Monday, September 15, 2008

Instant Gratification

We Americans demand instant gratification. Our hectic lifestyle crowds everything except satisfaction and time to think for ourselves into our lives. We want 20 second sound bites, 3 minute hamburgers, 30 minute sitcoms, 1 hour books, 2 hour movies and 6 month wars. We have become shallow and out of contact with the reality that exists in the rest of the world.

None of the wars in which this country has engaged lasted 6 months. WWII lasted 7 years. We still have troops in Germany, Belgium, the United Kingdom, Greece, Italy and Japan 60 years after that war. We have troops stationed in South Korea 50 years after the Korean "Police Action". More recently was Kosovo and there are still American troops there after 7 years.

Now there is Iraq which is a totally different kind of war with a totally different kind of peace. We whine because there is no instant answer to the thorny problem of uniting a country with deeply divided religious allegiances simultaneously beset by a committed enemy determined to enslave it again. We forget the Iraqis have compressed the first 100 years of American history into less than 5. Freed from tyranny, they have fought among themselves to define that freedom for themselves, they have elected leaders, learned to compromise politically, suffered through a civil war and are now uniting against the common enemy, al Qaeda.

Many Democrats and some Republicans are crying for the removal of our troops from Iraq at a critical time. That is an action which few who have been in country for more than 3 months agree. They who daily battle al Qaeda and rub shoulders with the Iraqi men, women and children in the street are the resident experts. If our fighting men and women see progress, feel the need to continue and are willing to shoulder the burden, then Congress should move on to something useful like sealing our southern border and removing millions of illegal immigrants who are draining our strength and resources and threatening our unity.

For selfish reasons, some in Congress would have us believe all is lost in Iraq. They are dishonest and do not deserve the trust given them. They are also amoral and do not care what the electorate thinks. The recent amnesty battle with Congress and the Administration speaks reams of the low esteem those who consider themselves our betters hold us. Having their backsides handed to them on a platter came as a shock.

The blood of some patriots has been spilled in Iraq, but the blood of tyrants runs knee deep nourishing freedom. Many say our loss is too great yet drunk drivers kill more of our fighting men and women in a year than terrorists and there is no outcry. Some say our country has no business interfering with foreign nations and count the cost unbearable. If that is so, let us bring our military home. Let us start with Kosovo which was only going to last a year, then Korea, Germany, Belgium, Italy, Greece and Japan. The billions we save will provide a bottomless pit of men, material and money to deal with Iran, Syria, North Korea and other irritants.

Reintroducing the Administration and the Congress to their employers was long overdue. We, the electorate, must continue to educate ourselves from several sources to know the truth. It is our responsibility to be informed and supervise the help. We may have to rise up again and insist Congress continue to support freedom in Iraq which may ultimately break the harsh, radical religious dominance in the Middle East.

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