Jack Ingram

-But don’t worry, glass houses are on sale at Wal-Mart.

Thanks for the letters. I felt like I just took an ethics class from Dick Cheney. Apparently, my point eluded some who wrote in, or perhaps they just bumped their heads on a few branches while descending the crazy tree.

Now I see, says the blind man, ignoring what happens outside our borders makes facts fun. Statistically, compared to the number of people who have EVER died, the 2,091 U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq (even after “mission accomplished”) is just a drop in the bucket! And if I ignore the fact that we brought them, there actually are WMD’s in Iraq! Justifying wars is for girly-men, like Cindy Sheehan. Let’s just make up our reasons as we go along.

Do not consider the rhetorical conjecture expressed herein as personal, lest you mistake the nature of the beast – disagreement about controversy – as avoidable. Thin of skin beware: with this audience, nice guys finish last. Rhetoric is a messenger, and the meaning is the package. A point lurks within, so don’t kill the messenger. Remember the meaning (assuming you find it), the rest is irrelevant. Reading requires critical thinking – so save the crazy pills for watching Fox News. The goal is to initiate discussion. Done. You can stop beating the dead horse now.

In his book, Longitudes and Attitudes, Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times Columnist Thomas L. Friedman posits,

“If 9/11 was indeed the onset of WWIII, we have to understand what this war is about. We’re not fighting to eradicate ‘terrorism.’ Terrorism is just a tool. We’re fighting to defeat an ideology: religious totalitarianism. WWII and the Cold War were fought to defeat secular totalitarianism ” Nazism, Communism ” but WWIII is a battle to defeat religious totalitarianism, a view of the world that says: My faith must reign supreme – and is affirmed – only if all others are negated – That’s bin Ladenism. But unlike Nazism and Communism, religious totalitarianism cannot be fought by armies alone. It has to be fought in schools, mosques, churches and synagogues, and can be defeated only with the help of (educators), imams, priests and rabbis.”

Kill the terrorists. Bomb their caves. Occupy the entire Middle East. However, believing that this will eradicate the ideology that spawns terrorism is like believing that hijacking planes and flying them into buildings will eradicate our ideals – Americanism.

Americanism simply does not exist within the confines of any skyscraper. Hijacking planes and destroying buildings focuses only on the tip of the iceberg. Skyscrapers are only one physical expression of our ideology, not the ideology itself. Planes and bombs cannot change this ideology; that’s the job of fear and ignorance.

Terrorists need us to build fear, as they need us to build planes, because their society is incapable of creating such things, so they must hijack them from us. Ours’ is the society of creation; theirs’ is of destruction.

Kill people when we should kill ideas. Drop bombs when we should drop books. A faAade of civility may persist, but inevitably, bin Ladenism becomes us. Curtailing our rights and freedoms ” our ideologies – while recklessly and thoughtlessly pursuing to secure “security,” and we do for the terrorists what they cannot do for themselves – win.

“If we are to wipe out global terrorism, we’d better make sure that we are the best country, and the best global citizens, we can be – Instead of just putting a fist in the face of the world’s bad guys, we must offer a hand up as well – Otherwise, we lose the rest of the world – And the world’s perception of us – our values – matters more now, and can’t be changed by an ad campaign, or by winning wars – it will be changed only by what we do, at home and abroad.”

Continue doing what is easy, or start doing what is right. The choice is yours – to ignore, of course.

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