Thursday, April 19, 2012

If This Isn't Who We Are, Who Are We?

Not long ago photos appeared on the web of our service men urinating on dead Afghans and the cry went out.  "This isn't who we are!" It has happened again, an older incident, but one just published.  The same cry has gone out.

It seems to me we're doing a whole lot of denying and very little defining these days.

We're insensitive to our enemies during a war that has been waging for far too long.  We're racist when a white feels it necessary to defend himself. We're not God fearing enough if we're pro choice or neutral on Gay relationships. We're against the poor and the elderly if we think Obamacare is bad legislation.  We're selfish if we're wealthy. This isn't who we are either.  At least I hope not.

On the other hand who are we?  Are we the public servants working for the GSA who mock we tax payers as they party hardy on our money?  Are we the military and Secret Service personnel who partook of the ladies of the night in Colombia?

We're either very confused or just not very nice people any more.  Self indulgent.  Defensive.  Entitled?

Of course there is good out there.  Tons of it.  Kind,  caring,  giving people who do enormous good daily.  They just don't make good enough copy to sell papers or get a discussion going on Facebook or Twitter.  They don't raise your blood pressure.   They don't generate your rage.

I'd like to think they are the silent majority.  Once I would have argued that point.  However, when I read about the continuing abuses by Americans against Americans, like the actions of the TSA for instance, I find it impossible. Maybe it's not us, maybe it's those who we've elected to lead us. If so then shame on us.  We do seem willing to follow their lead however.

The military takes a lot of the abuse but I can't help but wonder from whence it comes.  The Coast Guard, for example, uses live animals for 'live tissue' training. It has been revealed that they will anesthetize a goat and cut off it's legs for the purpose.  Sometimes with nothing more sophisticated than a tree trimmer.

Well, that raises my blood pressure and generates my rage.  I ask you, what kind of people would sanction such  actions?  I cannot imagine.  Does it start at the top?  Is this really who we are?

7 comments:

Margie's Musings said...

I hope not!

Word Tosser said...

brings to mind... the words of...
Ugly American...

Betty said...

We can blame our elected officials all we want, but we are the ones who elected them. Maybe we need to look at ourselves in the mirror. I don't think it starts at the top. I think it starts at the grass roots. I don't know what the answer is, but I hope we can learn to stop being the shallow, impatient, under-educated people we are becoming.

Sorry, but you asked. lol

Mari Meehan said...

Betty, you'll find no disagreement from me!

vicomtesse said...

Peggy Noonan shares your concern in her article today in the WSJ.

Mari Meehan said...

I saw that! Nice to know that on occasion I'm ahead of the curve!

Margie's Musings said...

I understand that in every war, there are those who are deviates like that. Remember Mai Lai?

They need to carefully screen their soldiers.