“If you look at what’s happened over the last eight weeks and compare that really to what’s happened over the past eight years, you’ll see there’s a tremendous difference, tremendous difference,” Trump told reporters after the military unleashed [the 22,000 pound “Mother of All Bombs”] on a largely unpopulated region of the Afghan wilderness. “This was another very, very successful mission.”
Washington Post, April 14, 2017
DISCLAIMER: THIS STORY WAS TOLD TO ME BY AN OLD FRIEND. I WAS NOT INVOLVED. IT REMINDS ME OF RECENT EVENTS—SERIOUSLY.
It was a hot summer night in a Western, sagebrush-covered desert. Another weekend gathering of “the guys,” high school boys, drinking beer away from the attention of parents and police.
This was the Pre-Game-Boy Era, when testosterone-infected young men competed with cars, guns, beer—and things that go “BOOM!”
On this particular night, around a blazing fire built in a remote clearing that had for years been the regular “drinking spot,” testosterone needles jumped when one of the guys showed up with his dad’s new Oldsmobile and a stick of dynamite.
DISCLAIMER: I DO NOT CONDONE WHAT HAPPENED NEXT.
One genius among the young, beery group suggested connecting the dynamite to a jackrabbit—the desert was full of them—and went to his pickup for a roll of duct tape. The rest of the guys eagerly went looking for a jackrabbit.
After surrounding and grabbing a stringy male, the boys strapped the red stick to its back, like a rocket pack, and lit the fuse. The poor panic-stricken animal jetted away into the dry sagebrush darkness, trailing the sparks of the burning fuse.
The group howled in delight and the kid with dad’s new car felt proud of his accomplishment—manly and more accepted by his peers for this extraordinary, albeit impetuous and inhumane, show of manhood.
Everyone leaned forward, in anticipation of the blast. But then–“HOLY S#%T!”–the jackrabbit suddenly veered back, out of the sagebrush, toward the group. Everyone screamed and ran for cover.
The rabbit found cover too, moments before the blast—under dad’s new Oldsmobile.
LESSON: BLOWING THINGS UP IN DESERTS (OR MOUNTAINS) CAN HAVE UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES. IMPETUOSITY AND SHOWMANSHIP, WITHOUT A STRATEGY, ARE DANGEROUS.