The War in Focus

Introduction: As you peruse this commentary, keep in your hearts and mind our soldiers in the field. In this website—and other you will see Soldiers’ Angels click on this and adopt a soldier today—thank you.

It has now been about a week since the third anniversary of the start of the Iraq War, and my sentiment remains the same: Be patient America the “War on Terror” will end soon enough. How soon depends upon us. The message we send the planet during the course of it is dependent on how we face our past, present, and prescient legacy—and our taking responsibility for those “items” we deem laudable.

Dateline: March 20th, 2006, marked the third anniversary of the invasion of Iraq. What I mean is this: Although, the following may be a critique of American governmental foreign policy, this is not a direct criticism of the citizenry say for one, personal responsibility.

In the every day world of life, one’s duty ought to include the acceptance of consequences for ones action. A cliché – true enough, but accurate; in essence, to accept our own person’s action in how I, or we delegate our authority of subsistence to the government “we” portend to surrender the “rule of law” in order to organize rule. Of late, the citizenry, understandably, here in the United States, has been shrouded in shadows and fear. This darkness of emotion was and is the result of the one fateful day, September 11, 2001.

This day has sent the United States morale and self-esteem in the crevices of despondency. In so being that, emotionalism has charted the course of American policy. Ever since America and Americans (there is a difference) loss their sense of vulnerability; the sleeping giant had awaken into the world groggily, stumbling about the path of retribution. Initially, the “War on Terror” sought out those directly responsible for perpetrating the violation of our space and sovereignty. The mission was just and resolute. Then one day, certainly not over night, a mutation began in America and Americans angst and anger descended into paranoia.

Terrorists were seemingly in the dark shadows of every alley way. Alerts were sanctioned; our emotions palpable, uncertainty underscored the uneasiness of our nerves. Our fears were intangible and the lack of clarity shunted our most rational thoughts.

A new culture of fear permeated the skins of American hearts. Our leaders, albeit, for the sense of security, sowed the seeds of mistrust prior and after to the war in Iraq. By adjoining the “War on Terror” to the “War in Iraq” that Saddam Hussein and his regime were responsible for September 11th attacks. In addition to that, the drumming of fear set American against one another, suspicions turned to rumors, rumors turned to the authorization of laws, which restricted our participation to due process (see the PATRIOT Act as earliest example).

On the one hand, the message by our leaders advocated patience, tolerance and knowledge of those who were not our enemy. In essence, that not all “Arabs” or people who practice the “Islamic” faith were our enemy. In fact, they wanted to be free as well in their own variant definition of it, of course. But on the other, with tacit approval of our “governmental representatives,” by their silence and their implicitly announced similar faith, in that, and I paraphrase “It is all of Islam that is our enemy in this “War on Terror,” at least, this is the perception being present by the Christian fundamentalist.

photo by Lana

By tacit approval of “governmental representatives,” I mean that, and this is not direct criticism on the president’s faith, George W. Bush’s has been seen by the two perspectives: either as a comfort or as destructive. I find his faith both reassuring and also disturbing. In the sense that, my hope in his ethical, moral, and principals are guided by a worthy philosophy. My concern is the “orthodoxy,” the fundamentalism of it; essentially, the nature of it. It is, Christian fundamentalists, unwillingness to adapt, to change, or rather selectively change, or admit errors, in spite of facts being presented. It is the rigidity and dogmatism of the faith that can be oppressive at times (see the Catholic Church history; or, James Dobson).

Nevertheless, his focus, Bush’s, governmental policy has left the impression with public that all Islamic state (from their governments pundits view) or “Arab” states are at war with us (see Syria, Lebanon, Iran, and to some degree Saudi Arabia). So, it is not surprising when the public decries a “trading” relationship with another Islamic nation-state and wonders what the administration was thinking (see Dubai debacle). Thus, once again, appears that America, and more specifically Americans are fearful and intolerant.

