Posts Tagged ‘Iraq War’

Thank you Chance Phelps

Are we too complacent, not realizing the price of our freedom?  I watched a movie about the cost of this freedom. 

In fact, I watched the movie four times, each time with tears.  The movie is a simple look at the price of our freedom, a simple reminder of what we have, a simple thank you.

A world away, a day in Iraq, a suicide vehicle, a convoy attacked, a long drive in the middle of the night, a knock on the door, and an “I’m sorry to inform you.”

Is military desertion courageous?

Jeremy Hinzman is the most recent military deserter losing his legal battle to stay in Canada.  I read his story while visiting our son and daughter-in-law at Ft. Bragg in Fayetteville, NC; home of the Army Special Forces, the Green Beret.  There I met men and women who have clarity of thought, a code of honor, and a love of country; values so clear I immensely admire and genuinely envy them.  If you want to meet a real hero, just visit a military base.  Their moral fiber is unwavering, giving me little tolerance for those who abandon their oath.  With this admitted bias, I would like to discuss those who desert our country. 

The United States – the world’s provider and protector

We consider ourselves a giving, caring country.  But how do we compare to other “rich” nations in our willingness to provide foreign aid?  The Paris-based Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) is a thirty-nation organization that works with countries to develop “open market economies, democratic pluralism, and respect for human rights.”  In 2003, OECD reported how much their member countries gave in foreign aid.  The United States was responsible for 35 percent of the total contributions of the thirty nations and gave more than twice that of the next biggest giver, Japan.  But, when the same foreign aid data was presented as a percentage of the country’s gross national income; the United States did not fare as well, ranking in the lower third of the world’s richest countries, giving only 0.15 percent of our gross national income compared to the most generous country, Norway, that gave 0.92 percent, followed by Denmark that gave 0.84 percent. 

Remembering Pfc. Joseph Dwyer

Our country has a large group of people who hope we never go to war. No, they are not the people disparaging our military; rather, they are our military personnel. Our military is full of reluctant warriors who understand better than anyone the travesty of war. They know the price to be paid; but, unlike the rest of us, they are willing to pay it. They know the parents who will lose sons and daughters. They know the husbands and wives who will lose spouses. They know the children who will lose fathers and mothers. They know the reality of war the rest of us watch from a safe distance.

When does dissent become treason?

The first amendment of the Bill of Rights states “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”  We can openly complain about our government.  We can peacefully demonstrate against our government.  But are there any limits to dissent?  Is there a line we should not cross? Is there a point that dissent becomes un-American or even treasonous?  In the last few weeks we have seen examples of un-American behavior and potentially treasonous behavior.

U.S. must regain its resolve to defeat terrorism

Listening to our political leaders discuss Iraq and terrorism, I hear little discussion with real solutions. 

We must first separate the discussion of the war in Iraq from the discussion of terrorism, focusing on developing goals for both.  Rather than developing goals, our politicians’ discussions revolve around mandating deadlines, controlling troop numbers, and the like.  These are not goals but military management issues.  Our leaders need to focus on developing a well-defined goal that when reached, will allow our troops to come home.  How can we decide if it is time to withdraw from Iraq if we still have not determined what we want to accomplish before departing?