Obama seeks Congressional approval for Syria strike.
By Mark W. Danielson
Most of this is a re-post. At a time when our President seeks to involve the U.S. in yet another war, it seems appropriate that some of us make some noise. Bear in mind that we cannot right all of the wrongs in this world, that no one else is interested in becoming involved in the Syrian mess, that this part of the world does not respect us, nor will be better off because of us, or that we have the highest deficit in our nation's history because we pay everyone off and start wars where we have no business. With this in mind, please take a brief moment to reflect on what I previously posted and ask yourself why are we still "over there."
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The movie, Across the Universe, stirred thoughts about our military’s involvement in Vietnam and its current deployment to Iraq. This movie accurately portrays life during the 60s and early 70s when thousands of young soldiers were dying for a cause that few believed in. This war split our country apart in much the same manner as the Civil War of a century before. During high school, I worked in downtown Berkeley, California, where protests frequently turned violent. Eventually, National Guardsmen were situated on street corners while helicopters flew overhead spraying tear gas on unruly mobs. Across the Universe vividly brought back those memories, and that is good, for we should never forget this turbulent period.
As a retired fighter pilot fortunate enough not to have dropped bombs in harms way, I compare Vietnam with our war in Iraq. The draft may have ended after Vietnam, but that didn’t prevent thousands of volunteers from defending our country. Every day, volunteer soldiers are giving their lives so ours can continue uninterrupted. While time has made the Iraq War as unpopular as Vietnam, few people ever mention it. I can only come up with two reasons why Americans are so indifferent. First, it appears many believe those soldiers who died did so voluntarily. Second, our populace is too self-absorbed to care about overseas matters.
As an international airline pilot, I see the world as few do. I find the Internet a valuable tool, but it rarely portrays events accurately. People would rather base their opinions on what the media portrays than seek the facts. US newspapers gloss over world affairs while international newspapers devote entire sections to international issues.
Sadly, our government has learned little about foreign policy since the Vietnam War. Even worse, too many countries call upon the US for aid and then later blame our government for their woes. No doubt, the US has made many serious foreign policy blunders since 1973, but if the United Nations had any clout, those errors would have been minimized.
If people wish to make noise about something, then question what the United Nations is doing to resolve the conflicts in Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the numerous African countries in dire straights. The United States cannot and should not be the World’s police force. If our civilization is to survive, then every country must become involved in the process of spreading peace across the universe.