By now we're all familiar with the video showing Kurds hurling potatoes at departing U.S. troops in northern Syria. That plastic bin of potatoes next to them struck me as surreal when the next news clip shows depressed refugees huddling in refugee camps.
It struck me as completely incongruous that these folks who were supposedly getting ready to be overrun by Turkish military forces and facing dislocation by up to 1 million souls would be taking food and throwing it away.
In trying to make sense of it, here are the options as far as I can tell:
1. They aren't thinking about tomorrow. If I were getting read to be forcefully removed from my home, I'd be hoarding stuff and prepping. I sure wouldn't be throwing food at armored personnel carriers.
2. They have plenty of food. So much of what you see and read is agenda-driven that I don't trust much of anything anymore. Last week I taught a day of a permaculture course and one of the attendees had spent years working for PG&E, the California utility now blacking out places to keep from starting fires. She said the utility had tried desperately for years to maintain their lines (100,000 miles) but environmentalists blocked all their efforts and through wrong-headed regulations created the catastrophe they have now. So I don't feel sorry for California burning. On a recent farm tour, I had a lady from Brazil and asked her about the Amazon. All hype, she said. All to smear the Trump-like new president. So who knows what's actually going on in Syria?
3. They're so mad they're acting foolishly. People can get that angry, for sure, but you'd think if they were that angry they'd be throwing stones or something. Potatoes? How about tomatoes? At least they splater.
4. They're too uncreative to throw something more substantial, like stones. Which leads me to think it's all a put-on, some stunt contrived to garner support, like a photo op, a dramatic show.
None of these really satisfies, but I can tell you it is jarring to see people throwing food in a photo at the top of the page, and then at the bottom of the page the same people sitting in squalor in a refugee camp saying all is hopeless. Somehow it doesn't compute.
What am I missing?