Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Spitzer on Politics/Herbert and Coletti on War/Bizarro on Fear of Flying

P1 Political

(painting by Jim Spitzer)

Another Big Mistake?

From a recent Bob Herbert column:

"I hate war," said Dwight Eisenhower, " as only a soldier who has lived it can, as one who has seen its brutality, its futility, its stupidity."

He also said, "Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed."

(Ed: Yikes, Eisenhower, in today's relative terms, appears to be the "progressive"! This is pretty profound stuff.) Bob Herbert continues:

A recent Bill Moyers program on PBS played audio tapes of Johnson on which he could be heard telling Defense Secretary Robert McNamara, "Not a damn human thinks that 50,000 or 100,000 or 150,000
(American Troops) are going to end that war," McNamara replies, "That's right."

As one of the strongest Obama supporters there is, I personally have one (actually several) huge question(s) for the man who purportedly studies history, "Do you, Mr. President, seriously believe that this escalation in Afghanistan will do anything more than placate unnamed American interests? Do you seriously believe that, in a multi-thousand-year-old tribal culture, you can succeed in creating an effective National Afghan Military? What of those same words about the ARVN in Vietnam? Do you not see even the hint of similarity? I'm kind of lost here. What happened to your guts? What happened to "just say no"?

Here's a link to the full Bob Herbert column.

Comment or Read Comments Here on any of the above or below. Log in under "Name" or "Anonymous," but please be sure to sign some facsimile of your name. Actual name is best, but use what you like. Or email me at, and I can post it.

P2 Poetical

American Interests – Part II

Oil juice sloppy slick
energy-bartered lives
human bodies exploded
like dinosaurs
into fossil fuel futures,
if there is a future to be.

Defense Department
defending what? ——

you? me?
my children?
my father?
all those kids who go to war
to defend
way of life? ——

When was the last war
to defend against invasion?
World War II
after Pearl Harbor?
Afghanistan after
World Trade Center?
Certainly not
“Remember the Maine”
“Remember the Alamo”

Why then can these
our boys and girls
desire to fight
for American
spheres of influence?
treaties and pacts?
war contractors?
college education?
personal honor?
jingoes and jangoes?
Their fellow soldiers?
the kids and families
they’ve killed and wounded?

Who attempts to embrace
these “American Interests”
(young women are trained to fight and die for)
stress the “American” part
as in fighting for America.
They gloss over those troubling
as in America
(n) interests.

Soldiers long to proudly declare
“I’m defending America
and what she stands for.”
So tell me, America,
what do you stand for
right now, this very second?

(ed coletti 2009)

Comment or Read Comments Here on
any of the above or below. Log in under "Name" or "Anonymous," but
please be sure to sign some facsimile of your name. Actual name is
best, but use what you like. Or email me at, and I can post it

P3 Philosophical (sort of)


Lawrence DiStasi said...

thanks for the update. your blog is fun--much more varied than mine, which is all words. makes me think maybe i ought to put up some more varied media. thanks. larry.

Jim Spitzer said...


David Madgalene said...

"American Interests" is good work.
Thank you,

Christopher Luna said...

Good stuff, Ed.

I am profoundly disappointed in Obama. He was partly elected because
he spoke out against the war, and enarly every action he has taken is
a continuation of Bush's policies. 30,000 more in Afghanistan will not
make a bit of difference. They're just more cannon fodder. By the way,
I was opposed to the first invasion of Afghanistan. Intelligent
people, and people who have even a marginal sense of the region's
history, knew that the Taliban had not been eradicated. the Afghans
have outlasted and outsmarted foreign invaders for thousands of years.
this situation will be no different.

How are you, anyway? Do you have people in your life who can be there
for you when yiou need to talk about your father's passing?

Thinking good thoughts for you,
Christopher Luna
Poet, Editor, Teacher

Columnist for Sage Cohen's Writing the Life Poetic E-Zine

Margo VanVeen said...

impressed. Did you think of sending your poem to the president? I am as disappointed as you are and disappointed is definitely a euphemism here.

Duncan said...

I take cold comfort in seeing that I am not alone in feeling betrayed by the man for whom I voted for President.
My first voting experience was for Johnson in 1964. He proceeded to conscript me into the Army and then, when things got tough, bail out of running again. He cut and ran, I was stuck in the service. I did not vote again until 2004, after friends insisted it was my duty to vote. I knew Gore had the chance of a snowball in hell, but I voted anyway.

Then along comes Obama and I think, here's a guy that might make a difference. Wrong again.

He duped us all. He's a schmuck and a liar just like Clinton. The Afghan war is stupid, the health care "reform" is a joke, the transparency in government is a hollow buzz word, the financial bail out is a disgrace.

Nothing has changed, Mr. Obama, nothing. As they say in Texas, you're all hat and no cattle. The biggest difference between you and your predecessor is that he was tongue tied and you have the Devil's silver tongue.

john said...

Having read much of Jim Lyles poetry, I found yours interesting and well presented. However I may not agree with the implications. Everyone wishes to blame "oil" for all of the problems in this world. Why not go back a little further as to why oil was required. People!! Human beings!! Let's go back and make a new history for Darwin.