June 21, 2014
Obvious it is that the most read columns are political, one party chastising another - tearing the other down seems the normative path, and all too infrequently building up the common good for the people by using constructive proposals. Most likely it’s that critical political opinions, for the most part assumptions, seem to calm down those that are angry and presumptive - much like punching a wall when all else has seemed to fail.
This country was not founded on political principles that were intended to ensure both power and wealth. This government was founded on this basic premise: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.” No matter how angry one is with government - there is no doubt the each party has had both “good” and “bad” results while in office - perhaps better stated, satisfying and disappointing.
In my lifetime, I have witnessed the end of the war that was to end all wars, the war in Korea, the sad war in Vietnam, and for over 10 years the unjustified and deadly wars in the Middle East. I listened to presidents from Eisenhower to Obama - justifying war as protective, necessary, and setting people and nations free. I believe our founding fathers would be sick given the number of our sons and daughters sacrificed - those who died did so with honor, they believed the cause was “just.” Only History knows the truth - we never listen to her voice or the truth she tells.
There is no greater loss than the death of a loved one; over 4,480 of our beloved were sacrificed in the useless attempt of bringing freedom and democracy to Iraq, peace to the Middle East. We were not fighting a government, nor were we fighting an enemy educated and literate - we were and are fighting fanatics embraced by hate. History continues to scream at the top of her lungs, “there will never be peace - until fanatics embrace hope, faith, and above all love.” Listen to history cry - for she knows the truth, when will we listen?
Over the past 11 years, we have spent hundreds of billions on the Middle East wars. Feeding those in power, training those who were “forced” to train, and equipping armed forces unwilling to fight and sacrifice for their country - what so many of our beloved did believing it was for theirs. It’s been three weeks now, yet another fanatical group is murdering in the name of God. Iraqi soldiers are stripping off American clothing, abandoning their people, and in essence giving the fanatics billions in American supplied weapons.
Now we are considering providing military support in an attempt to do what history cries out can’t be done. What we will do in a useless attempt to stop these fanatics is kill many of them, many innocent - and deepen the hate we have fostered for over 11 years? Langston Hughes has it right when he whispers, “We do not care - that much is clear. Not enough of us care anywhere. We are not wise - for that reason, Mankind dies. To think is much against the will. Better - and easier - to kill.” As I close my eyes this night - how I wish he was wrong.