#1070 – Dick Bernard: Bombing the Hospital in Afghanistan. Who's at fault about the killings in Roseburg, Oregon…?
If you watch the news at all, it is not necessary to define the very recent topics in the subject line, at least in the terms that they have been reported, and your personal feelings about them.
In my opinion, both give we Americans an opportunity to take stock of ourselves: how each and every one of us fit into construction of our image as a country.
Of course, the simple narrative is to blame somebody else. We know how this goes. We have lots of practice. Left, right, center, it is virtually never ourselves to blame: it is somebody else, most always one person. “Obama” bombed that hospital, some would say. That gun-obsessed mother of the gun-crazed son who killed the students at the Roseburg Community College is now the target.
Tomorrow it will be something else, local, regional, national, international. “Whose fault? Not mine! He (or she) is to blame.” Never us as a nation of individual citizens.
For me, regarding the endless war in which we find ourselves mired, most recently the tragedy at the Doctors Without Borders Hospital in Afghanistan, Day One was not 9-11-01, but it came soon after, in early October, 2001, when the decision was made to bomb Afghanistan (though the real objective was, we learned later, Iraq).
I keep few newspaper clippings, and refer back to these infrequently, but here is the one that I kept the day after the bombs began to fall on Afghanistan in early October, 2001:Afghanistan Oct 7 2001001
Just read the article, and put yourself in it, then, and since then, to today. How would you have answered those survey questions then? Why? How would you, now?
What politician of any party could have been anti-war then, or indeed, today? It would have been political suicide for almost 100% of the politicians, then. Even today, it is high risk to actively advocate for peace.
We are a war-sodden culture: war is our national tradition. And it is killing us.
As for the gun issue, the polling data seems to favor doing something about unrestricted “firearms in every pocket, makes no difference who has them or where”. We apparently don’t buy the unrestricted “freedom” mantra. Still the gun culture prevails. For a politician to be for gun regulation of any kind is a guarantee of political assassination by the likes of the National Rifle Association. And their “target practice” has been very effective.
Unfortunately, “we, the people”, every one of us, assure, by our inaction, that our elected representatives will do nothing to stop the insanity in which we find ourselves with guns.
Every one of us have good reasons (in our mind) why we don’t do anything to change the course.
That Mom in Roseburg, Oregon, like that Mom in Newtown CT – the mother of the serial killer of elementary school children there – might be complicit in the crime of her son, but she is less guilty than the entire body politic who allow this insanity to continue.
We are the ones who need to be indicted.
Till we act, as individuals, the gun industry and those who exploit the fear-obsessed to move the “war as the answer to all our ills” narrative will continue to rule the roost.
Fear, after all, sells.
We are a good country, filled with very good people – just look at your own self, and the vast majority of your friends and neighbors in your town.
But we continue to fail, by our inaction. It is our inaction at home that assures our bad image abroad.
It’s up to us, not to anybody else to change our countries direction on War and Guns and so many other issues. We cannot delegate this responsibility to someone else.
Until each of us act, minority rules.
Some useful resources:
On guns: The Brady Campaign and Americans for Responsible Solutions are good, credible sources deserving your attention and support.
On policy, just read that short article about American attitudes in early October, 2001. Politics is People, and every person counts.
Personally, my favorite daily source of a summary of national and international current events is Just Above Sunset, an indefatigable blogger in Los Angeles. It’s a long read, but a great summary of what’s going on six days a week. Check it out. Todays, “Whistling Past”, is about the Afghanistan quagmire. Here. Yesterday’s, “Only in America”, is about guns.
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