05 April 2007

My curiosity and our language

This post is just me ranting about language and definitions of words. This is something I have been curious about far many years. I have most likely done postings on this before. I know I have commented on this to other writers in my replies to them over the years. I may be whipping a dead horse as it were, but it just is something I decided(!) to post here.
This all stems from the events of yesterday and today regards the British Marines and sailors who have been released by the Iranians and are now back home in the old UK.
I have no negative things to say about those folks, they were doing their job and were captured by the Iranian navy. I want to state up front that I am very happy to see that they are home and safe and, as far as I have heard, unharmed. For that I and many others are very thankful. Yes, even a person (me) who has no religion can be thankful for various reasons.
My "problem" is with how they have been characterized, especially by the American media. They are being called heroes by CNN among other "news" outlets. Excuse me if I fail to see how they are/were heroic. They were preforming their military duty, inspecting ships in the gulf, and they were captured by the Iranian navy. What the hell is heroic about being taken prisoner? What actually constitutes heroism today? Anybody have an idea?
This goes back many years also. Our senator from Arizona, McCain, is called a hero. Why? He got shot down over North Viet Nam and in doing so, lost a very expensive aircraft. Yes, he was held as a prisoner of war for some years and suffered as a result. The question still remains. How is being shot down heroic?
Another incident happened during Billy Bubbas' "war" in the Balkans. An Air Force pilot, I think his name was O'Grady (if I got his name wrong, please let me know and I will post an apology), was shot down and lost his very expensive F-16. Yes, he did evade capture and after some days was rescued by the highly trained and very brave Air Force commando troops. I was very happy to see that he was safe and returned to the good old US of A. Our news media insisted on calling him a hero. There was much talk of making a "movie of the week" of his heroism. Now, to his great credit, he declined the hero label. He said, as I remember, that he was on his mission, got shot down, bailed out, and his survival training kicked in and he was glad he was able to evade capture. He also, as I recall,said the real heroes were the commando troops who rescued him. He gets my full credit for being honest.
Maybe I am being the "grinch" here, but I fail to see how being captured is heroic.
Here is an idea for our troops in Iraq, it will get them hero status and they will be able to get back home. Just cross the border into Iran, get taken prisoner. Our great media will call you heroes, and you will be flown back home. Great way to end the damn war. All the troops will be welcomed home as heroes and the war will be over as there will be no American troops to get shot and or killed.
Maybe this hero stuff can do our troops some good after all.
I for one would welcome all of our troops back home, as heroes, or just as survivors. Stay safe troops.
semper fi

03 April 2007

An Easter gift from Shrub?

According to a report leaked by Russia, the Shrub may start bombing Iran on 6 April, 2007.
It has not made much news here in the old US of A, but did merit an article on Counterpunch by Professor Leupp.
Now an interesting thing with this is, 6 April is Good Friday. As I am not a member of any organized religion, I needed to check the old calendar to verify that date. That makes Sunday 8 April Easyer Sunday.
Now maybe it is just cynical old me, but isn't it a bit strange that our "decider" claims to be a "good Christian", yet he just may start a third war(!) during the Easter season. It is my understanding that this is one of THE two high holy days for the Christian church. Is this really a good way to prove how "godly" he is? I really do wish to understand this, as I said, I am not religious and am curious about this. I mean, I respect the rights of all peoples to their religious beliefs, but this does seem a bit odd. If anyone could explain this to me, feel free to do so.
It is a bit odd in another way as well. Think about the facts as we have them. We have two(!) failed wars right now. Afghanistan, yes, we are still there and fighting is ongoing. Iraq, well, not much else need be said, it is going very bad for us so far. Now, having two failed/failing wars, would any SANE person decide(?) to start a third war? Or is this new war with Iran supposed to take the overtaxed American brains away from the failed wars? Just curious.
I guess it would be like trying to build a deck and making two miserable attempts then deciding to build a third deck on another side of the poor, broken down house. OK, maybe that isn't a good example. Got any that are better? Any that make sense?
Any way, it looks like our great "decider" may have a new(?) and wondrous "gift" for the whole world this Easter season. Have fun kids. Don't overeat the chocolate eggs. Please don't shoot the bunnies this year.
semper fi