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July 24, 2014

Talking and Spending Without Relief

Harry M. Covert

For the first time in a few days I wasn’t awakened in the early morning hours at 2:30, 2:45 and 3 o’clock by the missile alerts from the latest iPhone APP. I don’t know what APP stands for but it works, at least until the battery ran out of juice.


I figured that finally the bombings from Gaza to Israel had stopped and all was well in that part of the world. I certainly was wrong this time. The phone was simply dead and the adaptor cord wouldn’t recharge.


Once the computer technicians discovered cracker crumbs had somehow plugged up the connection and the charge increased, the alerts resumed much to my chagrin. The situation grows more serious every hour.


What really startles me is, with the exception of the cable news shows, there is no public outcry about the Arab-Israeli war or the Ukraine situation. Maybe the population is becoming somewhat isolationist again? Obviously there is lots of war weariness out there. That’s understandable.


So, dealing with the daytime heat, I put my nose into an honest-to-goodness paper book and then consulted the electronic reader. For a short while I resorted to the days of yesteryear and wondered what some leaders had to say about world affairs. I didn’t include Mr. Clinton.


I was reminded of a comment from a retired Lynchburg, VA., sheriff, Lawrence Simpson: “Always remember when violators and criminals start talking, they’re lying.”


Perhaps this is somewhat cynical, but it holds true with world leaders, especially those who just can’t stand playing second and third fiddle to Americans.


Sir Winston Churchill didn’t ignore the Russians 70 years ago. “I cannot forecast to you the action of Russia. It is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma: but perhaps there is a key. That key is Russian national interest.”


He must have considered Vladimir Putin, who seems to have bluffed and rebuffed his way these days and holds Europeans hostage.


Some people use to call Joe Stalin “Uncle Joe.” No one would want an uncle like him, one of the world’s most notorious killers and of his own people.


He said, “One death is a tragedy; one million is a statistic.” To that, he added, “Death is the solution to all problems. No man – no problem.”


In Frederick County, the State of Maryland and the rest of the country and free world, the wars under way are exactly that, wars. They are wars of good versus evil. The same holds true of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and those of Korea and Vietnam.


No amount of sweetness and light is going to change the horrendous events going on in Israel and Ukraine. It’s that simple.


One of my prized possessions is a cross-stitched framed wall hanging always in my office:


“When all else fails, grab the problem by the throat.”


It always seems to be the American role to take the lead. Something is amiss today. It is nice to talk, but missiles and shootings continue big time, killing and destroying, and, dollars keep floating to the world trouble spots. Talking and spending, the soul of the USofA?


Let’s recall the words of President Ronald Reagan, “When you can't make them see the light, make them feel the heat." Can somebody flying out of Maryland’s Joint Base Andrews pay attention, PLEASE?


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