Grasshopper Soup: As world conflct escalates…
Special to the Sun
TRUCKEE/TAHOE, Calif. and#8212; France, the Brits and the U.S. are attacking and destroying the air defenses of Moammar Qand#8217;Daffy, or however you spell his name. This latest military intervention could include U.S. ground troops in spite of what everybody says, and the silence of the mainstream left is louder than the voices of Code Pink.
If a Republican were attacking Libya, half the country, or more, would be calling for impeachment. They would let it be known loud and clear, from sea to shiny sea, that any president who uses military force, for whatever reason, is an evil, imperialistic, war-mongering, cold blooded murderer. One day war is bad, the next day itand#8217;s practical.
Much further to the left they do blame Obama, and lump him in with Bush and Cheney. At least they are consistent. They donand#8217;t jump from one side of the coin to the other like a bunch of Ying-Yankee Doodles.
Not surprisingly, conflicting reports of the mission objectives and rules donand#8217;t necessarily match what is already happening on the ground. They say the goal is to protect civilians. We can accomplish that goal, including no collateral damage, by not intervening in Libya at all. Didnand#8217;t anybody think of that? But I hate to stand by and see people abused too.
How many more wars will it take for our government to learn that the next war will be no different? Making up a new reason to go to war will not guarantee a different outcome.
Welcome to the endangered species list. We are all on it. The evolution of human kind may be headed for a dead end, a bridge to nowhere, a dying twig on the family tree. But the good life will not end. The peacemakers will live forever.
The principles of and#8220;an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth,and#8221; and and#8220;always turn the other cheekand#8221; come from Christianity and Islam. They are forever at odds with each other. Being torn between turning the other cheek and hitting back happens. But nobody hit us this time. Still we choose. Will it be an eye for an eye, or love your enemy; your life or the life of the aggressor? Itand#8217;s not an easy choice. Maybe this time it is the right one.
The dilemma is too big to say there will never come a time when Americans rise up in mass protest against their government, for whatever reason, and our leaders, who canand#8217;t escape the pickle, decide to fire on their own people. When it comes to human nature and difficult choices, are we really any different from other countries? Only time will tell.
Would you tell a poverty stricken old man in the tribal areas of northern Pakistan, who has known nothing but hard labor, poverty, pain and suffering, who is screaming for the death of those whose off-target missile killed his grandchildren, that he insults his religion by being sorry and angry? Do you tell him itand#8217;s all good?
Platitudes are good when we apply them to ourselves, or use them to perform acts of kindness and inspire others to do the same. Quoting platitudes to the grief-stricken, or to anyone we think canand#8217;t be happy without our help, is an act of pride, like giving them a rock when they need a loaf of bread. Hopefully this is not what we are doing in Libya.
As the name of the Libyan operation, Odyssey Dawn, suggests, even our leaders recognize the uncertainty of their choice. By and#8220;an odyssey,and#8221; one could easily infer that what you mean is the ship you are sailing on will run into a giant, one-eyed monster or be lured to shipwreck on the rocks by the sweet voices of beautiful, singing women.
It takes more than living in the mountains to be a mountain man. I heard that profound insight spoken by a true local. As real mountain men also say, and#8220;Be prepared for the worst and hope for the bestand#8221;. What is best for one may be hell for another.
Ultimately, the highest good will come only to those who seek peace for all.
Bob Sweigert is a Sierra Sun columnist, published poet, former college instructor and ski instructor. He has a B.A. and an M.A.T. from Gonzaga University. He has lived at Lake Tahoe for 28 years.
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