Sunday, August 14, 2005

What? Me Lie....

(This is in a response to a comment posted over at The Door Magazine Chat Closet...>

Conspiracy theories aside, I still have problems with using the words, "another man's lies" when I comes to George W. Bush and his Administration.

Regardless of how we got into the current war we are involved in, the terroists attacks on American's and American Embassies in the 90's and coming to ultimate affront known as 9/11, we live in a different world.

We are no longer the sleeping giant who was awoken. We weren't slumber as a nation. I think we were emasculated by bowing to much of what can be called out and out hatred of the American way of life. People who succeed, whether on the backs of others or through diligent work, are often seen in a negative light. I think this has to do with people wanting a hand out, not a hand up.

I certainly see that in my life. There are days when I despise my wealthy friends their wealth. Most of them earned it. I rail at God for not granting me the opportunities to succeed knowing full well that I have squandered many such opportunities though fear.

But in our country, our soldiers volunteer. No one puts a gun to their head and makes them sign. In High School, I took the ASVAB (Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery). I got the 2nd highest score in the nation. (I cheated...kept working after "time" was called on each segment of the test.) The "reward" for my cheating? I was contacted by recruiters for a month. The Army and Navy were incredibly insistent. Calling on me a couple times a week. If I wasn't so caught up in teenage rebellion against authority, I might have succumbed to the high pressure sales job. (In hindsight, I kind of wished I'd gone the military route, might have made a dent in my ADD and made me a different man.)

I can understand a parents anguish when their child dies in a war that isn't as defined as, say, WWII. It's my opinion that longing for a "clean" war like WWII is useless. We may never have a war like that ever again. The world climate is changing. The gloves are off and rules don't matter. Honor on the battlefield is a notion forgotten.

It also galls me that people on both sides of the issue will use a parents grief to further a political agenda instead of helping to ease the parents pain. Instead of trying to bring closure, comfort and acceptance, they are wrangled into so kind of pseudo-political, "I-feel-your-pain", protest. What a waste of compassion. What a diservice those people do.

War is hell. It will never be clean, pretty or sanitary. Even smart bombs leave death and destruction behind. There will always be one group of people who hate another group and will convince themselves that violence is the only solution. Just ask Hamas. They claim the withdrawl of Israeli's from the Gaza strip was brought about not by negotiation but by the violence of terrorism.

Maybe it's true. I doubt it. But even though, they are not happy with any concession. They will only be happy with a Palestinian Nation. And not just a Palestinian Nation but the caveat of "..with Jerusalem as its Capital" serves only to stir the already roiling pot.

Do I think our young men and women are giving up their lives for a lie? No. Do I think the Bush Administration made decisions based on weak information? Sure. Do I think there is a bit of tit-for-tat in the invasion of Iraq? Sure. Was it the deciding factor? No. Was our invasion of Afghanistan justified? Hell yes.

Are there easy answers for grieveing families? No. Will there ever be? I don't know. Only time and history will tell.

My two cents. Take it for what it's worth.


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