Taide’s Weblog

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Another Holy War

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My grandfather became a regular smoker as a prisoner of war. He was captured with several hundreds of thousands of fellow German soldiers in the Ruhr Pocket by the Americans and held in the Rheinwiesen camps. There was little to eat – but there were cigarettes. Some fourty years later, he died – probably as a consequence of smoking.

In 1945, even the U.S. Army’s POWs smoked.

But smokers in the American army now may have to abstain from it soon. Spiegel Online reported on July 12 that experts demand a complete smoking ban for the U. S. military – this includes combat situations. This could save the Department of Veterans up to six billion dollars, spent on the treatment smoking-caused diseases.

Only a few high-ranking officers speak out against the idea. “When you’re tired and you’ve been going days on end with minimum sleep, and you are not getting the proper meals on time, that hit of tobacco can make a difference,” retired General Russel Honore explained on CNN.

The campaigns against smoking – like most prohibition campaigns – are becoming samples of bigotry, and this is a particularly striking example. Apparently, the cigarette prohibitionists fear, more boys than necessary will be K.I.A. and spoil the statistics. Cracks aside: These daughters and sons of the American nation have been sent to foreign countries to face disaster and death – and to inflict the same on others. When facing death or mutilation, you are alone – at least as alone as when you are diagnosed with lung cancer.

If you don't quit smoking, you'll be in a world of shit.
If you don’t quit smoking, you’ll be in a world of shit.

Photo: Los Angeles Times

Soldiers are left alone in many situations. It is only fair to leave them alone when they want to lit a cigarette, too. It’s strange that the “experts” can’t see this.

One explanation for that may be that they are nerds. But there is a political aspect to this weird debate, too. Such technicalities trivialise the burden the soldiers have to bear. The bigots at home are wallowing in their virtues. Must feel great.

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Written by taide

July 13, 2009 at 8:58 pm

One Response

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  1. […] For your better Health By justrecently Experts have found that the war in Afghanistan etc is costly, but that the costs can be slashed profoundly and quickly. It only takes another Holy War, as Taide explains. […]


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