Tuesday, November 6th, 2001

I don’t watch the news much these days to catch up on the Afghanistan thing; I can learn more at work, which isn’t much, but it’s better than listening to the reporters ask Rumsfeld the same stupid questions over and over. B noticed it this morning: He’s just about at the end of his patience, isn’t he? “Of course people are dying,” he says, exasperated, and then clenches his teeth to keep from adding, “We’re dropping bombs on them to kill them! What did you expect? Sheesh!” Almost every answer he gives, you can hear that unspoken sheesh! on the end of it.

And the humanitarian food packets, that was a stroke of genius. I would’ve loved to be in the situation room when the general, paging through a copy of Jane’s Defense Weekly to pass the time, thought out loud, “You know, these yellow cluster bomb canisters look just like the ration packets,” and, after a pause of about a heartbeat, the officer in charge of airdropping the rations looked up and asked, “Say what?”

Where in hell did this idea of civilized war come from? Maybe bombing Afghanistan is working, maybe it’s not, but stop because it’s Ramadan? Who even thought of suggesting that? And was he watching television on September 11th? War can never be civil, and, of all the governments on earth, the Taliban probably knows that best. Afghanistan’s been at war since God was a corporal; threats will never scare them. If we’re going to go to war with the Taliban, then it should be the most terrible, violent cataclysm we can possibly unleash; it should bring pain and destruction that would make Pol Pot look sweet and gentle.

America used to fight wars like that; we used to wipe whole cities off the face of the earth just to make a point. I flipped across a film clip of Marines taking Guadalcanal using flame-throwing tanks, and said something like, “That’s when we used to know how to go to war.” I think B was scared shitless that I had thoughts like that. I didn’t mean that we should go to war, or that we should ever even want to, but if we ever do, and especially if I have to fight a war, I think it should be more swift and terrible than anybody can imagine. Dropping bombs to establish aerial supremacy is just fine, so long as we go in on the ground and clean them out, but bombing them for weeks on end without a massive ground offensive is a serious mistake with these Taliban assholes. They’re willing to fight to the death.

desolation | 5:43 am CDT
Category: My Glorious Air Force Career
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