Scar Tissue Of War--
Scabs Of Peace & Freedom by
Cliff McKenzie, Editor
ZERO PLUS 1279 DAY--New York, NY, Monday, March
Thomas, a top Newsweek reporter, spins a different story today
than most would expect of a journalist reviewing the impact
of the Iraqi War on the history of the Middle East.
He says the decision
to go to war and fight for freedom "may" have worked,
and "may" have been the right thing for America to
do in spite of President Bush.
spins a story of President Bush and America winning the
fight for freedom in the Middle East
He also admits that the
parents of hundreds of American soldiers who gave their lives
should breathe a little easier knowing their sons and daughters
put themselves at mortal risk for a good reason.
President Bush was painted...
has been the journalistic mode for the majority of America's
press, and much of the world. In the early stages of the attack
on Terrorism in the Middle East, the President was painted as
some singular crazed sheriff with a six-shooter challenging
the world's security from a pure selfish, self-seeking motive.
Now, the screw is turning.
It seems that "peace
and freedom" in the Middle East is like a lost oasis recently
found. People are flocking to the precepts of democracy, risking
their lives to cast votes, and challenging long-lasting walls
that separate the"average" from the "elite.
some gun-crazed sheriff
Despite the differences
between the east and the west, the people of the Middle East
feel the shadow of America falling on the oppressors of their
freedom, and the vow of President Bush to fight anywhere at
any time against "terrorism" translates to millions
who have been deprived of the fundamental right to choose their
destiny as the "right to evolve."
Iraqis are standing up
for their own rights today, and, citizens around them in the
Middle East who have lived as servants of the "overlords"
whether they be religious or sheiks controlling the wealth of
nations through elite families as is the case in Saudi Arabia,
are beginning to stir.
the image is painted by religious leaders and advocates of the
"crass commercialism" and "evil western culture--stands
as a symbol of what individual freedom is about.
Part of the reason for
the acceptance of American democracy is the surge of Muslims
within America and their echoing voice within both the political
and cultural forums. African American politicians, including
mayors, police chiefs, fire chiefs, as well as senators and
congresspeople, illustrate to anyone with a tap on information
from the west that America allows the voices of all to be heard,
and, despite its reputation as a "white-dominated"
society, is seen as a potpourri of ethnicity that constantly
seeks to bring justice out of injustice.
presence of Condoleeza Rice as Secretary of State reinforces
the actualization of democracy in America
The presence of Condoleeza
Rice as our Secretary of State, following in the footsteps of
Colin Powell, is further reinforcement that America embraces
skills and talents regardless of religious beliefs or skin colors.
This fact flies in the face of poisonous untruths that America
is a giant Christian Crusader seeking to oppress and enslave
a world of color.
But most important of
all in expressing the willingness of America to fight and die
for the freedom of others is the composition of the young men
and women who put their lives on the line daily for the right
of a young girl or boy in the Middle East to grow up in a free
land where their voices, combined with others like them, represent
the will of the people.
military is composed of 65.5 percent white. The 34.5 percent
of non-white members represent 17.3 percent Black, 11.4 percent
Hispanic, and 5.9 percent "other."
In relation to the U.S.
population, these figures closely parallel the distribution
of the ethnic diversity of the country. America's "white"
population is 62.6 percent of the total. According to the 2000
US Census, the percentage distribution of ethnicity in the nation
is 12.3 Black or African American, 0.9 American Indian and Alaska
Native, 3.6 Asian, 0.1 Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander,
5.5 Some Other Race, and, 2.4 Two Or More Races. In addition,
12.5 percent of the population is Hispanic.
In the data supplied by the U.S.
Census Bureau, the charts credit "white" population
as 75.1 percent. However, for some strange reason this figure
includes the Hispanic population of 12.5 percent. If you go
to the link, you will see that Hispanic or Latino is a "breakout"
category. Practically, however, Hispanics, as any separate ethnic
group, don't identify themselves as "white," which
usually implies an Anglican background.
No matter what way the data is carved by statisticians,
it still comes out bearing a 62.6 percentage of "white"
and the balance various others ethnicity. The military population
of 65.5 percent white flows relatively evenly with the general
population. The larger percentage of African Americans in the
military may be skewed slightly by the absence of the "two-race"
category in the Census that represents some 2.4 percent of the
population. Also, there is a larger number of black women in
The point of the statistics is that if an Iraqi
man or woman is looking into the faces of U.S. troops, he or
she sees an ethnic stew. He or she may be facing a Muslim dressed
in American military gear.
