Blood and Treasure
Every time I hear people talk about Afghanistan, I hear those same two words. What bugs me:
1. Always seems like a bad attempt at being more poetic by being indirect. Who uses the word treasure outside of a movie about pirates? I lose blood if I get a bad paper cut.
2. This attempt at being poetic also seems to obfuscate what is really being lost. Tax money that could be spent on improving the lives of people anywhere and everywhere, and fucking people's lives.
3. Framing the worth of the war in these words always makes it seem like the people critical of it think of it merely as a bad investment, something we are not getting a good return on, which not only ignores all of the moral and ethical issues of war, and not only places the discussion within the context of a view of life that literally cannot escape value judgments completely informed by capitalist practice, it is also that it seems to forget that success in Afghanistan would not provide the West with the kind of return on its investment that seems to be expected with this particular phrase. Because ultimately what will guarantee peace in that region are functional governments who truly work for the benefit of their people, even at the risk of not doing what we want them to.
4. And after all of that, what really gets me is just the lack of creativity. In the context of how they are being used, there are so many synonyms possible that when I hear people continue to use those same two words, it strikes me as if they are just conduits of memes without the capability for independent thought, in which case, why should they be talking about war in the first place?