Geez. I am finally starting to get my weight and my health in order - slowly but surely - yet here I am, unable to sleep again. Probably because I turned on the news. It's killing me - though not so softly. Damn you, Fugees, and damn you, forgotten song, for this melodic broken promise.
While I was in New Orleans, at the Unitarian Universalist Association's General Assembly, I learned about something I hadn't given much thought to previously: the use of military drones in warfare. Allow me to preface this with my staunch support of those who serve in the U.S. military; both of my parents are veterans, one a Vietnam-era combat veteran. But in allegiance with them and with others who serve in the military, it is not those in service of whom I am both skeptical and critical - it is those who control the top level joysticks. That is, the politicians who have never served yet feel qualified to decide how and when we use military force. They send kids to die routinely - not their kids of course, but plenty of other minions' kiddos. Mine. Yours. Every kid that we take to a Fourth of July parade to glorify participation in war. All at the top, in absolutely no danger themselves.
As I sit, bleary-eyed, poring through the latest news, I am horrified by who's holding the biggest joystick, with the smallest hands, greatest insecurity, and assuredly the tiniest metaphorical balls.
But I digress: back to drones we go.
See, I learned how rather than saving American lives (or anyone else's, for that matter), the drones themselves are perpetuating an eternal war. I learned that it is impossible for the person controlling the drone to tell whether or not civilians are the targets - they are relying on some pretty subjective guesswork. Civilians die. Americans look bad. Americans, in fact, look more and more...evil. So ISIS gets bigger, gathers more followers, and...more Americans die, and the terrorism factory gets stronger.
Ask yourself: why are they doing this? Why do we continue done warfare, killing civilians, ensuring that the violence will go on longer? Are politicans just naturally bloodthirsty? Maybe that's a stupid question - at least some of the sociopaths are.
But more than anything else, it's because war is a team sport. When we're at war, regardless of all that's divisive and flawed about this country, we all are in it together. And the polticians can easily manipulate the media to ensure that we prioritize what is truly a useless and cruel endeavor, in the process sending things like universal healthcare and universal higher education to the back burner.
Our drone warfare is not a war fought in the name of saving or defending the innocent. It is not even a war to declare Christianity and capitalism the greatest global faith systems.
It's a war against progress.