American troops on the ground in Iraq are not
"white conquerors." They are average people from all
walks of life willing to spill blood on foreign soil for the
right of a child to be free.
ethnic diversity in our American troops in Iraq
The citizens of the Middle East have something
that no religious zealot can steal, or that no set of insurgents
or terrorists can easily disfigure with propaganda. The citizens
of the Middle East have common sense.
Centuries ago, the Middle East was the cradle
of civilization. Its literature, art, scholars, engineering
and social structures were the finest in the world. Other nations
came to bow at the altars of their magnificence. One has only
to study the history of Persia or Egypt, or, to travel through
any major museum and study the artifacts to recognize that the
roots of the Middle East are not based in primordial ooze, or
be inclined to disparage the genetic magic that sits brewing
in the cells of the young people of such magical and majestic
Wisdom cannot be erased. While the world may
have traveled at relative light speed in many areas of development
on the Western horizon, the Middle East is not the tail of the
dog. It was once the head, with fierce jowls and razor sharp
canines, not for the destruction of civilization, but designed
to carve it out of the sand, to create flourishing cities and
manufacturing of modern innovations that the world sought as
one might seek treasures deep within the sea.
What would a Western civilized homeowner with
a laptop and cable HDTV give for an original Persian rug?
The Middle East once sat
at the head of civilization
In Egypt,not too many centuries ago, the world's
most famed knowledge was stored in archives on paraphrase until
the great library was sacked and all its stored wisdom's burned
by savages who had little respect for the antiquities of knowledge.
Even today, modern scholars wince at the thought that Cleopatra's
storehouse of wisdom no longer exists.
But, it does.
In the marrow of the Middle Eastern culture
roost the seeds of once-greatness waiting to be fertilized back
to life. It is this innate knowledge within the peoples of Iraq
and other parts of the Middle East that America is watering
with its offering of "peace and freedom."
For far too many years the Middle East has
been pinned under the thumb of tyranny by leaders seeking to
control and manage the lives of millions. Certainly, much of
that motivation has come from the riches of oil that exist beneath
the sands. But there are many free nations that work within
the context of democracy and freedom that can control and manage
wealth, often with much better results than dictators or despots
or ruling classes that prefer to keep the idea of individual
freedom far on the other side of the horizon.
America has changed all that.
The bombs and bullets and bloodshed has been
horrible--as all wars are--but the end result is the flourishing
of a democracy, and the thirst among the people to not let go
of it once it has been in their hands.
And, those who delivered that "right to
freedom" were, in many ways, their ancestors. More than
one-third of the U.S. military forces in Iraq are not the "white
Crusaders" so Draconian portrayed by religious and political
As a result of America's
intervention, seeds of Democracy are sprouting in the
They have not come to reinvent the Middle East,
for the solider who is handing out candy to the children could
well be a Muslim who reads the same books, practices the same
prayers, and respects the same deity.
Equally, next to the one handing out candy
is the Marine or soldier who lives next to the Muslim soldier
or Marine. He has grown up in a country that embraces ethnic
and religious differences, and respects the rights of each person
to believe what he or she wishes, and knows that America offers
the "land of opportunity" where an individual can
rise to the highest levels regardless of race, color, creed,
sexual preference or any other difference.
Such journeys are not always easy, but the
path is clear. Ahead, others have blazed it. Where injustice
exists, there are laws and voices to strike out against them.
While some may block the road they do not form barricades because
if they are unjust they will eventually crumble.
This is what the Middle Eastern people see
under all the wrinkles of hatred and anger being thrown at them.
And, in respect to the rest of the world, the Middle Easterners
see that America stands virtually alone in this fight for their
freedom. They see America has not pulled out after the war,
tucked its tail between its legs and headed for the high ground
to leave the less prepared and skilled to be placed into servitude
by the gun wielding insurgents.
Charles Krauthammer's editorial in the March
14, 2005 issue of Time Magazine "Three Cheers for the Bush
Doctrine" is yet another positive reinforcement of America's
presence, determination and staying power in the Middle East
and that "astonishing developments are being produced in
the Middle East".
So it was refreshing this morning to hear Evan
Thomas speaking on the IMUS radio show with Don Imus about how
America was doing the right thing for the right reasons despite
a holocaust of criticism from the media opposing such actions.
The VigilanceVoice message
was reaffirmed today by Evan Thomas' comments on 'Imus
In the Morning'
I felt good. I felt I have been on the right
side of the Vigilance issue, and while my voice is a mere grain
of sand in a desert of clamorous headlines, one day, perhaps,
these writings will be viewed in context with others and given
some credit for the stand on Vigilance not for America, but
for the world.
For I believe America's role is still the Great
Sentinel of Vigilance. I believe we are destined to teach Vigilance
to all who are willing to listen, and, to fight for those who
are deafened by the roar of Terrorism.
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