A couple of days ago I originally posted this blog post, but then I thought it sounded sort of sombre -- which it is not meant to be -- so I took it down. However, I have had a few enquiries about it, so I am putting it back up. Occasionally thoughts run through my head and at the time I think those thoughts, I decide to do a blog post. But some of my thoughts don't fit into the trend that blogging seems to be going towards lately, and that is one of gentle people all being very nice to each other. I wish I could be like that, but sometimes I am just -- not. I often have strong opinions about various issues, and I know that not all folks are going to agree with my point of view. But when I started my blog, I wanted it to be a place of controversy, discussion and debate -- at least occasionally. If I had one wish in life, it would be to host wonderful soirées every evening, where people could discuss music, art, culture, politics, philosophy, literature and so much more. Great ideas would be exchanged, and everyone would have a wonderful time. People would be welcome to join in -- or not -- depending on whatever they wished. I love hearing new ideas and new points of view. We may not always agree with each other, but there is nothing more exciting than stimulating conversation, don't you agree? I have never stopped reading a blog because I disagreed with their point of view. I have stopped, however, when I have become bored.
So here, in its original form, is the blog post that I took down, and I am now putting it back up.
Some things that are very obvious to other people, often elude me. I sometimes need things explained to me. So, I am a bit puzzled about something. The President of the United States won the Nobel Peace Prize -- not for something he did -- but in anticipation of something he was yet to do. Resolve world peace? And so a few days ago he accepted his prize at the Nobel Prize ceremonies in Oslo, Norway. This is the part that needs to be explained to me, in language I can understand. Obama won a Peace Prize -- which is no small feat -- and at the same time he just escalated the war in Afghanistan, agreeing to send 30,000 more American troops, which of course will mean troops from other countries as well -- including Canada. We have already lost 133 Canadian lives in Afghanistan. That is 133 too many Canadians to have died in some God-forsaken country on the other side of the world.
In his acceptance speech in Oslo, Obama referred to "war as an instrument designed to secure the peace". It reminded me of Newspeak in George Orwell's "1984" -- "War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength". I guess anything can sound reasonable, but it still doesn't make any sense to me. Al Qaeda is in so many countries, from Sudan to Hamburg, Islamic terrorism won't be stopped by escalating the war in Afghanistan. And now the American people face another war, and young men and women face another few years of killing and dying.
When I was a little girl, and we didn't understand the dangers of mercury, we sometimes used to play with it if it spilled on the ground from a broken thermometer. Have you ever tried to pick up mercury? You can't do it. Beads of mercury are impossible to pick up. This is what it's going to be like, trying to eradicate Al Qaeda. It can't be done, and it's too late.
I really do hope the American President earns his Peace Prize. I wish him all the best, but I think he has a long road -- and a reality check -- ahead of him. I think of all those young men and women who will be deployed, who may be spending their last few weeks at home with their families, and my heart breaks. War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength.