Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Do what's right; always, not just what's "safe"

Why are the events of 12 years ago still relevant?  Because Americans seem bound and determined to repeat the mistakes of the recent past.  It's as though they have learned nothing; and have acquired no wisdom at all. 

Why go back 12 years and remind Americans of how they acted then?  Quite simply; because many are acting exactly the same way now.  Have you noticed?
What happened in the runup to the Iraq invasion is important. And absolutely and completely relevant.

Friend, do not try to convince me that your support for the invasion of Iraq – which was a tiny, impoverished, unarmed and defenseless country when it was attacked in March 2003 – was morally justified, or was justified by the facts at hand.  We both know better.

Let me tell you why most Americans went along with that invasion; an unprovoked aggression against a weaker people, totally out of keeping with the espoused values of the American nation:  because it was convenient to do do.  To have spoken out, in that highly-charged atmosphere of hatred, was to stand alone; was to incur the disdain of – and hostility from friends, family, and your community.  I know.

Most Americans, now as then, will gauge the collective conventional wisdom, and they will not depart from that, not an iota; they will do what they feel is safe; not what they know is right.

And that's what I condemn; not error; but the deliberate choice of the safest course, the one which requires no courage, with a total disregard for what one knows is right.

I am not talking about politics right now; or even world events; I'm talking about principle, character.   And the politics of it aside, I will tell you this; my character will not permit me to make that same choice.

And that has set me apart from the crowd.  Forever.  I'm glad of it.