Tuesday, November 24, 2015

World Of Fear!


I have been aghast at the execrable debate about whether it is appropriate for this republic to offer refuge to individuals young, small and of sundry stripes driven out of the perpetual war zone which once was Syria. To see elected officials display wanton cowardice and heaping the accusation of same on their constituents in order to justify yet one more targeted attempt to humble the jumped-up president they resent with every fiber of their beings is woeful indeed. And to offer these criticisms at a time when our leader is overseas, a time not too many years ago when national unity was the norm is even less patriotic. When that president then has the temerity to call them out on their fear-mongering, he of course is deemed to be behaving in a manner beneath his station. It's a classic no-win for Mr. Obama, damned for lassitude when he demurs criticizing his rivals and with callow brazenness when he speaks to them directly.


In my opinion, the drive for U.S. "boots on the ground" in Syria is spurred more by a military machine which is feeling the pinch of automatic budget cuts over the last several years, and sees a chance to bypass the usual process by using the grease of fear to get its way. Obama all too often has often been his own worst enemy, saying what he truly thinks in the moment and then having those words thrown back at him years later as if two years ago had much to do with today. His critics always seem to begin or end their remarks by savaging his leadership and then proceed to describe what they'd do which is almost always is what is mostly already being done. Only since Paris has the troops on the ground idea gotten traction (with the forthright but wrongheaded example of Lindsay Graham notwithstanding).  Has Obama been reluctant to go to war? Yes, but that's a refreshing change from leaders who seem to want to " bomb the shit out of" whomever they consider a threat, even innocents.


But to the issue at hand, I was at first puzzled why anyone objected to refugees (often mislabeled "migrants" to avoid the political deficiencies in the argument) in a land which is mostly built to house them. We are all of us descended from those who came to the new world seeking refuge and have historically embraced those who likewise seek such solace, at least idealistically. But these swarthy types are a bit too much for a white conservative populace who already feel outnumbered in a country they imagine should be mostly white and mostly Christian in perpetuity, a notion frustrated by the demanding march of demographics. The idea that America would blatantly turn away families is embarrassing for this particular citizen, that we would even for a moment entertain such notions as admitting only those of certain religious beliefs is staggering. That this tripe gets bandied about and not called the rank racism and callow jingoism it is also bewilders me.


Too many on the stump and in the media too have allowed Americans to feel justified in luxuriating in their baseless fears. To demonstrate reasoned caution is one thing, but to fear the remotest possibility of an exotic attack is a waste of time and emotion. Like tidal waves, tornadoes, and hurricanes, the threat of terrorism is now a part of the world, a part we can pay proper attention to, prepare reasoned responses to, but over which we have exceedingly limited control as individuals. As much as the news media, in their constant desire to drive up ratings wanted to equate the Paris attacks to 9-11 status it clearly has not been the case as the story already fades in the face of other events. It might be a 9-11 event for France, but the status of France is not the United States and so the impact worldwide is muted. The attacks are horrific crimes committed by beastly people bent on savage murder who must be discovered and punished, but there's no need for all people everywhere to cave in to fear, nor to sacrifice their rights in yet another stampede for the illusion of perfect safety. When folks get hysterical they often get slapped in the face, not told their hysteria is a proper reaction to circumstances. America needs a slap in the face.

 

America is a refuge from a savage world filled with desperate innocent people. We should welcome refugees with open arms, not foul language and intimidation, especially at Thanksgiving.  We have nothing to fear but fear itself -- a wise man who himself was president once said that.

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10 comments:

  1. Great, thought provoking post Dojo-Master. The World’s quite messed up this week. Here in Minneapolis we had 5 people shot overnight – at a peace encampment protesting – police shootings (imagine that)…I dunno, at this point I just wish we could make all the ignorant, fear mongers go far, far away…But what can you do realistically(?) – except continue to try to be the Change you’d like to see in the world each day…On a lighter note, just let me say I continue to be quite grateful for my good health, family – and being able to peruse this superb comic booky blog each day. Peace to all…

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    1. The fear mongering is going to get many more people hurt. Scared people do stupid things.

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  2. Holy smoke! I cannot believe the incredible fact less BS of your statement above. OK OK you can invite all the Syrian future terrorists to live on your block, pal. Good luck with that. I am so done reading this blog. Idiot.

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    1. "But it's all right now, I've learned my lesson well, you can't go pleasing everyone, so...you've got to please yourself" :)

      ...not that he'll be here to read it, mind you ;) :P

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    2. Sorry to see you leave.

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    3. The Republicans have gone overboard with their saber-rattling and fear mongering. That said, the possibility of terrorist Trojan Horses among the refugees is a legitimate concern. And all the false accusations of racism and Islamophobia won't change that.

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  3. Just wanted to say I agree with you 100%.

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  4. If there are U.S, boots on the ground in Syria the subservient British probably won't be far behind - our Prime Minister, David Cameron, is desperate to start bombing Syria. So far he hasn't been able to get the support in Parliament but the Paris attacks will probably change that. Most British people are more likely to be run over by a bus on the moon than be killed in a terrorist attack but our politicians and right-wing tabloid newspapers love fear-mongering too.

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    1. Based on what I heard yesterday, you guys and the French seemed poised. I understand the threat is more potent right there than here where it's downright remote. It's this rush to feel scared that's dispiriting somewhat. It's like no one learned a thing over the last decade and half of war. We only trigger the next generation. This battle will not be won by Crusaders invading the Holy Land for yet one more go; we have to be smarter and choke the threat off slowly and deliberately.

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