Monday, September 17, 2012

Pulling Out

It's simple. To every nation in which we have an embassy and soldiers stationed, whose people have expressed that they don't want us there --- LEAVE! State it simply as well: "We understand that an angry mob does not mean that you as a nation hate us, but we cannot allow our people to remain at risk. Therefore we are closing our embassy there and removing our soldiers as well, effective immediately, and we are suspending all aid to you. Have a nice day." I know this will not happen. I see it on the walls, written boldly. Education in America has gone from great to mediocre to terrible, and we all know that an uninformed population is easier to control, and to indoctrinate. An ignorant population that is also under financial pressure is easier to steer in any direction the leaders of their country want. My fear is that instead of pulling out we are more likely to go in. We are angry and incited, with more justiciation than the angry mobs have for their murder of American citizens on their soil. Some of us will want to kick their butts overseas. With the most powerful army in the history of the world and an increasingly gingoistic sentiment growing on our home soil, we run the risk of becoming a major aggressor, not unlike Germany in the 1930's. Beware. The other element is always money. Follow the money! Who exactly would benefit if the United States successfully waged wars throughout the Middle East and ultimately took control of every oil field there? Would such people be cold enough to find an indirect way to incite such wars, even at the expense of their own citizenry? Conspiracy theorists would havce a field day while Corporate America would see its coffers grow and grow. Anyone who cannot see that, rights and freedoms aside, the very very powerful still control the rest of us, is naive. Anyone who thinks that killing another human will solve ANYTHING is flat out stupid.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Embassy Attacks

Upon our return from Yellowstone National Park we discovered the terrible news that American citizens have been killed in acts of violence directed against our embassy in Libya, and that attacks have been made against the embassy in Yemen as well. The attacks seem to be ignited by an anti-Muslim video posted on YouTube. We are learning more about the man allegedly behind the video, while reeling from an attack that occurred on the eleventh anniversary of 9/11.

None of it is good, or easy, or easily resolved.

The tragedy of the embassy attacks goes deeper than most of us will want to contemplate. A stupid and disrespectful act apparently has triggered an equally stupid and ultimately deadly response. It's like a forest fire we thought was under control, but lies in wait, smoldering in a deep corner of the forest, ready to re-ignite when the perfect conditions are met.

In America we can say what we want, for the most part. Common sense might dictate caution, and good manners might suggest gentleness, even an attempt to be understanding, but neither are laws of behavior.

Ironically, if what we are learning about the man behind the video is true, his own rights to free speech have already been curtailed by previous criminal actions, and his act of expression may in fact be illegal in his own country. Yet no one has taken into account that the voice of one does not reflect the voice of the many, only the right to speak even when the message is insulting or inflammatory.

Freedom of speech unfortunately allows ignorance and intolerance to mouth off. The video that allegedly inflamed the violent protests in foreign countries whose people look at things through different eyes than we do, also reinforces the image of America held in much of the Middle East. The response reinforces the image of radical Islam held by many here. Which is worse? The insult, or the response?

All I know is that the death by violence of one innocent goes against the teaching for all Children of the Book, be they Jewish, Christian or Muslim. But that has never stopped us from ignoring the Word, or using the Word against its own intended meaning, and therein lies our greatest tragedy and our universal shame.