Thursday, July 13, 2006

Say you're Sorry

“Say you’re sorry”
How ignorance of recent history has both sides getting it wrong.

When I was in elementary school my younger siblings and I would walk to school, normal taunting teasing and goofing around was equally dished out. One such day my younger sister was getting the brunt of the hassling and shoving. In stepped this leather jacketed, flat-topped, motorcycle booted, wannabe hero (it was a long time ago). He began shoving me around, taunting me, yelling, “Say you’re sorry” numerous times. In short order I had him crumpled on the ground in a fetal position reining numerous nine-year-old blows about his head and shoulders, his leather jacket, and the dirt next to his upper torso.
My younger brother, and sister, circled around taunting the super hero, repeating, “Say you’re sorry”, “Say you’re sorry” ad infinitum. Upon release, the Clark Kent version, of the one time Superman, protector of young maidens, slunk away, disheveled, maple leaves stuck in his once noble butch-waxed flat top. Swirling around him, in a Lord of the Flies, singsong procession were my younger brother and my sister. The younger sister, I remind you, in whom the wonder thug was only nobly trying to defend. I felt a pang of guilty quandary. Hey, I was the bad guy and he was the good guy. Unlike the Superman episodes, the hero got the short end of the confrontation.
Jump to the late sixties early seventies, the U.S. donned its leather jackets and leather boots and tromped through the jungles of Vietnam. We were consumed with the noble gesture of imposing on the Vietnamese, in their country, what we felt was best for them. Hundreds of thousand died, families burned alive, young Americans were slaughtered, villages were burned and cities bombed, for seven years. Soon, the best army in the world was slinking away, a few palm fronds sticking to its dented helmets and doubting souls. Today, Vietnam has graduated past its normalization phase. In a recent business meeting someone projected that Vietnam is the next (cheaper) outsourcing frontier. Vietnam today, has its own version of peace, prosperity, and sovereignty.
Enter the eighties, though banned by Congress, righteous wing insurgent Ollie North and his overlords, Bush (the first) and a complacent leader of the free world Ron Reagan instituted, along with their mullahs in Iran, the illegal Iran contra fiasco. This leather jacketed incursion lead to the Central American right wing death squad’s creating slaughter and mayhem in the streets and jungles of Nicaragua and El Salvador. When Congress finally threw them to the ground and pummeled Ollie with their tiny fists, Ollie slunk away (to the arms and airways of Ruppie Murdock), to tell us how things should really be. Today, Central America exists in peace, prosperity and sovereignty. Americans are buying homesteads in Nicaragua and taking mom and pop vacations to El Salvador.
Today we are immersed in a war to impose our way of doing things (and protect the Saudis) in a culture rife with centuries old sectarian violence, a bully centered tribal society with mores and cultural ties to an imposed religion, not a democracy. Again, thousands upon thousands of our own, and thousands more of them have died. The new coda of the righteous wing and war profiteers drummed in to the hapless conned-sumers is that; if we (the righteous) “cut and run” there will be a collapse and total all consuming war through out the region.
Reminds one of the “domino theory” let’s call this one the Dumbino theory. We are good, its just time to butt out, again.
Pete Dooley World Observer