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
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.
Magazine's article didn't address the strong fibers in our
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
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
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
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