Friday, May 27, 2016

A piece of my mind

Today my Facebook timeline has been inundated with posts regarding President Obama's speech at Hiroshima. I've seen it called "repulsive" and "absolutely vile". I've seen "click bait" websites with headlines that say that POTUS said that America is "Evil" and that he apologized to the Japanese people. I've read the entire transcript of the speech, four times, trying to find these things...and I can't. The word "evil" appears exactly this line:
"We may not be able to eliminate man’s capacity to do evil, so nations and the alliances that we form must possess the means to defend ourselves."
I can't find anything that, to me, is an apology unless you want to extrapolate lines such as:
"Why do we come to this place, to Hiroshima? We come to ponder a terrible force unleashed in a not-so-distant past. We come to mourn the dead, including over 100,000 Japanese men, women and children, thousands of Koreans, a dozen Americans held prisoner.
Their souls speak to us. They ask us to look inward, to take stock of who we are and what we might become." an apology. I can't make that leap. Even if I could find an apology in the text, my response would be "So what?"

I've seen comments the likes of (this is not an exact quote, it is an amalgamation of comments I've read. I use quotes for style here only) "dropping the bomb wasn't evil, it ended the war", "it had to be done", etc, etc.

So, even if POTUS did apologize, so what? Even if I give up the point that bombing Hiroshima and Nagasaki was necessary, what what would be wrong with an apology 71 years later for the act? Have you never done something that you felt was necessary, and even though it accomplished the desired effect, you had some tinge of regret after the fact? Over 100,000 humans died. What the hell would be wrong with "Sorry"? Sorry we had to commit an act such as this to achieve the desired effect? But again, I didn't see an apology in there anywhere. Please feel free to quote the portion of the text that you feel is an apology.

No, I've never served in the military, but I lost two uncles in that war. My brother served in Vietnam and although he returned, he never really did. Over 35 years ago, I took an oath to defend the constitution, and I have renewed that oath twice since then, and I believe that, to the best of my ability, I have done so. I'm as much a patriot as the next guy. Some folks love to sling the term "liberal" at me like it it's the scarlet letter. If liberal means that I care about other human beings no matter where they are or come from, I'll wear it.

If I was in a life or death struggle, and had to kill someone to end it, I hope that I would feel some small tinge of regret after the fact for the act.

I'm not a fan, supporter, or apologist for President Obama. What I am is a person who looks at the facts and draws my own conclusion rather than let the tide carry me to a different viewpoint. I certainly don't agree with everything POTUS has done or said, but I can find nothing in his speech that I think is vaguely "vile" or "repulsive".

I've seen "evil", "vile" and "repulsive" comments though, and I've also noticed an alarming trend among those comments and the people that voice them. Alarming to me, at least. But not surprising. I'll leave the revelation of that trend to your own interpretation.
"We’re not bound by genetic code to repeat the mistakes of the past. We can learn. We can choose. We can tell our children a different story, one that describes a common humanity, one that makes war less likely and cruelty less easily accepted."
That's the world I'm looking for.

Here's a link to the full text of the speech:  Text of President Obama’s Speech in Hiroshima, Japan

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Quote of the day - Wisdom from Win a Date with Tad Hamilton!

"When great love is rejected, Rosalee, something inside a man dies. So all he can do is run away, where he can meet the girl he'll love second most."