Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Where is America?

Over the years I have worn many hats and been many places. Along the way I have met and made a really eclectic group of friends who are now scattered all over the country and the world. I try to make a point of keeping in contact with most of them, even if it is something as simple as having my calendar program remind me of their birthday so I can send an e-card or an email or sometimes I make a quick phone call to say hi and see how they are doing. 

So it was no surprise the other day when one of those friends, who now lives in the north of Italy near the French border, called me at 3 am (no one seems to pay attention to time differences anymore).

The surprising part came a minute or two into the call when he suddenly turned kind of serious and said: “Gary, What’s going on with you guys? Where is America?”

A little confused and taken aback, I asked what he meant. He said that the world is going to hell in a hand basket and America seems to be sitting back saying “Let it”.

I tried to explain to him that we, Americans, are bone tired of getting entangled in foreign wars, of spending our hard earned tax dollars and seeing our young men and women coming home in flag draped coffins only to have people burn our flag in the streets of European Capitals. We are sick of sending foreign aid to bring fresh water and medical care to small villages in Africa and South America only to see them vote against us in the UN and sign military cooperation agreements with China.

His answer was that the world looks to us like their big brother. The guy they can pick on and poke fun of, but they can count on to be there when the bullies are in the school yard.

I said that we are tired of being big brother, of being poked fun of, of not being appreciated or supported when we try to do good things. I said that maybe if our so called allies would help out a little we’d be more likely to try a little harder.

He pointed out that a dozen countries from Europe to Australia have troops in Afghanistan –not because they give a damn about Afghanistan, but because America is there. America said it was the right thing to do. Now America is going home and everyone is wondering if was worth it to start with. They see America free millions of Iraqis from 30 years of tyranny – and then leave and sit idly by while ISIS sweeps across the country killing everyone who doesn’t believe in their particular strict Sunni Sharia Law -bringing a tyranny far worse than Hussein could have dreamed of.

After that little conversation, I sat back and thought about it. I decided that the world is the way it is now because America’s leaders have taken the attitude that we should take our ball and go home. Because we’ve got our feelings hurt so we are willing to stand by while 300 school girls are kidnapped and sold into slavery. While thousands are displaced and massacred in the Middle East; while Russia seizes entire regions and threatens the stability of all of Eastern Europe.

Our leaders have forgotten that we are Americans –we are the people in this world that everyone looks to when they want to know what the right thing to do is. The guys that keep the bad guys in check.

And we have elected useless leaders who don’t believe in American Exceptionalism, who don’t want America to be the world’s leader, the world’s force for right. Leaders who are more interested in their own profits and comforts then in working for the people. Leaders who want the perks of power, but not the responsibilities.

Do you suppose that Putin would have seized the Crimea if America still had Armored Brigades stationed in Eastern Europe? Do you think China would seize island groups in the South China Sea if America wasn’t closing air bases in Okinawa and the Philippines? If we didn’t send Marine battalions to the Pacific and then admit we don’t have the ships to use them if a crisis develops? And do you think ISIS would have crossed the Iraq border if there had been an American Special Forces base with a quick reaction force stationed there?

There is a price to pay for letting these problems go unchecked and unanswered. And that price gets higher with every passing day. The day will come when the world’s problems will be on our door step. When we can no longer ignore them or hide our heads in the sand. On that day we will wake up and rid ourselves of these worthless leaders. We will once again assume our role as the world’s big brother –and the price we will have to pay on that day will be horrendous. We will pay that price; we will role up our sleeves and do what needs to be done chasing the fanatics and murders back into hiding deep in their caves. In the end we will prevail -because we are Americans!

Right now the world is asking; “Where is America?” –The sooner we wake up and say “Right Here!” -and we start putting these bullies down -the sooner we will have some peace in our lives again 

–and on that day the free people of the world can sleep soundly in their beds again because an American Task Force sails quietly just over the horizon.

Today's Reflection:
The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.
-Thomas Jefferson

Live Long and Prosper...

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