Change Or Challenge
Americas’ question for July 4th, 2005
Al Vasquez / La Prensa Hispana
When we look upon politics as “laying down rules for a madhouse,” we can almost understand the thought expressed by Montaigne when he wrote, “there is as much difference between us and ourselves as between us and others”.
This Independence Day, we labor to understand the complexity of war, of terrorism and of simple connivance being cast at our feet at every waking moment. Finger pointing is endless as our patriotic national resolve is diluted. We realize what God has always known, man continues to be an unfinished product and so does our nation.
Regardless of where we as a nation cast the net of understanding, the retrieval bears not fruits of enlightenment but rather the mundane stench of desecrated sea bottom bringing forth decayed boots, corroded sardine tins, pieces of dead fish and the proverbial old tire belching green fungus. This constitutes a metaphoric version of the primordial soup mindset which parallels the political opposition in Washington; A far cry from the flag waving of just a few years ago.
As Americans head for our beaches, we fascinate, decry and bemoan the relentless shark attacks which continue to plaque our coastal waters while never taking time to understand the simple logic that once we enter the ocean domain, “we” become part of the sharks’ food chain. In a similar fashion, we continue to bemoan terrorist acts all over the world with little understanding that terrorism has also settled on the soil of America. Since the 9-11 killing frenzy, we need to comprehend now more than ever that “Americans” have become a part of the terrorism food chain. Neither denial nor appeasement will vanquish terrorism. Incredibly, these are two of the oppositions’ centerpiece options.
It is well know and has been often stated that in human affairs, the logic of the direct, simple approach is by no means self-evident. For many middle-age Americans indoctrinated with the defeatism mantra of the Vietnam War, the classic response toward international thugery has become run, hide, do penance and then come out seeking forgiveness from those who would destroy us. We search incomprehensibly for forgiveness, for not being perfect, instead of recognizing that we are the best nation committed to the principles of freedom.
Opposition political leaders are predisposed to cower and limit Americas’ response while providing lip service for terrorist propaganda machines on a regular basis. All the while our sons and daughters’ who have proven to be the best of America, suffer the consequences of anti-American rhetoric that seriously borders on treason. We as Americans actually tolerate, support and give these elected representatives of our nation a paycheck to do it again! Let’s get grounded, while thousands of bodies are swept into mass graves elsewhere in the world, we suffer not from our own injustices. Reasoning Americans not blinded by the fury of partisanship still consider the direct, simple valid approach to be “get them before they get us again”.
In time we will measure the fact, we cannot survive as the thriving center for democracy unless we as a nation become aware of our unfinished pursuits. To survive we must claim our rights to freedom for ourselves and our rights to proclaim freedom for all those too weak or psychologically entombed to claim freedom for themselves. We must come to understand that only by eliminating terrorism from our midst can historians predict the future. With the advent of weapons of mass destruction which for many “do not exist,” capable of wiping out mankind in a heart-beat, it is not overstated to proclaim, unless terrorism is contained, there will be no future.
We must not fall into the abyss of attempting to appease terrorists by retreat. That would be the most sacrilegious, suicidal act on the part of the free world. Just the thought of it advanced by our own critics provokes Jihad frenzy.
Power is power whether we exercise it or whether terrorists exercise it. Power regardless of whom is using it is partial to simplification; the power brokers be it us or the terrorists see in complications a sign of weakness. Complications are considered a tortuous path towards compromise. Witness the Middle East where for centuries, neither side will acknowledge compromise and neither side has in finality demonstrated the power to vanquish the other. America has arrived at the same cross-roads.
We must understand that we are being manipulated by representatives we have elected to safeguard our freedoms who instead have opted to have us become “manipulatable” which was Aristotle’s written definition of “slave”. Opposition leaders who naively sermonize and have taken to become our Sheppard’s are in fact leading us on a dangerous journey toward submissiveness. In their efforts to point out Americas’ inhumanity towards captured terrorists, they are leading America towards a very real anti-humanity by depriving the safeguarding of itself. Without America, the nucleus of world freedom, where would any of us be?
Survival is dependant on our willingness to fight for our freedoms, to fight for our way of life, to fight for the opportunity to lead the world in discovery and insight. The price we pay in precious lives of our sons and daughters is unbearable today. But, payment will be in catastrophic proportions tomorrow. There is no such thing as “supporting our troops but not their mission”, they are one and the same. In the end there are only two sides and we must be on one or the other.
This Fourth of July, Independence Day, we get to decide as America! Shall we pursue our quest for freedom and Independence the old fashioned way with blood, sweat and tears fighting those who would harm us, or shall we opt for the oppositions logically bankrupt method of convening a firing squad aimed at ourselves?