Appearances, and images matter. It transmits the initial perception of reality. This perception or perceptions misshapes; and, represents the counter to what America is suppose to be. The shining beacon of liberty, in which, freedom, religion, expression, and choice are the rules not the exception. The ability of the minority to dissent, to have the right to argue, enables us to bring an idea, an experiment really, to reality. This is the message of America: individuals who are willing to be governed by the “rule of law” and in order to extend to those politically, ethnically, and racially equality for everyone that wishes to obtain them. In simple terms: “All men are created equal”; if you chose—people.

Unfortunately, this message has been lost in translation in the execution of this war, and according to some, this war was blundered from the start: materials, mission statement, and troops needed were bungled. First, it was eminent threat of “weapons of mass destructions”, “liberation of the Iraq,” and then, “democratization” of it—Iraq.

Now three years later, with supposed recriminations, abuses, and accusations of incompetence (see CIA faulty information) for the war in Iraq, and the “war on terror” (see border or ports issues) by the United States has dejected the morale of the American public (see recent polls) even more. Say for the administration’s core base—religious ideologues—the image of America’s has been tarnished and corrupted—even.

Americans are now apathetic. As a result of the screaming extremes, those in the middle, who believe that security is a necessity, desirable, but not at the sacrifice of our liberty, have been left wanting. Too much contradictory information bombards those who wish to determine the accuracy of our foreign policy for themselves, thus, the numbness Americans feel.

However, in the last three years—and for sure beyond, there is one certainty: our troops in the field from Iraq, Afghanistan, Bosnia, South Korea, Germany, Dubai and so forth need our unconditional support. This is despite the competency of the leadership in office of the moment and their reflective foreign policy that sends them in harms way. Our soldiers are our children, our sisters, our brothers, our friends and their children, and of course, our extended family represents us around this vast globe yet small community. They are the make up and representative of the best of America and of humanity.

It is their concern for humanity, and all of us, we, the planetary citizens, that they sacrifice themselves. So, let us all support the soldiers in the field, here at home and those abroad. For they are the soldiers of the light, after all, when it is said in and done—it just another day in paradise for us in the land of milk and honey….


10 Responses to “The War in Focus”

  1. bozette Says:

    very nicely said and done greg.

  2. Brian Says:

    Greg, my friend, you need some more sleep.

    You have a nice neutral message, but in practice, “The shining beacon of liberty, in which, freedom, religion, expression, and choice are the rules not the exception.” belongs only to us citizens. If we (I purposely speak for all US citizens here) really believed in being the “shining beacon of liberty” we’d tell our current administration to stop “discomforting” our enemy combatants and instead treat them like the prisoners of war they are. We’d also go back to telling our immigrants:

    “Give me your tired, your poor,
    Your huddled masses yearning to breath free.
    The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
    Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me.
    I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
    Emma Lazurus, 1883

    That’s where the American Strength comes from! Other countries’ refuse becomes the rich loam of our culture and commercial success!

    To really end this War on Terrorism, we need decent folk world over to condemn fundamentalists. Fundamentalists univerally appear to fuel hatred and discrimination.

    And what the heck is the “photo by Lana” supposed to be for? It is cute and I hope Lana is very happy, but I do not understand the significance of Lana and “The War in Focus”

  3. G. K. Stewart Says:

    Brian, my dear friend

    Yes, the message was neutral. Yes, this countries greatest stregenths are the refuse from other countries. Yes, it is our duty as citizens of the planet to condemn ALL funadamentalists planet wide–granted. But that is not what the commentary is in regard to, and your point altough valid to an extent–it is an obvious red herring, the message of this piece is two fold: The implicit message of this piece we are ultimately responsible for our own paradise, and the explicit message was that to give soldiers in the field unconditional support. Which by the way, you fail to mention. I think we all can agree, if the US administration does not put them in harms way, the opporturnities for persons to commit heinous would not be possible, if not “A” then no “B.” And, too give the troops unconditional support is not saying one support the administrations policy–but you are supporting as human beings. And, if a post card from me, you, everyone reminds them then of their humanity. Maybe in turn, they will remember that theire “enemy” is a human too. One of the first steps to paradise is to first find common ground….afte all, its just another day in paradise.

