American conquest 2
Posted by aogMonday, 27 January 2003 at 18:58 TrackBack Ping URL
Over on my clipping blog I posted a picture of one of our troops holding a small Afghani girl in line for some medical care. My previous post made me think of that and also that the photographer found the picture and commented on it:
I would just like to thank you for using my photo to show people that the U.S. military is doing good things here in Afghanistan.
I just sent a short e-mail in reply because that wasn't an appropriate platform for pontifaction. That's what I have this blog for.

I was particularly struck by the picture because it so clearly shows what differentiates the American hegemony from those that preceeded it in history. Our troops don't fight for the sake of glory or loot or death, but for what we see in the picture. Of course, not every American soldier is a paladin, a paragon of selfless honor. But overall, and in contrast to previous world powers, the military and the citizenry are glad to see this as the end result of our military operation. First and foremost we want security for ourselves. But we as a nation do not begrudge this kind of help and comfort to others, even the citizens of a formerly enemy nation. For it is not the wealth of other nations or control of their people we seek, but safety for ourselves. And those farther sighted among know that grace in victory and a helping hand in peace builds security for us. Because of this the war part of the conquest of Iraq will be fast and easy in contrast to what we must do to truly deal with the dangers to us from that region. And it will be actions just like that in the picture that will play a key role in that effort.

Yes, this hasn't always been true. But it has been since at least WWII and probably since WWI.