On Monday I vented. I wrote as things came into my head and out of my fingers unfiltered. Okay, a few points:

1) The people in the intellegence community who are on the ground gathering facts are soldiers. The people who use the intel to create a situation or find a loophole in a treaty so an airbase can be used are the problem. What they “interpret” will have a direct effect on fighting men and women. They’re not going. Somebody else dies because they saw a threat and thought it would be a good idea to intervene.

2) The military should not be a last resort cure for unemployment. We need the career soldiers to be well-paid, given the best equipment and be sent into harm’s way with all due diligence.

3) The politicos who oversee the military should not be beholden to companies who arm it. If you have a submarine base in your state and companies that supply it are in your district doesn’t mean you have to give them anything they want.

4) The people who put those people in charge should take the time to find out why we are going to send people to be killed. Sometimes it just ain’t worth it.

5) We can’t live up to Teddy Roosevelt’s view of America as the world’s policeman. Somtimes you just got to let go. A lot of “democratic” movements are just a lead-up to another ruler who just discovered God told him to save his country, even if it means killing all of his opponents. Let Russia and China experience the heartbreak of nurturing a country only to find out they’re just another ungrateful whelp.

The story:

Ronald Fox spent the day watching television and finalizing his plan. As he sat he began to see the whole picture. He was a small piece in a big machine. He had to think clearly to survive in this system. He waited. When the evening meds came around Ronald Fox let the pill slip between his cheek and gum. When he walked back to his room he spit the pill into his hand and wiped it dry. He tucked it into a corner of his nightstand. He wasn’t sure what he would do with it. He spent the time until lights out wondering if he would fall asleep. It was an idle thought but it stuck. By bedtime Ronald Fox had completely forgotten about how he was going to sleep and began to think about the caretakers. If they checked and found the pill? If he was awake all night? If someone saw him dispose of the pill? These thoughts swirled around his brain. When the orderlies cleared the television room he went back to his room he felt the eyes of the staff follow him. He crawled into bed. In the dark, he stared at the ceiling, a ray of light from the nurses station leaving a white triangle. He stared at it. He tossed and tried to be comfortable.

It was morning. The light through the windows highlighted the pale green walls. Ronald Fox sat up in bed. He looked around and tried to remember what had been bothering him the day before. He went into the hall and followed the crowd to the nurses station. He took his meds and hid the pill. Back in his room he hid the pill in his drawer next to yesterday’s. He showered, shaved and went to breakfast. The eggs and sausage were just the way his mother made them. He drank two cups of coffee. He had a morning session with the therapist. The usual questions and answers, a half hour wasted. When he was called he walked into the office. The therapist had a look about him. He knew something. Ronald Fox couldn’t penetrate the mask that hid the man’s real face. The questions came. They probed deeper than he expected. He gave up nothing.

The afternoon meds disappeared with the others. A patient known as Walder asked him to be a fourth in a gin game. Ronald Fox played the best he could enduring gossip about the staff and other patients. The three other players talked as if he wasn’t there. He watched them. They were lulling him into a sense of complacency. He was on guard. He laughed at their jokes and pretended to be interested in conjecture about a new nurse. She didn’t interest him. The game lasted until supper. The food was extreme. It exploded in his mouth. When he finished, he was satisfied. He begged off another gin game and spent time watching the women on television. They were smiling at him. He knew it.