Hang In There, It Gets Better (tf)

We’re at war again.

With a country most American’s could not find on a map. If American boys start dying in Libya, our nation may split at the seams. It all sounds so dreadfully familiar. The balance of power may shift sides in Washington, but in many ways it seems like business as usual (the word “business” being quite deliberately chosen). Anybody out there who thinks that black gooey stuff in the ground doesn’t have anything to do with this should ask why we are “helping” Libya while leaving pro-democracy protesters in Bahrain, whose leaders just happen to have close ties to Saudi Arabia, to their own fate….a fate not very pleasant I might add. It’s hard not to be cynical about the “humanitarian” rhetoric coming out of Washington. Another “brutal dictator” taken out. Fine. But last I checked Bahrain isn’t exactly a socialist utopia.

Whatever. Nobody asks my permission before doing things like this. The men and women I vote for always promise me they won’t do things like this and end up doing them anyway. I’m sure it’s all more geo-politically complicated than I’ve made it. But dead people and their loved ones don’t care much for geo-politics.

The problem now is one of credibility. Even if the current administration is bombing Libya for their own good (that sounds snarky but it’s not meant to…..how else can you put it really?), it’s hard to believe anything that comes out of the White House. This has been the case since….oh….around 1964. The lies our government tells us are non-partisan at least.

Bombs make good TV too. Especially the “smart” ones. I’ve watched Baghdad bombed twice on television in my lifetime. Never felt a tremor or suffered a scratch. I’m sure the people who lived in Baghdad during each free fall felt differently, but that’s the way it goes I guess. It’s what’s been called “the price of doing business” in the age of collateral damage.

Man has been destroying their fellow man for so long that when it happens fresh you wouldn’t think it would be as newsworthy as a natural catastrophe of biblical proportions, like the recent earthquake and tsunami. Our recent bombardment of Gaddafi’s forces has knocked Japan’s tragedy off the front pages, maybe even for good unless a plume of radiation makes its way across the pacific and further damages the brain cells of Charlie Sheen. The sights and sounds out of Japan are almost unbearable to witness. Entire towns swept away like bathtub toys. Tell me you haven’t seen this footage and spotted what looked like….well….people. In the water’s path and then…gone. Witnesses on 9/11 originally thought people jumping from the towers were birds. I’m still not sure what I’ve seen in Sendai were people. I hope they were birds. I think I’m wrong.

Such horrors are unexplainable. But the acts are heroism they inspire, from nuclear power plant employees remaining at their posts to people who have lost everything digging through debris if only to ensure that the dead will be given names, makes you wonder. How are we capable of both digging through the rubble and so wantonly creating it in the first place?

I guess it comes down to those “half full” or “half empty” theories.

Which are you?

I sway….but I have to say that I’m more drawn to what Lincoln called “the better angels or our nature”….if only because any man who saw so much of the opposite could even speak of angels.

–Tom Flannery


~ by admin on March 20, 2011.

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