Article Overview:    An editorial in Time Magazine this week rips the fabric of the American Flag as a mother writes an essay about how ugly and shameful America is over the actions of a few.   She is looking at the world through the Eye of the Beast, and not the Eye of Vigilance.    Her child loses in her blindness.  But, there is a solution.


Sunday, May 16, 2004—Ground Zero Plus 977
Ripping The Fabric Of The Flag Over Iraq

Cliff McKenzie

 GROUND ZER0, New York, N.Y.--May 16, 2004 -- Everywhere I look, with few exceptions, I read or hear about the American Flag being ripped by critics who favor the flaws in the few threads woven in the red, white and blue.
           For the past week and a half our website has been undergoing a massive reconstruction to a new format, and during that time I have been unable to publish my thoughts, but the thirst to do so has parched my throat.

Time Magazine's article didn't address the strong fibers in our American flag

          One article in Time Magazine struck me the hardest.  It was a seductive essay written by Nancy Gibbs titled "Their Humiliation, and Ours," in the May 17, 2004 issue.
            It was about the author trying to explain the horrible pictures of American guards demeaning and torturing Iraqi prisoners, and she applied the format of a mother's explanation of what was happening to a child as a forum to lambaste America's moral corruption.
            At no time was there "balance."   She didn't address the strong fibers in the flag, the ones that have been woven throughout its history to make America the nation willing to risk its reputation in a fight for other people's freedom, or to recount the millions of Americans who died on foreign soils for the right of liberty over the shadow of tyranny and oppression.
           She stuck solely to the issue of "humiliation," and her carving knife sliced through the breast of America's legacy as "protector" of the weak and the oppressed, for any reference she might have implied or inferred to that issue was overshadowed by the ugliness of our depravity.
          I found this essay endemic to many who are blind to the principle of Vigilance.   Vigilance is the art and science of creating balance for what is right, not the battering and clubbing of what is wrong.
         It takes little effort to bash a wrong, but much effort to seek to find the moral right amidst the wrong and to cleave those two opposing forces so that a child or adult can look at both sides of the coin and then decide the degrees of right and wrong.
         Vigilance means a parent has a duty to present to a child both the Beast of Terror's intent and the Sentinel's of Vigilance goals.    The Beast of Terror is driven by Fear, Intimidation and Complacency.   The Sentinel of Vigilance by Courage, Conviction and Right Actions that benefit the Children's Children's Children's.
          Applying this formula to Ms. Gibbs editorial/essay/diatribe gives no quarter to Vigilance.   She imposes upon her child the shadow of the Beast of Terror, making the humiliation of the acts of the few malignant upon the many.
          This is sad in a way, for those who are easily intoxicated by America's wrongs will become drunk on the words.    They are poison to the mind, for they are issued from the breast of a mother to her child, and assume that all is fouled by these events, and that any "righteousness" that might have been in favor of our presence in Iraq has been swallowed into the gullet of the Beast of Terror, for, according to her, we have become what we set out to eliminate.
           That's far from true.

I regret Ms. Gibbs has only one eye

           The nearly 800 Americans who have died in Iraq left this earth with one great hope--that their lives might become seeds of liberty and freedom.
           As a former combat vet who offered his life in Vietnam, and then later was a survivor of Ground Zero during the Terrorist attack of September 11, 2001, I have some wisdom that Ms. Gibbs lacks.
           I know the thousands upon thousands of Americans fighting in Iraq are not what Ms. Gibbs would have us think they have become as a result of the actions of the few.   But Ms. Gibbs stopped short of explaining that side of the coin.
          She forgot to explain that if the troops fighting in Iraq were to hold a trial for the guards of the prison, they would probably find them guilty of great crimes against their purpose of fighting for the liberty and freedom of others, and would execute them summarily.
          They would not endorse their actions.
          America, despite Ms. Gibbs comments, is a great moral nation with great moral authority vested in each of us, and not by the state.
          Ms. Gibbs forgets that each of the 170,000 troops in Iraq have the personal moral authority of a nation in their trigger finger, and that the vast majority constrain their actions, refusing to violate their personal moral authority which doesn't come from the top down, but from America's legacy.

Our American flag is ripped by  Time critic Nancy Gibbs

         I fought for America, it's entire history, not for a president or an Administration.    American warriors fight for their children's Children's Children's Children.  They fight to preserve democracy and to liberate those who are in the grips of the Beast.
          Ms. Gibbs skimmed over this, and left her child dangling on a torture box of feeling the ugliness of the few represented the sum or the whole.
          I regret that Ms. Gibbs has only one eye, the one given her by the Beast of Terror who revels in her own torturing of American principles.
         I hope she will be given the other eye, the Eye of Vigilance, through which when she looks, she can learn to balance the bigotry and prejudice the Beast offers, and offer her child balance instead of dogma.
         I hope we all learn to see with the Eye of Vigilance, and that can happen if we take the Pledge of Vigilance and learn to see through its Principles.
         When we do, the Beast of Terror that lives in us all will be exposed.  But for now, Ms. Gibbs needs an eye transplant.

May 8--Mo Duc--A Reflection On The Price Of Death In Iraq

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