General Commentary (May be military related) email: Kudzuacres1@juno.com
Thursday, May 23, 2002
My friend Dave commanded an Army transportation (Big Trucks) company in Germany. It fell to him to try to control the use of drugs by the truck drivers. A 25 year old, 12-ton ammunition truck driven by a drugged 21 year-old driver on the speed-limitless Autobahn is not a pretty thing to think about. Naturally, Dave was not the most popular person with the drug users in his company. One morning a Special Agent of the Criminal Investigation Division came to Dave’s office to tell him the CID had received reliable information that the drug folk planned to kill him. The agent asked that Dave go about his business and act normally. Dave told him that acting normally was easy before he knew someone was planning to kill him, but that he was not sure he would be able to continue act normal in the way the agent expected. Normal no longer existed. To Dave’s credit, he managed to get through the next few days without hiding under his sofa, and about a week later the CID nabbed the potential killer lurking with a 9mm in the bushes outside Dave’s apartment
We could never decide if knowing about the potential killer was better than not knowing. Dave was warned and paid more attention to his surrounding than he usually did although he never saw the assailant before the CID nabbed him. It’s the same with warnings about terrorists. Some of us would rather not have the general warnings. Others appreciate when the government tells us anything. I think I prefer to be told as much as can be shared with the citizenry. I might even do Dave one better and spot the guy lurking in the bushes
Over on Possumblog, I read about the German protest against President Bush and the US. Several years ago, it was my distinct pleasure to observe a German protest in person. The occasion was the deployment of the Apache helicopter to Wiesbaden Air Base near Frankfurt. The various anti-American parties organized a protest that worked really well to disrupt the lives of the Americans and Germans who lived and worked in the area. As one of my co-workers noted, the Germans really know how to throw a protest. No sooner had the protesters showed up than the Bratwurst and Ice Cream Venders set up shop and did a bustling business.
The only dark spot in the day’s festivities was when the farmer who owned the field being used by the protesters as their own personal recreation park, showed up on his horse and riding crop and commenced to beat the crap out of any and all who were on his property. The Police stood by and watched with an air of amused interest. The only disappointment from the Americans watching was that the Police never got to use their big water cannon.
The “Wall” still existed when this happened. The Bader-Meinhof Gang still existed and Americans and Germans had been killed by bombs in the preceding months. If you ever had the privilege of seeing East German under the Communist Government, you know the squalid conditions of the East as compared to the West. Yet, there were West Germans who supported both the Communists and the terrorists because they considered them superior to Americans.
As a friend told me many years ago, You can’t teach ignorance and stupidity. They just come naturally.
I am kind of a redneck feminist. As I type this, my wife is out mowing the vast estate with a push mower. Our friends like to rib me about her mowing the yard as well as keeping the family checkbook. The reason she does so is she likes mowing the yard and she is much better than I at keeping track of money. Somehow I managed to get a degree in math and can’t add and subtract.
We both grew up on farms where men and women did what had to be done to keep the operation going. There were some chores that one or the other did better and usually did. As a female friend says, it was not a good day when her dad figured out she was strong enough to handle hay bales. What am I talking about? Heck, I don’t know. Just that it is may be better when each person does what they do well. Things work better that way.
When I see things from either the radical feminists or from the radical non-feminists, I can’t help wondering why either thinks they should have any say in how a woman lives her life. I guess that I am just too simple to get it.
From time to time you may see things like “kind of” on this site. That’s just the way we talk and can’t be helped.
For about ten years, my family and I lived in West Germany where I served in the US Army. For most of that time the Bader-Meinhof Gang was active and about every six months they would place a bomb in or around an American installation. The explosion usually killed a couple of Americans and wounded a dozen or so. For the next six months we would be under decreasing levels of alert until about the time things were back to normal, another bomb would go off and the cycle would repeat. Immediately after the bombing, the US Forces would start searching every car entering any post or base. Armed soldiers would patrol all the dependent schools. Daily activities became difficult and inconvenient. The soldiers and their families reacted in several ways. Some families would experience one bombing incident and decide to return to the states. Others voluntarily restricted their activities to the necessities. The vast majority of us went about as if nothing had happened or was likely to happen, but we became very aware of the unusual. We came to understand that security was everyone's responsibility.
I learned a couple of things from those experiences. Although we knew who was responsible, including names and faces, and that they would plant more bombs, they succeeded time after time because they had safe havens and the advantage of selecting when and where they would act. I think we will see the same thing happen here in the US. Second, the bombings stopped when the safe havens were removed with the fall of East Germany. As long as the terrorists have a place to hide and time to plan their attacks, they will succeed.
The blame game may be entertaining, but like “Survivor”, it is useless. War on terrorism is everyone’s responsibility and there are no non-combatants.