Sometimes I wish I cared about things a little bit less. I think about that a lot when I have to listen to giant-sized portions of political rhetoric, which is fairly prominent around this time of year, especially what with the Presidential race and all.
I never thought of myself as politically-minded prior to fairly recently. And I still can’t think of many things I dislike more than talking about politics. But with that said, I still want the best for my country, because I love it. I just think some of the people that live here get a little confused sometimes. All I’m really hearing about this current election is “change,” and “end the war.” All that. OK, what change? And sure, I’d love to end the war, and bring the troops home. But at what cost? Look what happened in Somalia in the early 1990’s. We sent in the Marines, and they did their job. People ate, and lived, and some small measure of order was restored. Yet right after they were pulled out, the country fell once again into disorder, and Mohammed Farah Aidid started slaughtering and starving his own people to further his own agenda. So we sent in the Rangers to restore order yet again, but we did not allow them to do what needed to be done. Instead, we hamstrung them with rules of engament, and a bunch of them died. But what if we’d maintained a Marine presence for a little longer? What if there had not been such ridiculous rules? What if we’d better trained the UN troops that were there to do things like, oh, fight (but don’t even get me started on the darn United Nations).
Anyway, what happened is that the Marines were yanked out, and all heck broke loose. Still is. Mogadishu is the wild west (and does Hollywood even think about what would happen in Darfur if we pulled the troops from Iraq or Afghanistan and sent them there? Oh, they’d stay for a while, and then leave. And the crap would hit the fan. And the cycle would begin again…)
People argue quite fervently that the soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan serve no purpose other than dying for something that isn’t worthwhile, and fighting for a cause that has no direct consequence in the U.S. Well, I’m sure the soldiers don’t feel that way, or at least most of them. And the last time I checked, we still had a volunteer armed forces. We do not have a despot at the helm, conscripting young men and women to exact personal vengeance, or fatten his personal coffers (like Aidid in Somalia).
And what about the Iraqi people? The men I’ve talked do that have done tours in the gulf report an entirely different story than the liberal minded media would have all of us know. These people do not think we’re there for no reason. And who am I to question someone’s willingness to go across several oceans to ensure my way of life is protected?
So what if Saddam Hussein did not personally fly one of the planes into the World Trade Center. All I know is that since our military has been enforcing peace through strength, there hasn’t been another attack on American soil.
Unless, of course, you count the ones by ultra-left organizations such as the reprehensible “Code Pink.” These people are disgusting, and demean our armed forces by doing things like vandalizing recruiting centers, to name but one. It makes me sick, but it also makes me angry.
These folks ignore the fact that the sole reason they have the legal and protected right to engage in that very act is because our armed forces have given it to them. What shall we do? Huddle in our nice warm country and wait for the war to come to us? It already has.
and then you see so many celebrities pitching fits about Darfur. Yes, that’s a terrible situation. Yes, it’s genocide. Yes, it should stop. But does that fact make what was (and is) happening in Iraq and Afghanistan any less horrible? Is murder and repression different in other parts of the world? More acceptable in some places than others because it occurs in less dramatic numbers over a longer period of time, or does not involve as much starvation?
Anyway, the short version is that I care about my country. And if you do, too, then you need to do what you can. What you can do is vote, and you can ask questions of the people that are running the country. They’re answerable. Nothing wrong with asking questions.
But so much of the things you see happening now, both in the media and in the country at large, are not just people asking questions. It’s attacking people that are willingly going into harm’s way on our behalf. It politicians crying out for change, but not backing up their outcry with a specific solution. It’s misguided and half-assed judgements made based on parroting another’s opinion.
My God, I could go on for hours. Just look into what’s going on, is all I’m saying. Don’t take anyone’s word for anything. Form your own opinion. Don’t let your life be ran solely according to party lines. Do the best you can for yourself and your country.
to be continued….