Friday, July 02, 2010

A Revoltin' Development

I think the expression was “What a revolting development this is.” Or it may have been my mother's favorite pronouncement “Smart, smart, stupid” -- which quite simply means, very smart people can make really stupid decisions. So who am I talking about? The list could go on for a long time. But let's start with the silly and move to the important.

Everyone knows that “Rolling Stone” published a piece about a well respected General or rather his team of geniuses talking down and dirty about the President and his Merry Men, some of whom I know and with whom I have worked. Just for the record, I think these great military minds were just stupid. They are career military and with all their indoctrination, they know, it is against the rules, ( a big NO NO) and also against the law, to criticize the President or the people who make policy decisions – regardless of the foolishness of the policy. It is just not done. One can assume they had some kind of death wish – or maybe, they wanted to send their message through a liberal press outlet, who they knew would print what they said, (a more conservative press may not have reported it). It was the only way they knew their comments (the journalist had access to the aides not the General), would be published. Additionally, they may have been looking for a way out (being removed from their command is certainly out), before they had to suffer the consequences they knew would result from the policies being forced upon a military, that they realized was futile.

Needless to say the General resigned (that’s bureaucratese for getting fired) and he has been replaced by another General, who will continue to keep forging ahead even though he knows we cannot win. Did we not learn anything from the Russians (or the Brits?) or are we so arrogant that we think we can do anything – including a victory in Afghanistan. If there is someone out there who understands why we are still there and can explain it in an uncomplicated sentence which doesn’t include something about the threat of terrorism, I would like to hear it. Certainly, terrorists have been foiled by an active local police force, i.e. NY, and the long term weeding out in Afghanistan. But the real threat to our national security is the money we have spent on countries which will never be “democracies” by our definition, in lieu of taking care of the problems we have at home, which include the neglect of the wounded warrior, as well as their families.

Did I say we are going from the silly to the serious? It’s not true, because it’s all ridiculous, For example, in the realm of “revolting developments” this came by e-mail today. An old friend (and registered Republican) wanted to share this. And, having been on the Board of the USO, there is too much truth to ignore it.

We need to show more sympathy for these people.
* They travel miles in the heat.
* They risk their lives crossing a border.
* They don't get paid enough wages.
* They do jobs that others won't do or are afraid to do.
* They live in crowded conditions among a people who speak a different language.
* They rarely see their families, and they face adversity all day ~ every day.
I'm not talking about aliens. I'm talking about our troops! Doesn't it seem strange that many politicians are willing to lavish all kinds of social benefits on illegals, but don't support our troops, and are even threatening to reduce funding for them?

The problem is that, unless we have someone dear to us serving in the armed forces, we are totally removed from any of the wars in which this nation is involved. Who would ever believe that this great United States would treat the people who are defending our freedom, like they are not even citizens. Where is our national conscience? Where is our national moral core? Where is the “we” as a nation, that used to be?

Sometimes when I’m thinking along the lines of revolting developments (and I get past the fact that aging is pretty revolting, but consider the alternative), it occurs to me that all of life is kind of a conundrum. If we have no friend or family we are sad and lonely. Yet, if we have lots of friends and family, we have to suffer the loss of people we love. Which is more revolting. If we surround ourselves with people we love, and they are disappointed by the way we live our lives, we have to suffer the consequences of their disappointment. What is the alternative? Surround yourself with people you despise. None of this seems fair. And yet, maybe that’s why the expression “life is not easy” was created – so we would be warned. We’re just sayin’…. Iris

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