I’ll be posting other stuff later as I get time, but sroni and I are kicking off the third round of the cof_remix, Circle of Friends Remix. If you’re interested in participating in a round-robin remix, primarily Buffyfic-centered, go here and enter the following information in the comments, and one of us probably sroni will get right back to you.
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Previous participants are invited to return; new authors are invited to check it out!
For more information, see the profile page.
This is probably going to be the last year I post my ‘traditional’ 9/11 retrospective. There are different reasons for that, but the two most prominent would be the changes in 1) my personal situation, and 2) our national condition.
Three days from now will be my last drill with my Army Reserve unit. Five days after that, I’ll be out of the Reserve for good. Except in the event of a national emergency so great I can’t even think of wishing for it, I’ll never be eligible for service again.
I still believe all the things I’ve believed since September 11, 2001. Between then and now, however, I’ve been personally involved in the attendant issues. Eight days from now, it will simply be a matter of opinion, with my stake no greater than that of any other civilian. Bellicose language seemed more justified when I was (or would be) one of those taking part in combat operations on at least an intermittent basis. Very soon, I will no longer have that privilege.
We’ve fallen so far, and with so little need for it. Stupidity, timidity, and incompetence in American leadership allow the people of other nations to conclude that Americans themselves are witless cowards. I do not, and did not, defend every decision and action of George W. Bush and his administration … but I could, at least, honestly believe that he was pursuing America’s interests to the best of his ability. Obama … God ONLY knows what Obama’s motives are, because they surely seem to have nothing to do with American pride, American security, American honor, or anything of benefit to the American nation. In less than five years he’s thrown away essentially all the Middle East gains of the previous seven years; the region is more dangerous now, more volatile, more shot through with enemies of America in positions of control, more contemptuous of us (with considerable justification), and more dismissive of the penalties of taking aggressive action against us.
A dozen years ago, nineteen murderous fanatics crashed four airliners, knocked down two buildings, and murdered nearly 3,000 people. We responded with military reprisals that made it clear that attacking America comes with a horrendous price tag. There were still plenty of folks who didn’t like us, but they knew to be wary of us if they knew nothing else. We invaded and occupied two nations — and made considerable improvements to them, during the occupation, even with the inevitable missteps and waste and blind alleys and costly learning curve — and pursued our goals with a single-mindedness that told potential enemies to stay the hell out of our way. Some of them denied that lesson, and came after us, and died in such ridiculous numbers that the jihadi mainstream quickly switched to murdering their own countrymen to show how tough they were, because going against Americans was a sure loser.
Turned out there was a very simple counter to American military superiority and the dedication of American soldiers: wait for the election of a Democrat president. It took time for that to happen, and more time for it to have its full effect, but in the end it worked for them. Definitely not for us.
America was attacked twelve years ago. It will be attacked again … because, long-term, that has proven profitable to those whose prestige is tied to our destruction, and they can always count on an effective fifth column inside the American political establishment.
I wish I weren’t so pessimistic. I wish I weren’t so heartsick.
I wish I didn’t have so much reason for both.
This story serves double duty. I recently participated in the buffy-remix at DreamWidth, and I noted that one of the other entrants — the only one of more than a dozen — had provided a remix but not received one herself. Having once been shorted myself on a remix, years ago, I’m sympathetic to such a situation, so I chose to do a remix for the slighted author that would also meet my obligation for the 2013 summer_of_giles round. I hope the result is satisfactory for all parties.
When I entered deird1’s buffy-remix, I persuaded sroni to do the same. Then comes the deadline, and neither of us is ready to post. I’m not finished with my own story (it grew in the telling, and still requires some work), and she wasn’t really satisfied yet with hers. Being family and near enough to pull it off, we did a temporary trade-off: she turned out a quick pinch-hit for my assigned author (nothorse), and I did the same for hers (LookingForOctober). As soon as we’re done/satisfied, we’ll each post our own stories, and each of our authors will have two remixes by way of apology.
Her pinch-hit (here) is, in my opinion, the better one. Mine follows.
The close quarters course I was supposed to complete, a week ago? The instructor had so many other tasks that he couldn’t find time for it. It’s supposed to happen tomorrow, though, so I’ll finally have that behind me. The good news is that I had thirty days to complete that, so I started taking short runs from a Walmart terminal about fifty miles away from where I’ve been staying. Pretty steady: four runs in four days, and — though I’ve only received one paycheck since I left student status — it appears that the projected income is just about what I was told it would be, which should be enough to justify my continuing in this particular line of work.
I’m going back home this weekend for yet another Army Reserve drill. These days that’s the only time I go home, actually, and probably will remain the case till I finish my obligation in September. I’m thinking that, once I’m no longer encumbered by outside obligations, I can make it home about once every three weeks. (Twice a month is too often, if you want to maintain a good schedule.)
Today I broke out the exercise bands I bought last week, and at last began what will theoretically become a regular fitness program. I also sketched out some notes on the fic I plan to begin next (later today, possibly) … and, in a burst of either over-optimism or glaring hubris, I signed up both at summer_of_giles and at deird1’s buffy_remix.
I’m also doing laundry while I key this in. My life is a non-stop whirlwind of novelty and surrealism.