Sunday, July 02, 2006

Happy Fourth of July - 2006

I pray that our Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement, and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom.
Yours, very sincerely and respectfully,
A. Lincoln


I had written this post a while back in response to the Haditha incident and as Independence Day comes upon us, I thought this would be a appropriate).

Rarely does a letter move one to tears and yet the ending of this letter written by Abraham Lincoln, sent to a women who was reported to have lost a number of sons in the civil war, has done just that to me. The image of "a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom," is so vivid and so noble. It brings to mind soldiers, who are pure and kind, fighting against tyranny and oppression. Appropriately than, this line is read near the end of the movie, "Saving Private Ryan." A true sense of honor is associated with the men of this greatest generation. If ever there was a war that so perfectly epitomized the fight between good and evil, it would be WWII.

Sadly, I'm not sure if this Iraq situation is so black and white. This latest incident at Haditha, another story about the dishonorable behavior exhibited by our soldiers, in the name of American democracy, I am disheartened. We are supposing to be the "good" guys, and yet these actions, belie that.

At this year's West Point graduation speech, G.W. spoke about the war on terror as being like the Cold War. I sincerely hope not. It was in the name of the Cold War, America did some very bad things, are we planning on doing those same heinous crimes again, this time in the name of fighting terror? This makes me ask -are we righteous in fighting terror with terror? If we use terror to fight terror, who exactly is the victor?

It makes me think…would our victory in WWII have smelled so sweetly if we had systematically killed parts of the American population in concentration camps? If we had subjected German soldiers to the same treatment that was doled out to our soldiers in Germany or in Japan?

As the Iraq war goes on with no end in sight and more of these incidences surfacing, I'm left depressed. Where is our victory? Is this the way we are going to eradicate terrorism so unlike the way we eradicated Hitler? What do we have to capture, sign, to be done? Where is our V-E or V-J day? What will we tell our children about this war? How will history remember it? What has happened to the noble and just principles that were canonized as truly "American" that Fourth of July, 1776?

10 Comments:

Blogger Merci said...

Occupying a country is not the way to win friends. It's bound to create more hatred of us, even without the heinous crimes committed by some of our troops. We shouldn't be there.

11:14 PM  
Blogger Melas said...

Check out the NY Times story today about the Afghan Army not wanting to go on raids with US troops anymore. Also read the op-ed about Valley Forge. All this after the Times spent the weekend defending itself against charges of treason.

4:38 PM  
Blogger Brenda said...

There's bound to be some of the same hoodlum trash in our armed services as there is on some of our streets in some of our cities. Most of our armies are volunteer, most of them volunteer for the "extra" funds. They didn't expect the 1 weekend a month and 2 weeks in summer to ever lead to a full time deployment. Sometimes we get what we pay for and noble and principles aren't part of the package. Very sad situation.

7:57 AM  
Blogger Eliyahu said...

"Where is our victory?....What will we tell our children?

you have such good questions, and no one has answers...but I believe that those noble and just principles are still evolving. Did you see E.J.Dionne's column in the Wash. Post today? Here is the end:

"Those who reject the idea of national perfection, who insist that the Founders laid out a pathway and not a destination, should thus resist defensiveness. They should embrace the creed offered in a speech to Congress in 1990 by Vaclav Havel, the Eastern European dissident who became president of the Czech Republic.

" 'As long as people are people, democracy, in the full sense of the word, will always be no more than an ideal," Havel said. "One may approach it as one would the horizon in ways that may be better or worse, but it can never be fully attained. In this sense, you, too, are merely approaching democracy.'

"That we're still trying, 230 years after we declared independence, is our national glory."

5:13 PM  
Blogger City Slicker said...

Very interesting blog
Keep it up
London's Cityslicker

8:30 AM  
Blogger Virginia Gal said...

Merci - I concur, we shouldn't be there.

P - Lord the NYT had to defend itself against treason?! Suddenly I feel like I'm back in the 1950's and Joe McCarthy is around.

Brenda - it breaks my heart to hear this is how we treat our soliders. I just don't get it? The party that is all for the soliders, why don't they take care of them? They are in power right now, they could give them pay raises....it is sickening! I can't imagine what clicked in these soliders heads to make them do what they did, only wish they didn't have to be in some God-forsaken desert in the first place.

Eliyahu - Wow those are powerful words, I think that is quite right, I have long believed humanity, at times, can be its own enemy and democracy is a perfect example.

City Slicker - thank you and welcome!

8:00 PM  
Blogger Laurie said...

There will be no "victory" in this quagmire. The only victory will come when the American people wake up out of their "American Idol" stupor and say "enough!"

10:26 AM  
Blogger JoeinVegas said...

Sorry, but we already are doing all of those heinous things, some of which have come to light and many of which, I'm sure, are still 'official secrets'.

And, thanks for still being here. Thought we lost you after that last post.

3:33 PM  
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