[Journal Menu]

[Home Page]

[Oakland Cam]



[100 Books]

[Other Sites]



Under Construction

Lake Merritt area, Oakland

January 18th, 2003

Anti-War America
Back from breakfast, nice day, bright sun. Still have the disorienting "dizziness". The back and top of my head tingling slightly, the surface heavy, although that's not really the right word, "heavy", none of them terms that precisely describe the condition. Half the problem. I'm wondering many things, an infection of some kind? Inner ear? I found a partially used blister pack of anti-vertigo tablets I bought after the last doctor visit, took one yesterday, took one this morning. I have a prescription I'll fill later, but they don't seem to have an effect. Otherwise I feel fine. Lots of sleep yesterday making me think this is much like the days just after the operation, the body shutting down to rebuild itself or recovering from a cold.

There's an anti-war parade in San Francisco this morning. The BART trains will be packed and I don't want to go walking around in the middle of a giant crowd with my head spinning, but it's something I should go and photograph. Get there early on a BART train that's less crowded, take my time, shoot pictures. I'm not in favor of this war whether they have big bad weapons of mass Massachusetts or not, I think we can keep them contained just fine doing what we're doing, although what we're doing seems to be no more than helping Hussein kill his people.

War is not predictable. War has its own life and direction and its direction can be anywhere. Just a thought, you understand, out here in the wilderness. I don't think Dubya reads my journal. (But if he does, Jesus Christ, man, have you gone bonkers! Get yourself into one of those gamblers anonymous programs they have for Presidents, twelve steps to not betting the national rent on the outcome of a war of your own making.)

But that's a Vietnam Era guy talking. We argued during Vietnam they were fighting the wrong war. Stopping the Communists was the big argument, China will move in and take over, Russia will gain influence. We didn't stop Hitler in Czechoslovakia, so he got stronger and slipped it to Poland, which in Hitler's case was a good argument. Shouldn't have given him Czechoslovakia, just as Hussein shouldn't have been allowed to keep Kuwait. In Vietnam, no one really believed the Hitler analogy. There was nothing to be gained in a fight to protect a totalitarian government from an even more totalitarian government. Vietnam wasn't going to lose its independence to China or Russia. Vietnam had existed next to the Chinese behemoth for centuries and rebuffed the Chinese every time they'd invaded. In fact, after the Vietnam war, China tried an "incursion". Fifty thousand Chinese soldiers. Vietnam stomped them in the mountains. So we had a Vietnam war that tore us apart for reasons no one deemed rational.

And now we have Iraq for reasons nobody believes or understands and maybe, even, North Korea. How in the hell did we get in a twist with North Korea? Things were going along better than I've seen since I was stationed in Korea in the late sixties. The North and South were talking. There has been some reunification of families across the border. The Chinese and Russians were talking with North Korea along lines that seemed useful. Japan was getting it together. Then, from one rumor I've heard, Dubya was going to give his Axis of Evil speech and he didn't, for the sake of appearances, want an all Muslim cast, so, at the last minute, he added North Korea. It was a slip of the tongue that got us into the Korean war in the first place. Or a slip of the map, a news conference that seemed to imply we wouldn't fight to stop the Chinese if they took on Korea. It's enough to make you dizzy.

So many things seem to be decided like this, a drum beat of reasons that seem unreasonable, one or two people saying the emperor has no clothes, but nobody listening. Or everybody listening, but nobody talking or doing. There are outcomes that could be good outcomes in invading Iraq, but there are outcomes that could be singularly horrible and people are looking back at the war with Afghanistan (remember Afghanistan?), the first war with Iraq, the "incursions" into Haiti, Panama and Granada and a bunch of others I can't even remember as models to predict the outcome of this one. Sanitary, easy to win, with no cost to the aggressor.

Granada, I think, was the first instance after Vietnam of the more bellicose side of our nature. Reagan was having trouble with Irangate where he'd been selling weapons to Iran to finance illegal paramilitary operations in South America. Granada was useful in diverting attention from Irangate at a crucial interval in the investigations. Bush wouldn't use a war to divert attention from his political problems, would he? Enron? The economy? FBI and CIA foul ups? The building of Big Brother? Nah. Not a chance. Not in America. Or Oakland.

Well, hell, this isn't going to change anything. We hear this stuff all the time, whatever side of the issue we're on, another half baked cry from a (dizzy) guy in the Cybersphere. On a Saturday, well rested, in anti-war America.

The photograph was taken in the Lake Merritt area in Oakland.