Tuesday, December 21, 2004
I Hope He Got The Message
I have a good friend I still stay in touch with from childhood days. We've taken very different paths in life. He now works in the Pentagon under Lt. Gen. H Steven Blum, someone you may have seen quoted in the newspaper recently regarding the shortfall in recruitment and reenlistment in the National Guard.
It's been difficult for me to talk to this friend this year; I've avoided it since a short series of emails regarding the display of the names of fallen soldiers back in May on Nightline. It became pretty clear to me that he'd drunk the right-wing kool-aid, and deeply. He works at the Pentagon, so what should I expect? It's a good career move to be a right-winger and he's always been a super-achiever. What disappoints me deeply is that he has always been a very fair-minded and somewhat sensitive individual underneath the tough exterior. Actually human, in other words.
So I have finally gotten around to sending out Christmas cards, cards I wrote out a week and a half ago but did not have time since then to gather together the addresses for the people whom I only write to this time of year. I chose a special card for my friend; I wanted one that said peace on earth and I found a really good one. It appears rather biblical, complete with a quote about peace and ornaments on a Christmas tree with the peace symbol. I think he's bright enough to get the message. He'll probably even get a little offended, as if there's something sinister about the word 'peace'. How sad is that.
I don't wish to get in an argument with someone I've known so long, when it is so utterly pointless. After all, he works at the Pentagon, he's going to push the company line. I'd just like to think that if I could just limit my debate to one sentence, it would be, "Was this war truly necessary to the defense of our country?" And I'd like to think that if it were just he and I, alone, maybe with a couple drinks in us, he'd be honest enough to admit, "Yeah I know, and it hasn't been conducted in the most competent way either." But I'm not optimistic. My friend has too much riding on being in good with his bosses and ultimately the evil SOBs in charge of this fucked-up, unnecessary, incompetently-conducted war to be honest about the truth of the matter.
This is just one example of how otherwise good people get sucked up into believing lies and propaganda. My friendship with ****** has been just one more casualty of this war.