We here in Launch Day headquarters, when we’re not cooling ourselves with luxury fans and sending congratulatory memos to each other about the quality of coffee in our breakroom, like to keep up on current events. Every once in a while, we wargaze. (I just made that word “wargaze” up. It means, like, “gaze,” at wars, such as the sort-of-war going on in the fictitious country of Afghanistan that apparently the Russians invented in the 80’s to test drive their tanks through.)
That’s a picture of what you get when you google “russian tanks in afghanistan.”
The sort-of-war’s commanders — that’d be the “suits,” or “executives,” for those of you more versed in corporate lingo than in the oft confusing jargon of sort-of-war — have been encouraging their “boys” to not blow things up unless they absolutely have to.
That comes from the combat geniuses at the Washington Post via this article, which is about another article that’s running in the publication of those other combat geniuses, Rolling Stone (there’s your music tie-in, rock slaves…). The Rolling Stone article has gotten the guy running the sort-of-war, General So-and-So, in trouble with The Man for saying unflattering things about Obama and Joe Biden (The Man and The Man’s Man), two dudes whose expertise on running sort-of-wars is indisputable.
So now the White House has paged General So-and-So to come talk to them about the comments, and it may or may not cost the man running the sort-of-war in Afghanistan his job.
Can I just take a pause here and ask when … precisely when … did the content of rock magazines start literally shaping the running of America’s sort-of-wars? Why are generals appearing in Rolling Stone in the first place, (btw what he says is cold stone fascinating) while there’s a sort-of-war going on, talking smack about politicians? Is this a recruiting technique? And don’t the members of America’s ruling class have more important things to do than read Rolling Stone? Apparently not. Maybe going to sort-of-war is precisely the kind of thing they do to fill that insufferable gap between issues of Rolling Stone and Penthouse. Maybe the whole Afghanistanian thing could be over if Rolling Stone would just go daily.
Here’s a quote from the Washington Post that jumped out at me:
One soldier at the outpost showed … a written directive instructing troops to “patrol only in areas that you are reasonably certain that you will not have to defend yourself with lethal force.”
Granted, its from the Washington Post, but let’s pretend it’s somehow true, and came from an officer. I’d have a hard time getting my head around that one. “Patrol only in areas that you are reasonably certain that you will not have to defend yourself with lethal force.” Like – the mall, for example? People rarely have to defend themselves with lethal force at the mall. The boys could patrol there, and might also enjoy watching the puppies in the window of the pet store.
Or – Starbucks. I know for a fact I’ve never had to defend myself with lethal force there. The boys (and girls, cuz lets face it gender equality is priority number one here at Launch Day headquarters) could relax in the air conditioning, and sip a mocha caramel frappasomething to get themselves amped up to get like totally unlethal.
Here’s a picture of the type of store one might find at the mall where lethal force has rarely — if ever — been required. It would be safe to patrol here.
I wonder what the servicemen think of such orders — “Hey fellas, try to stick to the areas where you’re not gonna get shot at.” I mean, yeah, HELL yeah that’s what I’d be doing, but they’re not supposed to make it official, right? Still technically a war? You can’t ship a guy to Afghanistan, stick him in a tank, and then tell him to drive around but not get shot at. That’s just not … fair. Don’t the commanders historically say things like, “Go get ’em, guys,” and the warriors kill ’em all and let God sort ’em out? Or has this changed from a war into some sort of sick, budget padding, vote garnering media event with too many ulterior motives to count — a sort-of-war — that we’ve come to basically accept as a fact of life, something happening “over there,” that we have no control over? It’s tough to know these days what’s real and what’s concocted by our keepers, more or less literally at the expense of the great unwashed’s (that’d be us) lives. There doesn’t seem to be much of a difference anymore. That’s why I try to spend most of my time watching “Friends” reruns. Maybe it’s both a just cause and a cash cow, w/ our keepers cramming us dead and alive into one end of the cow, and pulling enormous taxpayer dollars out of the other end, but all in the name of something really important so we don’t feel quite so vacuous about the dead.
Anyways it’s just this sort of thing that always make me enjoy getting my serious sort-of-war news straight from the serious, no-nonsense journalistic folks at Rolling Stone, the same earnest keepers of America’s rich reporting traditions who every once in a while can set their bongs down long enough to also feature those other perennial (not perineal) newsmakers, Janet Jackson’s boobies.
Thanks, Rolling Stone, I can’t wait to read the story. You continue to do everything you can to flush America down the toilet so you can feel smug and make a few bucks. Y’know, that’s only cool when _I_ do it.