Wednesday, December 01, 2010
 RISK- Okay- a little drained right now- I watched news from midnight till 5 am. The guys at the fire station used to kid me- they saw some 20-20 type program- it dealt with people who were actually news addicts, the running joke was some day they would find me at the substation dead- when they pulled my eyelids back they would read ‘Fox News’ [I watch them all- not just fox]. So I caught all the re-runs of the day- a few I watched twice! But I also caught a very informative CSPAN show- they were covering some geopolitical seminar out of the University of Chicago. The level of discussion was about a thousand times more mature than all the talking cable heads. They had on both Democrats and Republicans- past U.N. ambassadors and all. But the conversation was great. A while back I took an open stand against the wars [not our men and women] simply because I felt we needed to put more public pressure on the promise that the President made, that he would get us out. Realistically- yes we can’t leave ‘today’ but I fear another 10 years of the thing! In the discussion excellent points were made- some conservatives even said how many of our global enemies are glad we are in Iraq and Afghanistan- they see those struggles as us spreading ourselves too thin- sort of like when the worlds super power engages in ‘nation building’ then other nations can get away with more- because ‘the cop’ is distracted. So in a way we are playing into the hands of our enemies- but the political environment of our country does not leave room for an open discussion like this- I mean you can’t run a campaign on a serious thought out question like this- you would get branded as being weak on defense-or ‘un patriotic’ it’s sad. Last week the president of Afghanistan- Hamid Karzai- was quoted in the Wall Street Journal as saying we need to stop doing night time raids in their country. Ever since General Petraeus took over [after Stanley Mcrystal was pushed out for spilling his guts to a Rolling Stone reporter] he has re tooled the efforts, and one of the main changes was doing night time raids and routing the Taliban- he’s been highly successful. Yet many civilians have died. But I feel there is another possible reason why Karzai made the statement- he has been sitting at the table with the Taliban for months, they are talking and discussing future plans on settling the war. Plus Iran is also funding Karzai, and having friendly talks as well. So in a way they are using our guys as pawns- they realize our guys will kill so many of their guys, and they will bomb us every so often- but all of a sudden, in the middle of this chess game- comes the U.S. troops knocking off a bunch of Taliban men- hey- they’ve been buddying up with Karzai for months- it’s quite possible that the Taliban have told Karzai [over dinner!] ‘Damn it- cant you get these night time raids to stop’! Whatever the facts are- in a way our men are being used in this political agenda. Sure, we have our own agenda- and their lives are not ‘being wasted’ yet it’s sad to see the president of the country we’re ‘fighting for’ actually buddying up to the force that’s killing our men. But- all this is too much for a political sound bite- so your either branded as ‘for our troops’ or ‘against them’ and many of our enemies couldn’t be happier about it! Okay- time to confess- years ago at the fire house we got into a stage where we started playing the board game- Risk. It’s a fun strategic game- of course no one took it too seriously [I actually threw the whole game in the dumpster one night- hey- war is hell! LOL.] So one day me and a buddy get into a 2 man contest- and I figured I’d up the ante [you know- living on the edge] so I tell him ‘ How bout we play 10 bucks a game- and the loser always has the option of challenging the winner to another game- double or nothing’ so we shake on it. After about 5 hours- and one trip to my ATM [yes- this is sad] I win game number 4 or 5 and the pot is around 100 bucks. So I’m hoping my buddy had enough [he had his wife bring him money too!] and as I look into his eyes, trying to read the Poker face- instead of ‘Poker’ I see tears [yes- now the story gets really sad] ‘I say- bro- either pay up or challenge for the next round’ and he begins whining about me forcing him to play the last game- and he’s gonna tell the Captain I made him play the last game! So as you can see the night didn’t go too well. One of the strategies when playing with multiple people is if you can get your enemy to start a war with another player- you just sit back and watch him waste all his resources and money- and you even try and get other players to fight among themselves ‘Hey Joe- you gonna let Sean get away with that!’. As I watched the CSPAN program- the smartest minds said we have played into this game on more than one occasion. That’s what I mean when I say I’m ‘against the wars’ the whole nation building agenda- our guys getting caught up in the middle of the board game- at times, being manipulated by the political agenda of either party- that’s what makes it sad. Well, I need to go- just remembered something- need to go collect on an old debt.