Monday, July 30, 2007

Back to the Real World

As promised, I made it back. I spent the past week umpiring a Futures level professional tennis tournament in Godfrey, Illinois. It is always one of the highlights of my year because the town is so beautiful and its people so friendly and caring, but this year was made special because of my roommate. He was a 16 going on 35, and his maturity and clear-headedness restored my faith in the future. If the bulk of his generation is half as astute and thoughtful as my new friend, Buddy Hippen, we may have a chance of surviving the mess past generations have made of things.

On the other hand, the news this morning sure didn’t say much to give a fellow hope in this generation making any positive headway. The first thing I heard this morning was that one-third of Iraq’s people are in need of emergency help because lack of water, sanitation and other utilities has put their lives at immediate risk.

So what’s our response? Nothing. We continue to quibble over whether or not there should be deadlines for troop withdrawal while upping our budget for protective gear and new weapons.

Over 500,000 Iraqis killed; over 2 million Iraqis forced to become refugees in lands not entirely friendly to them; anywhere from 50 to 100 additional Iraqis killed each month the war goes on; about 100 Americans killed per month in Iraq (And are we even counting the subcontracting “support” people killed and wounded?), and finally; $12 billion dollars a month in American tax dollars and borrowed funds going out of our national pocket every month to cause all this.

Will any political party in this country ever see that we could commit to spending less in a successful effort to generate goodwill and improve the well-being of the entire world while eliminating the death and destruction we cause now in the course of routine gunboat diplomacy?

Wealth invested in the people of the world, is repaid with industriousness and good will – our own G.I. bill after WWII was a great example of the effects of that kind of spending. Wealth invested in wars designed to maintain our economic superiority to the detriment of others will continue always to be repaid with hatred. After a full century of American gunboat diplomacy isn’t about time we convinced our “leaders” to change course?

Be the change you wish to see in the world. -- M. K. Gandhi

Individually we have little voice. Collectively we cannot be ignored.
But in silence we surrender our power. Yours in Peace -- BR

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