Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Exactly who does this government 'represent?'

Senator John McCain found a unique way to celebrate Memorial Day: visiting with al-Qaeda-affiliated insurgents in Syria to discuss ways to get the U.S. involved in yet another Middle East quagmire.

Perhaps he thinks we don't have enough war dead to remember already?

There are allegations that one or both sides in the Syrian civil war have employed chemical weapons.  Various hawks like McCain may try to use these allegations to justify a U.S.-imposed 'no-fly zone,' similar to the aerial occupation we maintained over Iraq from 1991-2003.  The rest of the world is onto this game, however, and even that kind of effort isn't likely to be as antiseptic and risk-free as our politicos would have us believe.

So before we go rushing in to yet another place where even fools should fear to tread, can we ask a simple question of our leaders:

                       What, exactly, do we hope to accomplish by butting in?

Yesterday Americans rightly commemorated the sacrifices of hundreds of thousands of their countrymen whose lives were cut short in service to their nation.  Yet far too few asked whether those sacrifices truly accomplished anything.  We're constantly reminded of those who "died to maintain our freedom."  Freedom from what, exactly?  From politically-motivated IRS audits?  From surveillance of journalists critical of the government?  From government seizure of private property for commercial benefit? 

Leaving aside the nuclear chess game of the Cold War, the only real existential threat to our freedom since 1945 has been our own government.  The decision to use military power in Korea, Vietnam, Grenada, Panama, Iraq (x2), the Balkaans, Somalia, and Libya were all matters of choice, not necessity.  And while it was appropriate to deal with the Taliban regime in Afghanistan after 9/11, it was not inevitable that the mission had to involve years of occupation.  Indeed, it can be strongly argued this was a counterproductive course of action, compared to ousting the regime in concert with their domestic opposition, then leaving while loudly reserving the right to do so again in the future should any further attacks be traced back there.

We call ourselves the 'land of the free and the home of the brave,' but it seems somewhere we took a detour and became the 'land of the complacent and home of the foolish bravado.'  In our quixotic quest to 'remake the world in our image,' we have, in fact, lost much of what distinguished us from the rest of the world.  This is why our Senators and 'Representatives' seem to have more in common with their foreign counterparts than they do with the desires of those they supposedly represent.  How else to explain the many foreign handouts and giveaways at a time when our own economic house is in such disarray?

It's time for the 'mother of all house cleanings.'  More thoughts on that to come in the days ahead...

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