One of the most powerful rights we have in our country, and one that makes us the envy of many elsewhere, is to disagree publicly with our government and not disappear unter Nacht und Nebel never to be seen or heard from, or of, again.
Saturday, the President of the United States, a man for whom I have voted twice, offered in his weekly address to the nation his best explanation, so far, on why he feels the nation he leads must take action.
Quite frankly, the blush has been off that rose for me since the Bush Administration lied about Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction, and we all jumped on the bandwagon and off the cliff lemming-like to bring 'freedom' to a portion of the world where the advanced nations are in the 17th Century, yes Saudi Arabia, I mean you, and others, like Afghanistan, are so poor and so broken and backwards they could cease to be in a blinding flash and no one not living there would notice they were gone.
I appreciate the President's concern and recognize it is both genuine and sincere when he says "We cannot turn a blind eye to images like the ones we’ve seen out of Syria."
Except over 80,000 Syrians have been murdered in a fratricidal orgy of death from March 2011 to March of 2013 by one side or the other of blood-thirsty lunatics but it's the 1,429 who died as victims of saran gas who have caused the President to lose his fear of red lines and their crossing.
Sorry, sir. We have two hundred times that number of casualties in this country going to bed hungry every night, sleeping under bridge trestles, victims of domestic abuse, substance addiction, an-in-the-crapper economy for anyone hoping to earn a living wage and two hundred other challenges we need to marshal our resources to solve. Screw the sideshows in the sandbox.
Might I suggest I, and you, have watched us create a military power so expensive to maintain that not only do we rank #1 in dollars spent on defense but we outrank the next 24 nations on that Top 25 list. We, you and I, have no idea what victory over global terrorism looks like. We know, despite the war criminal Cheney's bland assurances, that no one anywhere is throwing rose petals at us.
Better they throw whatever it is they have at one another than at us. The Hezbollah, the Al Qaeda, the Friends of Assad, the Assad-Sucks-the Big-One groups, all of them-a plague on all their houses. We cannot fix them-we should have learned that in Bosnia nearly two decades ago-if not there, then in Iraq and in Afghanistan.
We have sent the flower of a generation with more talent, spirit and energy than any cohort before them and a genuine desire to serve in the wake of the horrors of September 11, 2001, directly into the blades of the meat grinder. Without a second thought or apology and covered up all the stupidity with the usual chest-thumping patriotic pap about the glory and the good of the country.
If all these talented folks' lives are worth sacrificing then why don't we, you and me and those of us NOT halfway across the globe killing strangers, work harder to make this country worth their sacrifice and return us to the head of the table at the banquet of nations.
Yes, Sir, no Sir; three bags full, Sir. Full of what is open to speculation.