I’ve decided to make this blog something of a vent as I see America headed for disaster in so many ways but with the power to change course very rapidly that is right for the future of this country. I am relatively young so I think to the future as it seems prior generations tended to do. It seems that now we often think no further than our eyes can see as Americans are reaching record deficits both in their personal lives and in their government.
I’d like to talk briefly about “Honor” as this seems to be the new hot topic in the Republican debates. Ron Paul, who is more libertarian than anti-war Republican, is the only Republican candidate to suggest that we should withdraw our troops and secondarily that the American presence and affairs in the Middle East cause “blowback” or resentment towards the US. When he makes this suggestion, a firestorm of debate is unleashed between the Republican candidates. True debate is strength in democracy and these candidates are otherwise unified with little distinction other than name and Reputation. In the last debate, it seemed as though many opposing candidates used the word “Honor” with odd frequency to describe our current course of action in Iraq and implying dishonor upon withdrawal.
I’m not going to argue this point one way or another however I would like to see one thing happen that used to happen in the Vietnam War days. The media used to be heavily entrenched in Vietnam exposing problems and generally the horrors of war often. We don’t see that today. We don’t see the horrors at all in the media. What we see are politicians arguing, often defamed because of affairs in their personal lives, over the fate of these soldiers with whom we have a total disconnection. The Vietnam War was the first and thus far only war to truly bring the harsh realities and plant them right before our eyes. I believe that every news channel should do what the PBS News Hour does at the end of each broadcast. They take a moment of silence to honor those men and women who died fighting each day in Iraq and Afghanistan while showing us images of those soldiers with their names. Apparently shirts with the names of killed soldiers have been banned because it bothers people, in spite of our ailing first amendment rights (USA Today Link). There are frequent articles about soldiers coming home to inadequate medical care and not enough money to make ends meet (NY Times Link). The “Honor” that I would like to see from the media and politicians involves at LEAST a moment of silence for those soldiers killed in Iraq and at LEAST sufficient medical and financial care for those soldiers who have been wounded in Iraq. Whether you agree with the war or not, these Americans are fighting for us and they deserve more than political rhetoric from us.