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As Long as We Remember...

January 16, 2003

To War Or Not To War

Bethany Stevenson

Tuesday morning's Good Morning America tickler stories included reports from England and Germany of general population opinions against helping the United States in a war with Iraq. Closer to home, protesters stand outside Fort Detrick's gates, and signs are hung willy-nilly in town resembling the recent political election.

The decision as to whether or not support the steadily upcoming and, no doubt, unavoidable war is more than a quick answer of yes or no.

Peace is the best answer. If humans were more perfect, if we were not greedy, jealous, lustful, arrogant, and selfish, peace would flow naturally through our societies. But that "if" seems so far away. All the self help books that are sold: books on improving ourselves and our relationships with others and books that teach us to focus on our priorities of family and relationships, millions to be sure, have not even put a dent in changing millions of "ones" that the "one" could then change his part of the world. It seems hopeless, almost. But humans, especially Americans, seem to not give up hope and continue to buy those books to change their own corner of the world. It is a candle of hope that burns brightly in the darkest corner of our soul. Peace can begin there and is always the best answer.

But living in this practical world where many do not read the same self-help books, where greed, jealousy, lust, arrogance and selfishness drive people to act in ways that are not natural to the human spirit.

Now in the United States, we - as individuals and as a nation - are threatened by societies who hate us, the lives we live, the values we hold and are willing to give their own lives to destroy us.

GMA reported that last year the CIA and FBI thwarted over a thousandterrorist related attacks just in the United States, and many more overseas with the help of foreign government agencies.

When Oliver North was being interrogated during the Iran-Contra Affair, he specifically named Osama Bin Laden and Saddam Hussein as threats, not just to North specifically, but also the U. S. and other nations of the world. He was scared. He had seen the power they command, both in military supplies and in the hearts of their followers.

Every day citizens of the U. S., Fredericktonians specifically, wake up in their cozy bedrooms, dress for a boring day at work, eat a breakfast that many third world children would fight to the death for, go to work where a half-hearted attempt is made to fulfill their duties to their employer to receive a wage that is mostly spent on recreational activities, then fight traffic to get to a home that would be considered a mansion in many parts of the world, and plop down on the couch to watch their favorite TVprogram.

Without a grateful thought for those who provided this life of ease and freedom to them, they rest up to do the same the next day.

There is a reason why so many people hate us: it is because we have fought for and attained a life of ease and luxury, wealth and security.The "have nots," so to speak, are rebelling against the "haves." Of course, it is a lot more complicated than that, but that's what it boils down to.

So the question arises, then, do we fight them? We all know the U. S. has multiple times over capacities of soldiers, equipment, techniques, and ammunition. Do we just let loose and destroy them? We haven't done it yet, although, after September 11th, there was more than a majority of Americans who wanted that to happen.

The embers of those burning buildings have died, as has the passion to destroy the perpetrator(s). But the hatred of "them" towards "us" has grown, the threats of terrorism have grown, the planning of attacks has increased.

Even though the typical American will sit down to watch the new episode of "Friends" tonight without a care for their safety or for the soldiers stationed all over the world who are prepared at a moment's notice to give their lives for the freedom of the United States, there are people in North Korea, Afghanistan, and Iraq who are contemplating their next move to threaten or kill Americans.

The typical American knows so little of what is really going on in the hearts of conspiring men and women around the world that they cannot make the judgment of whether to go to war or not.

It is true, we should not be the aggressor.

It is true, we cannot fight everybody's battles for them.

It is true, we are more powerful than anyone who is currently or may in the future threaten us.

But it is also true that I want the Armed Forces that have been created by the Constitution of the United States to protect my freedom to do their best effort to protect my homeland, to put down conspirators against my country and assure me of my comfortable lifestyle.

Yes, people will die. Yes, even some of our soldiers will die. But each person makes his own choices. When one decides to become a terrorist or to support terrorism, the risk is that they will die for their beliefs.

When one decides to join the Armed Forces, they are willing to give their own lives for the freedom of family and friends.

Some would say the question is: "Are you a hawk or a dove?" Are you one who is seeking the opportunity to war or one who is protesting war?

Truly, the question is "Do you have an invisible shield around you at all times, live in a fairy-tale world, or think we might hurt someone's feelings if we go to war with them OR are you aware of the risk of peril you have by being an American and desire protection?" George, I'll take #2.

Yellow Cab
The Morning News Express with Bob Miller
The Covert Letter

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