We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
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Sunday, April 15. 2007
A truck bomb destroyed the Sarrafiya Bridge this week, and killed drivers in the process.
A landmark, and a gift from the Brits in the 1940s, it was the first fixed bridge in Baghdad over the Tigris.
Our friend in Israel says that "the Germans were good at two things: killing Jews and building vehicles, but the Palestinians are only good at one thing: killing Jews."
Any idiot can build a car bomb, but can Muqtada's or Al Quaida's thugs build a bridge? Or a car? Or a city? Or a modern civilization? Or even save a life?
This story is depressing. Destruction, sadly, is the easiest thing in the world to do: it has the physics of entropy on its side. The Stone Age is never far away, and killing is simple.
Thoughts about the bridge from Iraq the Model and from Treasure of Baghdad (whence the photo).
Is Iraq too "multicultural" to hold together as a nation without a totalitarian, sadistic dictator? Helping the Iraqis seems like treating a patient with cancer. My prayers are with the patient - and with Dr. Petraeus.
Posted by Bird Dog in Our Essays, Politics at 14:16 | Comments (20) | Trackbacks (0)
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Good post. Somber and true. Entropy is right. The people destroying cannot even build the cellphones with which they set up their shows, nor the camcorders they use to build their recruitment efforts, nor the internet they use to transmit it all.
Borrowing other people's cellphones, so to speak, has been going on for a long time now - all those German artillerymen and Venetian shipwrights in the service of the Sultan. Did you know that some of the greatest Barbary pirates were renegade Dutchmen? Human nature. We have to win anyway, despite it.
Terrorists by and large don’t build anything, as Buddy so eloquently put it, but they can “use speed boats, automatic weapons and satellite technology to create a wave of terror on the high seas." Somali pirate:
Terrorists don’t much invent and innovate, but they’re resourceful consumers:
Terrorists can be devastating minimalists and sometimes do the most with the least:
Terrorists use modernity to oppose it, destroying bridges across cultures and to the future by building fear, rubble and isolation:
Maybe the entropy is what will do them in and make us the winners. When in history has progress ever gone backwards?
It seems that entropy is often the catalyst for progress. I have hope.
"Any idiot can build a car bomb,.. "
And what do you call those that gave that idiot the recipe and ingredients to build that bomb?
I thought you meant the formulae for such things as plastique & TNT.
Yep, 'swine' works well for the bunch you mean.
Terrye has a good post up over at Flares--a need-to-read in our political silly season.
Trade AND Terrorism:
The Group of Eight (G8) is an international forum (for the governments of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States) that bgrings together ministers responsible for various portfolios to discuss issues of mutual or global concern. The range of topics include health, law enforcement, labour, economic and social development, energy, environment, foreign affairs, justice and interior, terrorism and trade.
Phoenix - In many regions of Europe, progress did take a significant step backward during the Dark Ages (476 to 1000 AD).
Education and literacy, life expectancy, technology, trade, government, human rights… they all went the wrong way for a while when Rome collapsed and was replaced with local chieftains and warlords.
Yep, the only 'progress' that's 'one-way' is the progression of time. USA has certainly been going the wrong way for decades now, on all sorts of aspects of the culture. Look at the social-pathology stats. Of course, lots of things have gone the right way, too. But not all.
Well, I just meant the conventional wisdom in general. Divorce, out-of-wedlock births, STDs, HS dropout rates, hard-science & math scores, drugs. You know the litany. Really don't know where one would locate the hard data comparing say 1957 to 2007. Be interesting, tho.
BD, I know you don't use tv, but there's a report up now of a shooting on the Virginia Tech campus. 22 dead, unkown numbers of wounded. Early reports, shooter--unidentified--killed.
You are right. Part of one of my grad degrees is in that. I guess what my mind was thinking is that history is a continuum we have no control over and that progress is an intrinsic part of that continuum..... whether as Buddy notes above - some of that 'progress' is ugly, ...we are still moving forward and new information does not stop. Therefore, progress continues apace despite the externals of any given era.
The Dark Ages could be said to have been a time of reversal. I see it as a pause, a void where fear took over rational thinking as the Christian religion started up and burgeoned into its full glory. I use the word 'fear' because there was much uncertainty and the Catholic priests were working overtime to get things right. In that sense, I would not say progress was going backwards. It is what produced the world's largest religion.