Wisdom Versus Vengeance

    Allow me to quote, verbatim, a letter to the editor of the LA Times ( 1 ).  I believe it is a scary but real example of just what sort of people America is infected with.  Gentle readers, these are sort of people who vote.

    "A few brief days since our nation's greatest tragedy, with all the dead not yet brought back from the dark pit, and the sunshine patriots have begun their whining pleas for forgiveness and inaction.  Pleas that only serve to mask the lack of courage, understanding and resolve that these people fail to recognize in themselves.  These blind, weak, self-centered folks slept soundly and peacefully last night, never understanding how the sacrifices of law enforcement and military personnel over the past decades made that possible."

    "I have a message for you: Lead, follow, or get out of the way.  We are going to war.  We will save this country and your way of life for you, but we don't have to put up with your nonsense, and we won't step around you as we go."

    Now, let's consider the true message that his person is sending to the world.  He is telling the world that those who call for wisdom and thought before even greater and more appalling viciousness is inflicted upon the world is just "whining" and "inaction".  Those who would not immediately begin slaughtering more innocents "lack ... courage, understanding and resolve".  The only possible reason that a person might consider it wise to reflect on our future and our past is because that person is "blind, weak, self-centered".  We cannot understand the "sacrifices of law enforcement and military personnel over the past decades ...".

    Gentle readers, the letter above is an example of pro-war propaganda.  It sets aside as completely unimportant any train of thought but the writer's own.  It belittles thought and wisdom as just whining and a lack of courage.  The writer puts forth the principle that behaving wisely exposes that person as one who cannot understand the sacrifices of others.

    This writer exposes only his own superficial view of the world.  His attacks on wisdom and even forgiveness shows that he must live in a fantasy world where Rambo comes to save the day or John Wayne tracks down the bad guys, shoots them and all is well.  That doesn't happen in the real world, though.

    His vision of bravery and courage exposes his inability to see those "virtues" are those of the desperate.  True bravery comes from wisdom, not from violence, but that lesson is obviously lost on this person.

    Finally, his demand that we "Lead, follow or get out of the way ..." can only be answered with the avowal that, yes, we will lead.  We will lead in the opposite direction of this sad, violent person.  We will try to lead this nation away from thoughtless violence and useless and endless retribution.  We will lead this nation with integrity because we do, indeed, understand the sacrifices of law enforcement and military personnel and that respect and understanding demands that their lives never be offered on the altar of vengeance and retribution.

    I would have to ask this author one simple question.  Is he going to be a part of the violence he calls for or will he be nothing more than another flag waving "patriot" who watches the death and destruction on CNN?  Is he "brave" enough to take up arms and place himself in harms way?  Forgive me if I have grave doubts that this person or many of his sort will do anything more than sit in his easy chair, drinking his beer, cheering on the "boys" whose lives he so effortlessly offers at the altar of war.


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Write me at:jcannon@anotherperspective.org


Copyright 9/20/01