The Last Ride

I’m on I-71 and I see a sign saying, “THE LAST RIDE.” Passing the grated trailer, I see it’s a semi full of pigs on their way to slaughter.

It’s too dark and I can’t see their faces. These are anonymous animals with nothing to do but die.

An NPR talk show plays on my car radio, and people discuss whether Bush could be swayed that we’re losing the Iraq war or what would need to happen for us to win. I think of the anonymous soldiers — too many have died for us to remember their names — and I recall what the first woman elected to Congress, Jeanette Rankin, said back in the first half of the 20th century: “You can no more win a war than you can win an earthquake.”

That’s what all the pundits and politicians aren’t getting. It’s not just this war, it’s any war. It’s not winning or losing, but at best mitigating the bloodshed. It’s all slaughter; and if we’re to survive, as a species, we need to learn how to do something else. Otherwise we’re all just anonymous, in the dark and on our last ride.

— Stephen Carter-Novotni

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4 Comments on “The Last Ride”

  1. David Gallaher Says:

    Speaking as the hillbilly I am, there will always be some people that need killing. Fine. Kill ’em. But if you don’t have the guts to do it yourself, don’t go running to government to do it for you. Your government will not only kill many more people than need killing, it will probably fail to kill the ones that need killing. If that weren’t bad enough, it will raise the liklihood that you and your family will get killed.

  2. Neal Watzman Says:

    President Bush has stated that this country will not leave Iraq until we win this war. What is winning this war in Iraq? What do we win? Would all the thousands of Iraqis and Americans who are dying think there is a winner? Would their families?

    It seems to me that when there is war no one wins, and humanity loses.

    But then, I wonder. In my blog I’ve been writing about my father who was a World War II vet, as well as proudly posting his memoirs. It seems like he was doing the right thing in that war. It is certainly a different perspective to my safe anti-war stance.

  3. MC Says:

    We already know that war is a waste of lives and resources. It is the last resort to take and most sane people know that.

    When the people are lied to repeatedly, they operate under false assumptions. Rice talked about a mushroom cloud. Osama became Saddam and somehow became linked to Iraq. The facts didn’t matter. We saw it illustrated in the elections of 2004, Bush & Co lied openly, over and over.

    What is interesting is that we still have citizens who feel that more killing makes sense. It didn’t make sense in 2003 and it still doesn’t. How many dead will make this right?

  4. StephE Says:

    Steve, I really enjoyed this post. It shows how linked everything really is, how similar every fight becomes. The pigs innocently heading into a losing battle for its life and the soldiers innocently getting caught in the cross fire of politics and religon.

    I hope one day that the human race can evolve beyond our current priorities and move onto some more holistic for us and planet Earth.


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