I'm afraid your view of recent history (by recent I mean back through WW II) sounds a lot like conspiracy theory. What's your view of "the grassy knoll?"
My view of the "grassy knoll" is far more romantic than that of most: it brings back memories of myself at sixteen flying model aircraft (told you I dug the Sabre Jet, but guess it´s best not in balsa) in the local park and making my finest aeronautical manoeuvres in usually vain attempts to fly the damn thing so that it might land beside some of the stunning young women disporting themselves on said grassy knolls.
At least, I though they were stunning, but what would one know at sixteen - everything
in a tight skirt and stockings looked ravishing. Solace came courtesy Hollywood and dreams of Susan Hayward, Ava Gardner but not, strangely, Marilyn Monroe or her later clones. Speaking of later clones reminds me that by the time Miss Mansfield and Miss Van Doren appeared I had found the real thing anyway. Then of course, the fantasy became Brigitte. And so it goes.
But if you want me to venture into the current wars, then I despair of presenting you with any cogent response: it can´t be done. How do you rationalise/explain/ seek an honest answer to a situation that appears to make the 'saviours' the hated ones; that rather than create local wealth via 'reconstruction' of war damage, it makes the riches flow right back whence came the helicopters? Sure, some local potentates get rich too, but graft was ever so. The basic problem, and I'd be surprised if you don't already know this from your time in the eastern world, is that all peoples are not the same and neither are their expectations or desires. This obsession that the west shows toward the spreading of 'democracy', for example, is an ugly mistake that is rooted in huge assumptions the most arrogant of which is that it is the only way. Almost evengelical in its blindness, and as frightening.
Unpopular as it will inevitably be, the truth as I see it, the workable answer for the millions of poor and primitive, is not western ideology but strong leadership which may or may not mean dictatorship. That the latter has had its share of disasters is not outwith my view, but let's look more closely: take Spain, where I have spent the best twenty-eight years of my life - they had Franco, much reviled by the current popular crowd but, should you care to speak to the older generation (our own lot) they will tell you that yes, there were problems, but you could go shopping and leave the house unlocked. (Would you dream of doing that back in the States? In the UK? In Spain today?) Think of the Civil War here: had Franco lost, Spain would have been a communist state. Does anyone pretend that would have served Spain better? Good God - just look at the aftermath of communism as it was within a western context - one miserable, failed country after another; we didn´t have a communist government in the UK but the next best thing ran the unions: where our industrial leadership today? As it is, Spain has some of the most sophisticated cities and people in the world. Russia, where they sent so many Spaniards at that time - where did they
all end up I wonder - unknown, untraceable fodder for the red machine.
There are no perfect, universal answers because of the nature of man. There never will be and the sooner we realise that and accept that diffferent folks really do like different strokes, the better for all of us. Why can´t we mind our own business and let them just live their lives?
That the Afghan thing has something to do with fighting and, importantly, winning
a drug war is a sick joke. If you really wanted to fight a drug war, you could win it in a very short time indeed and you could do it from the comfort of home. You adopt a no quarter given philosophy. You jail every user as you should every supplier; as with Prohibition, too many important pockets get topped up by the industry and so it isn´t going to happen. The trade is good business for too many: hell, isn't it the single biggest earner you have? Bigger even than tourism? (Today´s tv news told us that 90% of all US currency notes bear traces of cocaine - go figure the size of the market!) Without the will there will be no way and it makes perfect sense, instead, to take the mock battle to the poor sod in the mountains of Afghanistan and blow his friggin' brains out. But not too many, you understand, business must go on ;-)