Mind and Destiny

“I make no pretension to patriotism. So long as my voice can be heard ... I will hold up America to the lightning scorn of moral indignation. In doing this, I shall feel myself discharging the duty of a true patriot; for he is a lover of his country who rebukes and does not excuse its sins. It is righteousness that exalteth a nation while sin is a reproach to any people.”- Frederick Douglass

Location: Delhi, N.Y., United States

The author and his webmaster, summer of 1965.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Tempered By Reason

In "Losing America," Senator Robert Byrd discloses that Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz were among 18 signatures on a letter to then President Clinton in 1998, which urged a preemptive war against Saddam Hussein.  Of the eighteen signers of the letter; eleven held post in the Bush administration, when Iraq was invaded. 

Bush’s Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill confirmed that ten days after Bush's inauguration the focus at the first National Security Council meeting was war with Iraq.

After 9/11, the Bush regime diverted our frustration and rage away from Saudi Muslim fundamentalist to the secular regime of Saddam Hussein.  Republicans held the White House and a majority in both houses of Congress so they got the preemptive war, that was first revealed by Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz.  The invasion of Iraq was fraudulently linked to al Qaeda.

After 9/11, the powerful emotions of anger, fear, and hate were not tempered by reason.  Many of us failed to recall the warning by Ann Landers: "Hate is like acid.  It can damage the vessel in which it is stored as well as destroy the object on which it is poured."

New York Times columnist, "Bob Herbert wrote: “Wars are all about chaos and catastrophes, death and suffering and lifelong grief, which is why you should go to war only when it's absolutely unavoidable... Since we learned nothing from Vietnam, we are doomed to repeat it again, this time in horrifying slow-motion in Iraq."

Former Vietnam Marine turned peace activist, Carmello Bica wrote: “In war, we are conditioned to put aside the lessons of our youth, of our parents, teachers, and clergymen who stressed the importance of compassion, understanding and loving our fellow man.  We are transformed into warriors capable of unleashing untold horrors and devastation.  The legacy of war, therefore, is not of honor or glory, for such virtues can never be derived from causing the death and suffering of so many of God’s children.  War is in fact hell as is living with the memories and nightmares.”

A favorite tactic of Republican politicians continues to be fear-mongering to scare angry, frustrated and unreasonable voters.  Today, angry voters are ranting about politicians, but their emotions need to be tempered by reason.  Factual information is very important, because emotional voters tend to disregard their capacity to reason.  If they succeed in electing our next president, we’ll all suffer the consequences.  


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