These are scary times, indeed. What was to be a quick routing of the Taliban in Afghanistan in order to smoke out Osama bin Laden is taking longer than expected. In fact, the whole thing doesn’t seem to be going well, at all.
Newly released information, compiled by leaders of the former Soviet Union following its incursion into Afghanistan in the 1980s, sounds strikingly similar to that produced by American observers of the war in Vietnam: They didn’t know quite who they were fighting; the fighters hit and ran and then hid; they didn’t take into account the local culture or its traditions; conventional warfare strategies and tactics didn’t work.
Well, as Buffy the Vampire Slayer likes to say to her sidekick, Willow, here we go again.
• Nobody knows who’s terrorizing the entire country by sending anthrax through the U.S. Postal Service, but most of us would like to blame the al-Qaeda terrorist network headed up by bin Laden. A curious offshoot of mail terror is that it’s hitting the junk-mail industry hard. Junk mail is a multi-billion-dollar endeavor that is going into a tailspin thanks to the notion that we could die if that Publisher’s Clearinghouse envelope is opened. “You’re a Winner” has taken on a whole new meaning. It certainly won’t help the sagging U.S. economy. On the other hand, many people wouldn’t mind if junk mail went the way of the typewriter. Remember typewriters?
• Some Americans see these uneasy times as a way to forward their own agendas. Jerry Falwell comes to mind. As you’ll recall, he blamed the Sept. 11 tragedy on the ACLU, gays and lesbians, and other people who don’t send money to him for continuing to push a so-called Christian agenda.
Recently, the Deseret News printed a letter from Robert Curtis of Midvale who seemed to parrot Falwell’s hate mongering. In his rant, Curtis argued the ACLU has separated God from his people—that, apparently, being us Americans. He went on to say that the ACLU “is more dangerous than any terrorist organization and is the enemy of the state.”
The News printed the letter under the headline, “ACLU: domestic terrorist.” It came as something of a surprise to Carol Gnade at the Utah affiliate of the civil liberties organization, who said it is the ACLU’s charge to protect and defend the U.S. Constitution—period.
But apparently for folks like Falwell and Curtis, freedom means group think—there really is no room for a difference of opinion. You’re free to be a good “Christian”—period.
• And since we are on the topic of freedom and all it allows, this: Members of the Utah Freedom Association paused recently to burn a United Nations flag. Asked by Deseret News reporter Laura Hancock why such protests had been pushed to the fringes of society, Joseph Koncurat, an association member, answered succinctly. “Well, we’re crazy people and I’m proud to be a crazy person.”
Here at SmartBomb, we can’t think of anything to add to that.