Considering the Syrian Crisis: Legacy of War

 

Recent

events have turned the nation's attention towards the horrific assaults upon

the citizens of Syria. As so often happens, controversy has begun to brew over

our foreign policy and there is disagreement over whether or not U.S. forces

should intervene in an attempt to aid the citizens there. As many turn their

focus towards our policies regarding chemical warfare, I am reminded of how

little impact our discourse regarding this subject actually carries. We

have become a complacent nation. We sit idly by and watch as our own freedoms

are eroded and our liberties are stripped from our grasp. Our creature comforts

have softened our way of life and we have lost our initiative and drive to pick

ourselves up by our bootstraps and demand what is ours.

We have forgotten that our government exists for US, by US, and

of US. Not some special elite ruling class that seeks to shape a nation while

we punch a time clock and follow orders — us, you and me. We are

responsible for every bomb ordered, paid for by our unconstitutionally taxed

labor, delivered by another vehicle or vessel of destruction, and ultimately

dropped on an innocent in a foreign land. If you see an image of a victim of a

United States drone attack, bear in mind that you can directly trace the buck

to a line item on your pay stub that reads 'IRS'. The buck stops with Obama, but it starts with YOU —

President Barack Obama is just the lucky man who gets to be the face of the

operation. He's simply the man who gets to claim such acts as a portion

of his legacy. He's the guy that history gets to hate for our ignorance,

comfort, and complacency.

Our collective naiveté can be seen by our response to an event

like 9/11:

Two office buildings were leveled and we lost our fucking

minds.

To offer a bit of perspective, just less than 3,000 lives were

senselessly lost on September 11, 2001. Reports vary, but there have been over

114,000 documented civilian deaths in Iraq alone as a result of our nation's

military strikes on their nation.

We have leveled entire cities, nations, hell,

we've damn near leveled the region... But I bet you remember those two New York

office buildings collapsing like a life-altering catastrophe.

We all do.

Because it absolutely was one — one that is carried out

with our tax dollars, far removed from our sight — every single day,

while we sit pretty and shit-talk Miley Cyrus for

growing up.

Yeah.

Let that sink in.

Before we continue to allow large-scale profiteering by moguls

within the defense industry to lock us into a cycle of perpetually on-going war,

we should learn from places like the Middle East: Continuous cycles of war,

battle and unrest do not serve the best interests of the people. And it's

no one's job to fix it, but our own.

If the idea of your tax dollars going to arm groups with names

like 'Al Qaida' or 'Syrian Rebels' sits well with you, then by all means, sit

idly by as your government continues to deliver implements of mass destruction

into their hands. Continue to allow other people to make life-altering

decisions that will impact the lives of your children and grandchildren -

continue to allow the dollar to be valued as priority over human life. Continue

to rebuke common sense in favor of the existing and the established.

Continue to hope and pray that a newly armed 'Al Qaida' or band

of 'Syrian Rebels' or any other nation or group that they may align with doesn't

return the fruits of our national budget's single largest expenditure to our

doorstep. Hope and pray and positively manifest just as hard as you

possibly can that 9/11 is the single most tragic act of retaliation

that we ever experience on American soil in our lifetimes or the coming

generations.

Please. It'd mean an awful lot to my kids.

You see, they are growing up in a world where future retaliation

for our current foreign policy serves to place them in harm's way, ALMOST as

much as continued domestic apathy towards our own acts of aggression

perpetrated upon each other. As a parent, I have some tough decisions to

make regarding my kids' future; I can either teach them how to love people,

listen to them and unite them, or how to load a weapon and carry a bulletproof

backpack.

That's a fucked up parenting choice, isn't it?

And that's from domestic threats, not foreign concerns.

Reports indicate that as many as 15,576 children and teenagers

were injured by firearms in 2010 alone. If you choose to teach your children

respect for our troops, you should be aware that 15,576 is nearly triple the

number of U.S. soldiers injured in the war in Afghanistan in the same year,

according to the defense fund.

Tell me, when's the last time some thoughtful couple saw your

PTA t-shirt and paid for your breakfast in celebration of the fact that you

served our nation's youth on the front lines and survived?

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