What we have learned

iraq (Photo credit: The U.S. Army)

The news today is all abuzz with stories of the violence in Iraq. Of course depending on who you are listening to it is the fault of A. The current administration for the way that soldiers were removed from Iraq, B. The Muslim extremists who are trying to destabilize the region and institute a repressive theocracy, C. The neo-con war machine who pushed for invading Iraq in the first place…the list goes on and on.

The embassy attacks in Benghazi are still in the news cycle. Who knew what, when did they know. Some say it isn’t a problem, some blame the president, the secretary of state, etc. It was a video, a protest, a terror attack…the list goes on and on.

The economy is not recovering well. It is the fault of the current president, the last president, the housing market, big banks, bad loans…the list goes on and on.

Church attendance is down across the board. It is because we are not able to relate to younger generations, to liberal, to conservative, to concerned with money, to political, not political enough…the list goes on and on.

What have we learned? If the evidence is correct, we have learned that laying blame is an excuse for a lack of action. We should we learn? That change starts with us and moves outward. That change does not involve blame, but does involve doing something about the problem. If we want to have a different result, we must have different action. Doing it the way we have been got us here. If we want a better future then we all must put forward better action. Not the government, not the big business, not the banks, the NRA, the lobbyists, etc…us. The world does not change because institutions make it so, the world changes because individuals with the courage to change and the belief that the idea and ideal is more important then them stand up and take action. What have we learned?

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10 Replies to “What we have learned”

  1. Ah, the stage is set for World War III. The economy for many Americans is in the doldrums. Draft-dodgers and coward in Washington are beating the war drums to enhance defense contractor profits. Even more scary, veterans of past conflicts are finally getting some respect from a country that has been, with the exception of World War II, crapping on veterans since before The Constitution of 1787 was even written! Gee, what could possibly go wrong with this grand scheme?

  2. One way or another, the Great War contributed to the demise of imperial governments in Austria (Austro-Hungarian), Germany (Second Reich), Russia, and Turkey (Ottoman).

    In addition to demolishing any hopes of reestablishing and expanding German (Third Reich) domination over Europe, World War II ended the hopes of a Japanese empire in the Far East and pulled the imperial rug out from under what was left of a once powerful British Empire on which the sun never set.

    Wonder who would be the big(gest) loser(s) in a World War III?

  3. Allow me to answer the question admittedly flooded inwardly with the emotions provoked by such news: Isn’t it time for us as Americans to recognize that some peoples and societies across this terrestrial ball do not understand, neither wish to understand, let alone participate in any democratic system? I am beginning to wonder if the removal of a tyrant such as Saddam is a mistake. When Saddam ruled that country with an iron fist, with the power of the gun, Christians had freedom, the country worked, albeit in a way that we can’t understand, and the man punished everyone who would threaten this, at least, apparent cohesion. Of course his sons were playboys who were raping and destroying the nation; it is clear that Saddam was a ruthless tyrant who would murder by any means he could, those who would rebel against his ruling, but, what do we have now? Anything different? Oh, people vote… is that the difference? I can point in the mapa mundi many countries where people vote and that, instead of a demonstration of ultimate freedom is instead an evidence for their lack thereof… Does North Korea come to mind? So, I don’t know if Democracy as we American know it, enjoy and wish to preserve, would work in places of the middle east, and to answer the question suggested in the title: we should have learned at least that there are a few things with which to meddle is not in our best interest.
    I admit corrections here; I accept scolding for this answer. As I said, the images we have coming from Iraq cannot provoke in me anything other than the feeling that all we did, the moneys we spend there, the lives lost, (and I have a son who came back from Iraq after two tours-of-duty, unscathed by the Grace of God) were all in vain.

    1. Many people “neither wish to understand, let alone participate in any democratic system.” Many of them are citizens of the United States! This is especially true of those able to flood the political arena with money. Filled with an exaggerated sense of entitlement, they have no intention of playing on a level playing field. Then, this is the fate of empires.

      None of this is new. The 18th century Founding Fathers of the United States were as terrified of democracies as they were of kings. In fact, one could reasonably argue that these Founding Fathers saw the two as inexorably intertwined.

      As a result, as The Constitution of 1787 was originally constructed, citizens could only vote for representatives to the House of Representatives. That was it. Period.

      Senators were chosen by state legislatures. The president was, and still is, officially elected by what has become to be known as the Electoral College – which holds it election AFTER the November presidential election. Its intended purpose was to put a check on any notions of an absolute right of even franchised citizens to elect a president. Supreme Court justices are appointed by the president with the consent of the senate.

      To further limit voting rights, initially only property owning white males could vote. This scheme remained in place until the early 19th century because the vast majority of the Founding Fathers feared the consequences of universal white male suffrage. They simply did not trust the common man to make choices.

      Crumbling of the property requirement for white males led to formation of the Democratic Party. After than, it was only through a series of Amendments to The Constitution that blacks, women, and eventually 18-year-old acquired voting rights.

      Even today, most candidates for public office are in the pockets of those de facto gods otherwise known as corporations. Beholding to corporations for the campaign contributions necessary to be elected to national public office, they pass laws favoring corporations rather than voters. This reality explains why banks, rather the struggling homeowners, were bailed out by BOTH political parties during The Great Recession.

      To make matters worse for the average American, corporations are treated as persons by legal precedents. That is why Mitt Romney said corporations are people. It has even been suggested that corporations be given the right to vote in elections! Such lunacy has not been seen since the Emperor Caligula wanted to make his horse a Roman consul (magistrate)!

      America’s Founding Fathers weren’t the only ones fearing democracy. There is not record of voting in the Bible. Instead, most of biblical history is filled with a singular ruler filling the gap between God and man. In other words, there was God. Then, there was the king. Below them was everybody else.

  4. I actually agree with Milton. I just pray that no one takes the advice of Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz, or Donald Rumsfeld, all of whom have been on conservative TV shows, offering free advice.

    1. Actually, it’s not Muslims. There is no Muslim monolith. (This is the same mistake conservatives made over half a century ago in dealing with communism.) It’s sunnis. Destabilization is merely a means to a more comprehensive end. Then, conservative would know this if they were really as in much in contact with the divine as they claim.

  5. I think that there is a lot to be said about the differences between the development of the Western world verse the development of the near and far east. Part of it does have to do with the Muslims, but only in so far as their governmental structure is largely theocratic, and as such the idea of voting is basically a foreign concept. I don’t see this as necessarily good or bad. Similarly, the far east has structures based on imperial rule. This is and has been their historic reality. Again, not necessarily good or bad. Western civilization is unique in that it largely descends from representative democracy, so the idea of anything else is fairly foreign to us. Today we have corporations donating large quantities of money for electoral results, and in Rome we had large quantities of salt for essentially the same thing. We act as if this is largely different than what has come before, but it really is not.

    1. Six facts are worth noting:

      1) Judeo-Christianity is an Eastern religion.

      2) Christianity and Islam essentially worship the same Bronze Age Middle Eastern deity.

      3) Traditional Western religions are non-Biblical.

      4) The first established Euro-American government in North America was a Christian theocracy that failed miserably.

      5) All empires follow similar stages of dominance, trade, prosperity, reason, degeneration, and collapse.

      6) Rome was officially a Christian empire when it fell; the Soviet Union was officially godless until the end.

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