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Letter to the Editor: Our Moral Compass

Where are we going as a country? What is sparking all this vitriol and hate- mongering which our beloved America is going through?  Is this what our forefathers envisioned down the line for our country? Something is dreadfully wrong here. Or perhaps this is where democracy leads us. Our freedoms are many, although some of those freedoms have been regretfully diminished and will hopefully be restored. What has happened?

It seems to me that our freedom of speech does carry with it the responsibility to speak factually when talking of our government and its leaders. It is so easy to mislead people who may have neither the time nor the interest to check out facts. This is most certainly the case involving much of talk radio whose hosts want our President to fail in his policies; one host even admitted this was so on his part. We must not let facts get in the way of our opinions.


There are policies which this Administration is pursuing which seem foolhardy and of no benefit to this country; the war in Afghanistan comes to mind as an effort which requires a good rethink on our part, lest we go the way of the French and Russians who preceded us there. One friend’s solution is that we declare victory and get out thus saving countless lives and treasure. Of course, our military leadership is going to insist this is a winnable situation, that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.  Rather reminds one of Viet Nam. Are we again headed for such a quagmire?


Speaking of our military leadership, a letter to the editor in the Sept. 30, 2009 Akron Beacon Journal by Steve Shucard asserts that Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the commander of American forces in Afghanistan, and who urged a troop surge, participated in the falsification of Pat Tillman’s homicide investigation. Moreover, that assertion came from no less of a person than Pat Tillman’s father.  Tillman, you recall, was killed by friendly fire, but we were initially led to believe it was by enemy fire. The full text of Mr. Shucard’s letter can be found on the website Ohio.com. Does falsification of such an important record lend itself to trust? In addition, to do this with the objective in mind of stirring patriotic support for the war is incredulous. Isn’t that something like the end justifying the means?

What have we found out about Iraq? That our stated reason for going to war there was the threat that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, that Al Qaida was operating there, and that Iraq was somehow responsible for 9/11.  All that proved to be a falsehood – a total fabrication of the Bush Administration designed to frighten Americans and get them behind the war effort. In the end, we have destroyed one of the most ancient civilizations on the planet with our “shock and awe” strategy. Yes, Saddam was a brutal dictator – no argument there. However, under Saddam, the Iraqi people had such amenities as free education and free health care. After the presence of the “coalition of the willing”, the Iraqi people are, for many of them, devoid of sanitary facilities, clean water, and reliable electricity among other things. The infrastructure is yet to be entirely rebuilt in that country.

Now we have our own Senator Jon Kyl calling for “regime change” in Iran. Doesn’t that sound familiar? As if we have not done enough damage in that part of the world. What is motivating Kyl? Is he afraid Iran is developing nuclear capabilities? Should Israel be the

only country in the Middle East to have nuclear weapons? This is a country that isn’t a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and will not allow the International Atomic Energy Commission to inspect its facilities. Iran said it will allow the IEAE in to inspect its plants. Why is Kyl beating the drums of yet another war? Perhaps what we need is a regime change in our nation’s Senate building.

The treatment of the President of Iran at the U.N. recently where delegations including ours walked out on his speech belies those nations as ,in the least, considerate. I think all leaders deserve our ear when they speak. We may not agree with them, but is it not possible there may be some truth in something they say? I’m not saying we have to jump on their bandwagon, but let’s listen to them as they do to us. Consideration is a mark of civility defining us as individuals and as a nation.


Perhaps it is time for all of us to stand back and take a deep breath before we speak or incite others to regrettable actions. We can agree to disagree without being hateful or hurtful. Peaceful demonstrations in the past have gotten the ear of our leadership albeit in their own good time. We the people can still determine our country’s future, but not by hurling invectives at one another.  Civility matters now more than any recent time in the past.

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