a correlation with war and technological advancement but does war increase technological advancement or does technological advancement change the methods of war? Alex Roland wrote some on War and Technology and it makes me think that technological change changes the methods of war rather than encouraging technological innovation.

As I write this, the cost of wars we have been engaged in since 2001 is over $1.5 Trillion US.  National Priorities is keeping a running tab.  I believe that some of the money would have been better spent on diplomacy and on getting our species to other planets like Mars. Possibly we could look into the colonization of Ganymede.  I really enjoyed Kim Stanley Robinson’s Mars series.

With the increase in Carbon in our atmosphere and other greenhouse gases, the cost to maintain human life may become untenable.  It’s time we worked to spread out into the universe.

Adam Selene
September 2014

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War vs Diplomacy by Adam Selene is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.