Monday, October 03, 2005

Karma

(Grrr. Second attempt. I had this all written-up in a way that pleased me, which is difficult, then Firefox crashed; I lost it all.)

Here's something I never got to here at the time, but meant to. And I might as well put up something at least mildly interesting since my friend Dayn Perry has sent me beaucoups of new traffic.

Consider this:

In his memoirs, General Ulysses S. Grant wrote:

I was bitterly opposed [to manuevers by the Polk adminstration that led up to war], and to this day regard the [Mexican] war, which resulted, as one of the most injust ever waged by a stronger against a weaker nation...It was an instance of a republic following the bad example of European monarchies, in not considering justice in their desire to acquire additional territory.


And

To us it was an empire of incalculable value; but it might have been obtained by other means. The Southern rebellion was largely an outgrowth of the Mexican War. Nations, like individuals, are punished for their transgressions. We got our punishment in the most sanguinary and expensive war of modern times.


Allow a moment for digestion.

Yes, General Grant too made the "Chickens Have Come Home To Roost" argument.

New readers may notice names of people I find interesting linked to the right and interpret that as an endorsement. One name is guaranteed to give offense. I don't think it necessarily should.

In case you're curious, there was no outrage at these words of Grant's; indeed, sales of his memoirs were wildly popular and provided the nestegg by which his widow comfortably lived her remaining years.

I don't believe in karma. No one is taking cosmic tally. But I admit that, especially in my personal life, I frequently wish I did believe in it. Sometimes I pretend that I do. At the same time, knowing what modest bit I do of our country's history, on "geopolitical karma" terms ...well, I'm scared shitless of the prospect.

But I'm in the minority. Most people believe in some sort of cosmic judgment. You get what's coming to ya. Well, if this is an acceptable belief if applied to individuals, why not the same for countries? If not, why not? If so then ..why the hesitancy to get to the logical conclusion in our case?

But fuck metaphysics for now. History is causal; actions have reactions. The moral relativity of action to reaction is not the point, though for the sake of argument I will readily concede that reactions are often as nasty or nastier than the instigations. The point, rather, is that the instigations can and should be seriously curtailed if not completely ceased.

Why in God's name are we anywhere in the world where we are not wanted?

*Edit -- I've tinkered with it; still can't get it like the original, but it's the best I can do right now. My bad karma? Fuckola.

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