  4. G. K. Stewart Says:


    One more point, the picture of photo by Lana, is “placed” deliberately–read the paragraph before–and the closing sentence of that paragraph and associate image of the “traditional” family, what am I implying? Brian all three pictures were deliberate the blue hills, the “traditioal” family, and a sunset maybe from paradise–images, and words mean something. The placement of these do to…


  5. parated2k Says:

    Hey Gks!!

    Your article is well written and does a great job of conveying both your pride in the U.S. and your frustration. However, it also shows your unwillingness to see the facts on the ground instead of the rhetoric in the papers and popular culture.

    Prs. Bush speaks out against fear, and the culture calls it fear itself… Our military members bring to Iraqis modern hospitals, new power grids and schools, yet it is the “insurgents” who are dubbed “Freedom Fighters”… The insurgents celebrate their inhumanity through beheadings, targeting police departments and hotels…. yet the U.S. is branded “inhumane” because of of the actions of a few (who are being prosecuted, not celebrated).

    Apparently those who fight against freedom for Iraqis can do no wrong, after all, they never claimed to be “right”. However, other than killing for the sake of killing, what is their goal? To get the U.S. out of Iraq? The U.S. would have been out of Iraq long ago (at least as a fighting force) if the “insurgents” (who I prefer to call “the bacteria”) weren’t out blowing up buildings and vehicles.

    True, we are divided right now, but much less divided than during Vietnam. We are living in fear, but nowhere near the fear of the Cold War.

    One of “ParaTed2k’s Not So Famous Sayings” goes, “Fear works on the side of the criminal… awareness works for everyone else.”

    Our nation needs to wake up to the fact that there are people who just plain want us dead. That isn’t a cause for fear, that is a cause for awareness.

    For those who want to take that awareness and turn it in to fear, I say PISS ON ‘EM!

    It used to be that we, as Americans, faced up, stood up and refused to give into the fear. That is all we should expect of ourselves today.

    See ya around the SB!!

  6. G. K. Stewart Says:

    Hey Ted, “unwillingness” to see the facts on the ground a bit strong…Admittedly, I did not bring the “good news” to this article—however, I was only addressing the apparent images sees every day in the media. However, the main focus was the troops, and I chose to point this out rather do point counter point discourse. They face the reality on the ground in Bosnia, Korea, and wherever they may face harm. I do appreciate your feedback and will endeavor to weave more of the others perspective…. thank you for your input….gks

  7. Anonymous Says:

    From: Mike M.

    I do not know what twisted game you are playing, but release my friend immediately! I am certain Greg is being held by some renegade conservative think tank, no doubt planning an attack on the poor and the Catholics! If Greg is not released, We have a battalion of tree-hugging, dreadlock wearing, upper middle class, Anglo, wannabe hippies who will overwhelm you with positive energy, hug your trees into submission, and play Kumbaya at top volume until your mind snaps like a dry twig! I will have an answer soon! : ) Later!

    Mike M.

  8. Anonymous Says:

    I do not know what twisted game you are playing, but release my friend immediately! I am certain Greg is being held by some renegade conservative think tank, no doubt planning an attack on the poor and the Catholics! If Greg is not released, We have a battalion of tree-hugging, dreadlock wearing, upper middle class, Anglo, wannabe hippies who will overwhelm you with positive energy, hug your trees into submission, and play Kumbaya at top volume until your mind snaps like a dry twig! I will have an answer soon! : ) Later!

    Mike M.

  9. Honestcitizen Says:

    Greg, great post, so who is anonymous on my comments? Do you know?

  10. Jetting Through Life Says:


    Beautiful post!! I promised I’d stop by to say hello even though you forgot to drop by me!! ;o)


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