If you like long, wordy, and boring posts, you're going to love this one. Otherwise, there are a lot of good blogs listed over there ---------------->
that will probably have better stuff today.
But there are some things bubbling here at O Dock that I feel I should comment on. That old line about fools rushing in, must have been written by someone who knows me.
When I started this blog, I wanted to try a few things that I don't see being done too much in other blogs I read (probably with very good reason). I thought, if the opportunity came up, I'd have a go at posting some original verse - one of those awful taboos that everyone warns you not to do on a blog. Last week, while my common sense was out to lunch, I got my courage up.
I'd watched an old Pete Seeger anti-war video from the late '60s (Mr. Tillerman had linked to it on his Facebook page) and I just couldn't get the tune or its message out of my head. Good ol' Pete was firing away at LBJ during the height of the Vietnam war. The song seems pretty tame now, but the folks at CBS were scared enough by it at the time not to air it (they later relented).
My poem was really something of a dodge because it let me voice a few abstract ideas without having to articulate them too precisely with carefully constructed arguments or supporting facts. Maybe some poets are just lazy historians. I was agitated about a few things and this was an easy way to blow off some steam.
I really didn't expect much response at all as people seem not to comment a lot about song lyrics or poems in blogs - at least not in the sailing blogs I read. And I'm not much of a poet, anyway.
But the theme of war raised some animated discussion here and, having wimped out in the poem, I thought I should clarify how I feel about the questions raised.
Most of us are against war on general principle, I hope, but the question of the day, as our president drafts his policy on Afghanistan is what constitutes a 'justifiable war', if such a thing exists at all.
I'm not going to attempt to answer that question here. We've been trying to do that for a few thousand years now without making much visible progress. And I don't want to stir up a lot of partisan political issues. I'll say only that I can't think of anyone other than the current occupant who I'd rather see in the White House right now grappling with the difficult decisions that must be made.
He revealed some of the personal anguish he's going through last week in the speech he gave while accepting the Nobel Peace Prize - an honor that must have surprised him more than anyone, as he's on the brink of escalating what has already been a long and bloody war.
I'm not saying that you should agree with our president on this escalation, or even that I do. But I think what all of us must do is to read that speech and his formal Afghanistan policy speech carefully and make an effort to understand all of the issues raised. And to follow our president's statements and actions very closely as he proceeds over the coming months. And to hold him accountable to his words and to his promises.
If anything, he's more likely than most of his predecessors to listen to well-voiced opinions from a concerned public. Learn what the issues are and have an opinion. Our most important job as participants in this lovely little democracy of ours is to pay attention.
What we do in Afghanistan may well turn out to be the most important decision of this administration, and possibly the most consequential issue of this period in history. Don't let your kids and grandkids accuse you of standing idly by as we slipped into another Vietnam. I'd be willing to bet that a lot more people will be following the march to the Superbowl over the next few weeks than will read the Afghanistan policy and Nobel acceptance speeches. If you haven't yet, the full texts are here and here.
And while you're reading, you may want to look at a great post that Yarg has put up on this same general topic. He's made a valiant effort to put a sailing twist on it - something that may make the subject more appealing than my little rant here.
Sorry, I don't often get very serious here, but this issue did come up and I thought it too important not to address.
We return you now to our regularly scheduled programming.