Posts Tagged ‘Syria’

There’s No Excuse for Limiting 9/11 to Hero Worship

Sunday, September 8th, 2013

Are 9-11 Remembrance Festivals really latent Islamophobia picnics?

Those that serve only to indoctrinate – yes.

NintendoYou’ve got your 9-11 ceremonies and your 9-11 family fun runs, silent auctions, parades, Karaoke, walkathons, crafts for the kids, food, refreshments, and for some groups, even mock CSI investigations with clues, evidence, and presumably “perps.” (I wonder what they look like at a 9-11 festival.)

You can be outraged at my questioning this stuff, but you can’t be offended by my asking why these events rarely include educational opportunities to broaden our understanding of cultures other than our own. Yes-yes, I understand it was Western culture that took a hit that morning, but number one, ours wasn’t the only culture to be irreversibly affected, and number two, not every follower of Islam is hiding Boeing 747 wiring diagrams. So what’s the excuse? Where’s the booth that explains to young people what the Koran is, and who reads it?

Of Connecticut’s Wethersfield 9-11 memorial picnic, a Richard M. Keane Foundation spokesperson told a local paper, “It’s a nice family evening, and a time to remember in a positive way. It’s a looking-for-the-light-at-the-end-of-the-tunnel kind of theme. I think it’s a great way for people to share the day and remember, but also enjoy their families.”

Absolutely. And familiar sentiments all –– the physical and emotional scars of 9-11 are indeed part of America’s social fabric. I’m just asking why it has to be limited to only those. Why can’t it also be used as a teaching tool (and an ounce of prevention)? Limiting these festivals to only “our side” and our understanding is dangerously restrictive in terms of dealing with those suspicious or distrustful of our way of life. Even from a tactical military standpoint, a soldier would question why we’re dismissing “the other guy.” Must hearts and minds always be won after America has put itself above those with whom it seeks to gain favor? (more…)

I Can’t Always Avoid U.S. Foreign Policy

Friday, August 30th, 2013

Where’s this pressure to open another theater of war coming from?

Who would actually benefit besides those in our government bought off by defense contractor lobbyists?

Who says Attack Syria_Where Excuses Go to DieAmericans like me aren’t indifferent to innocent men, women, and children being killed with chemical agents, but we’ve grown increasingly wary of the distractive properties of a constant, multi-front war. After all, between the money spent on the aforementioned contractors and the banks backing them, America itself has been ransacked and destabilized. And who’s looking out for us while we go acting abroad on behalf of others? In fact, how can the United States authentically serve as peacekeeper, lead by example, or stand up for the little guy if we’re too busy forcing this world police thing down everyone’s throats — including those of our own majority? The credibility of American might (and ethical standards) exists not because our elected leaders keep insisting on it, but because we’ve won a few; because we’ve overcome some. But now America’s foreign policy feels like we’re still pulling the trigger, but the chamber is empty.

President Obama feels strongly that America needs to “send a message” to brutes like Bashar al-Assad. Yet if we target and destroy Assad’s chemical weapons stockpiles in a “limited” and “narrow” attack that in no way demands regime change, won’t the message be: Use chemical weapons and we’ll shoot some missiles at your bunkers but not remove you from power? This kind of shock and awe sounds more like shove ‘n shoo.

If, on the other hand, Obama & Co. stick to humanitarian aid  –terrible as that may seem–  might we instead finally send the message that America won’t be baited into intervention? Won’t it signify our intention to start holding our cards closer to our chest? Might that not help us be taken even more seriously in the long term?

No?
Less isn’t more, you say?

Fine. But isn’t it smarter to avoid military engagement with Syrian Opposition Forces made up of jihadists and fighters about whom we know so little? Before you answer that, scroll down this long list of those groups who make up the opposition.

One last question: Does America represent the power of unilaterally exercised principles, or the principles of unilaterally exercised power?