A primitive image. Blurred. Low resolution. Like an old memory….
I think about who he was…his expectations, his ambitions, his hopes.
I expected to die there. My ambition was to survive. My hope was to acquit myself honorably.
We are 14 months away from our next national elections. Imagine the blood and treasure we can piss away in that much time, wrangling over the future leadership and direction of America. Republicans may select one of their present contenders…or maybe not. In any case, 17 or so of the present pretenders will NOT be elected. Eight years ago, they ran John McCain and Sarah Palin. Did any of those debates question McCains temperament or competence, regarding nuclear codes? Or Sarah Palin? I don’t remember.
See, that’s the thing. America has ADD; issues, crises, accusations come and go. Benghazi. Hillary’s email accounts. The Iran treaty. Obamacare. Immigration reform. Gun legislation. States rights. Tax reform. Foreign policy. Infrastructure. Social Security. Veteran care. Military readiness. Military outsourcing. Privacy. Religious Freedom. Intelligence gathering. International alliances. Climate change. Unemployment. Education. The Citizens United Ruling. Lobbyists influence.
Few if any of these were addressed in the CNN debate. However entertaining it may have been, that was an embarrassment. Given the many pressing concerns of 2015, those three hours of pandering patty cake, viewed by less than 10% of our population should have offended anyone who takes our country and our future seriously.
I find it hard to be optimistic about the years ahead, not because I question our potential. I question our maturity and thoughtfulness. We have evolved into such a trivial, shallow, selfish mindset, nationally. And I think that only an unforeseen event of global significance has the potential to unite us in a common purpose.
That might be nuclear war, the 2nd Coming, a visitation from some other intelligence, a natural global catastrophic event, a medically incurable plague…
You tell me. What circumstances might compel us to surrender our personal passions and unite Americans in a common cause?
The magnitude of human misery is appalling; the sheer numbers of fleeing Syrian refugees are overwhelming Western Europe’s capacity to offer them sanctuary. Let’s give credit where credit is due. This human disaster can be laid at the feet of a former administration full of greed, hubris, arrogance, ignorance and American exceptionalism. I speak of people like Cheney and Rumsfeld and the most remarkably unremarkable fortunate son, George W. Bush.
During the era of Vietnam, we were mesmerized by the consequences of “the domino theory.” Many of those fears came to pass. Yet we learned nothing. Client warfare has metastasized in the Middle East. The lesson learned following the death of Tito was largely ignored: That people who live in enmity can only be ruled by someone who dominates. Tito was the most benign Communist leader of his time, yet succeeded in keeping the ethnic hatreds of Serbs and Bosnians and Croatians at bay. Once gone, they were at each other’s throats…and only partitioning (Balkanization in the actual Balkans) succeeded in quieting the warfare.
We marched into Iraq, deposed Saddam and initiated the greatest clusterfuck of modern time, giving rise to Byzantine alliances between us, Sunnis, Shiites, ISIS, and the greatest Satan of all, the Military Industrial Complex. Shit is irrevocably broken now, the genie is out of the bottle and too many selfish people have too much to gain to stand for peace.
War profiteers like Halliburton, Blackwater, KBR, CACI et al. skimmed the trillions of tax payer dollars to line their own pockets. Education, infrastructure, housing, research all became hind tit, ignored by the greed of a few, enabled by our own elected representatives. Many were bought and paid for by lobbyists for the MIC. Our Supreme Court compounded the felony by allowing even more money into our political process.
We have well and truly sold our cow for magic beans. I fear that when realities are so very distorted, reason and decency give way to Service to Self. Mark these times. History is not always ancient; it is happening in your lifetime, before your eyes. Who will clean this stable?