Can we be honest here...? The only reason some people get lost in thought is because it's unfamiliar territory. Two bloody examples help make the point: America's fixation with Race and with War.
Start with our war mentality. Ever since the 20th C, seven wars. Spanish-American, WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and now Afghanistan. Only two because we were attacked. In each of the other five, the hawks talked about "preemptive strikes" rather like they are now about Iran's atomic facilities. What is it with us? Why do we find it so easy to hear the beat of the drums and the call to arms?
The costs of these seven wars -- in lives and treasure -- is incalculable. Take our current one which so far has cost us: $1.4 trillion, 6,390 Americans dead, 47,684 wounded, and more than 150,000 Iraqis and Afghans dead. With close to 600,000 returning GIs suffering from PTSD, brain trauma and depression which will further sap the vitality and potential of the nation for years to come.
But if there is madness to war, there is evil to racism. Our latest illustration took place with the "pre-emptive" killing of Trayvon Martin, the black teen in Florida. Of course this is merely the grotesque tip of an ugly iceberg that has tormented our democracy from 1609 when we first brought slaves here, to 2008 when we first elected a black president, to this 2012 election year in which every "pre-emptive" racist is finding other reasons for saving the Republic from this Kenyan-blooded half-breed who is somehow leading us into opposite directions at the same time [socialism & fascism, pro-Wall Street & anti-Wall Street, more peace-feelers & more drones].
Now here's the thing about "pre-emption." It gives you the first punch. So whether it's Mullahs we are told are ready to launch weapons 6000 miles into the heart of Manhattan...or black hoodies down the block...or that bum eying our gal in the bar...there's only one thing to do. Hit the sonofabitch now and ask questions later. Much much later.
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