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The Scar Tissue Of War--
Scabs Of Peace & Freedom
Cliff McKenzie, Editor

GROUND ZERO PLUS 1279 DAY--New York, NY, Monday, March 14, 2005--Evan Thomas, a top Newsweek reporter, spins a different story today than most would expect of a journalist reviewing the impact of the Iraqi War on the history of the Middle East.

He says the decision to go to war and fight for freedom "may" have worked, and "may" have been the right thing for America to do in spite of President Bush.

Evan Thomas spins a story of President Bush and America winning the fight for freedom in the Middle East

He also admits that the parents of hundreds of American soldiers who gave their lives should breathe a little easier knowing their sons and daughters put themselves at mortal risk for a good reason.

Early on, President Bush was painted...

President Bush-bashing has been the journalistic mode for the majority of America's press, and much of the world. In the early stages of the attack on Terrorism in the Middle East, the President was painted as some singular crazed sheriff with a six-shooter challenging the world's security from a pure selfish, self-seeking motive.

Now, the screw is turning.

It seems that "peace and freedom" in the Middle East is like a lost oasis recently found. People are flocking to the precepts of democracy, risking their lives to cast votes, and challenging long-lasting walls that separate the"average" from the "elite.

...as some gun-crazed sheriff

Despite the differences between the east and the west, the people of the Middle East feel the shadow of America falling on the oppressors of their freedom, and the vow of President Bush to fight anywhere at any time against "terrorism" translates to millions who have been deprived of the fundamental right to choose their destiny as the "right to evolve."

Iraqis are standing up for their own rights today, and, citizens around them in the Middle East who have lived as servants of the "overlords" whether they be religious or sheiks controlling the wealth of nations through elite families as is the case in Saudi Arabia, are beginning to stir.

America--however despicable the image is painted by religious leaders and advocates of the "crass commercialism" and "evil western culture--stands as a symbol of what individual freedom is about.

Part of the reason for the acceptance of American democracy is the surge of Muslims within America and their echoing voice within both the political and cultural forums. African American politicians, including mayors, police chiefs, fire chiefs, as well as senators and congresspeople, illustrate to anyone with a tap on information from the west that America allows the voices of all to be heard, and, despite its reputation as a "white-dominated" society, is seen as a potpourri of ethnicity that constantly seeks to bring justice out of injustice.

The presence of Condoleeza Rice as Secretary of State reinforces the actualization of democracy in America

The presence of Condoleeza Rice as our Secretary of State, following in the footsteps of Colin Powell, is further reinforcement that America embraces skills and talents regardless of religious beliefs or skin colors. This fact flies in the face of poisonous untruths that America is a giant Christian Crusader seeking to oppress and enslave a world of color.

But most important of all in expressing the willingness of America to fight and die for the freedom of others is the composition of the young men and women who put their lives on the line daily for the right of a young girl or boy in the Middle East to grow up in a free land where their voices, combined with others like them, represent the will of the people.

The U.S. military is composed of 65.5 percent white. The 34.5 percent of non-white members represent 17.3 percent Black, 11.4 percent Hispanic, and 5.9 percent "other."

In relation to the U.S. population, these figures closely parallel the distribution of the ethnic diversity of the country. America's "white" population is 62.6 percent of the total. According to the 2000 US Census, the percentage distribution of ethnicity in the nation is 12.3 Black or African American, 0.9 American Indian and Alaska Native, 3.6 Asian, 0.1 Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander, 5.5 Some Other Race, and, 2.4 Two Or More Races. In addition, 12.5 percent of the population is Hispanic.

In the data supplied by the U.S. Census Bureau, the charts credit "white" population as 75.1 percent. However, for some strange reason this figure includes the Hispanic population of 12.5 percent. If you go to the link, you will see that Hispanic or Latino is a "breakout" category. Practically, however, Hispanics, as any separate ethnic group, don't identify themselves as "white," which usually implies an Anglican background.

No matter what way the data is carved by statisticians, it still comes out bearing a 62.6 percentage of "white" and the balance various others ethnicity. The military population of 65.5 percent white flows relatively evenly with the general population. The larger percentage of African Americans in the military may be skewed slightly by the absence of the "two-race" category in the Census that represents some 2.4 percent of the population. Also, there is a larger number of black women in the military.

The point of the statistics is that if an Iraqi man or woman is looking into the faces of U.S. troops, he or she sees an ethnic stew. He or she may be facing a Muslim dressed in American military gear.

American troops on the ground in Iraq are not "white conquerors." They are average people from all walks of life willing to spill blood on foreign soil for the right of a child to be free.

There is ethnic diversity in our American troops in Iraq

The citizens of the Middle East have something that no religious zealot can steal, or that no set of insurgents or terrorists can easily disfigure with propaganda. The citizens of the Middle East have common sense.

Centuries ago, the Middle East was the cradle of civilization. Its literature, art, scholars, engineering and social structures were the finest in the world. Other nations came to bow at the altars of their magnificence. One has only to study the history of Persia or Egypt, or, to travel through any major museum and study the artifacts to recognize that the roots of the Middle East are not based in primordial ooze, or be inclined to disparage the genetic magic that sits brewing in the cells of the young people of such magical and majestic history.

Wisdom cannot be erased. While the world may have traveled at relative light speed in many areas of development on the Western horizon, the Middle East is not the tail of the dog. It was once the head, with fierce jowls and razor sharp canines, not for the destruction of civilization, but designed to carve it out of the sand, to create flourishing cities and manufacturing of modern innovations that the world sought as one might seek treasures deep within the sea.

What would a Western civilized homeowner with a laptop and cable HDTV give for an original Persian rug?

The Middle East once sat at the head of civilization

In Egypt,not too many centuries ago, the world's most famed knowledge was stored in archives on paraphrase until the great library was sacked and all its stored wisdom's burned by savages who had little respect for the antiquities of knowledge. Even today, modern scholars wince at the thought that Cleopatra's storehouse of wisdom no longer exists.

But, it does.

In the marrow of the Middle Eastern culture roost the seeds of once-greatness waiting to be fertilized back to life. It is this innate knowledge within the peoples of Iraq and other parts of the Middle East that America is watering with its offering of "peace and freedom."

For far too many years the Middle East has been pinned under the thumb of tyranny by leaders seeking to control and manage the lives of millions. Certainly, much of that motivation has come from the riches of oil that exist beneath the sands. But there are many free nations that work within the context of democracy and freedom that can control and manage wealth, often with much better results than dictators or despots or ruling classes that prefer to keep the idea of individual freedom far on the other side of the horizon.

America has changed all that.

The bombs and bullets and bloodshed has been horrible--as all wars are--but the end result is the flourishing of a democracy, and the thirst among the people to not let go of it once it has been in their hands.

And, those who delivered that "right to freedom" were, in many ways, their ancestors. More than one-third of the U.S. military forces in Iraq are not the "white Crusaders" so Draconian portrayed by religious and political leaders.

As a result of America's intervention, seeds of Democracy are sprouting in the Middle East

They have not come to reinvent the Middle East, for the solider who is handing out candy to the children could well be a Muslim who reads the same books, practices the same prayers, and respects the same deity.

Equally, next to the one handing out candy is the Marine or soldier who lives next to the Muslim soldier or Marine. He has grown up in a country that embraces ethnic and religious differences, and respects the rights of each person to believe what he or she wishes, and knows that America offers the "land of opportunity" where an individual can rise to the highest levels regardless of race, color, creed, sexual preference or any other difference.

Such journeys are not always easy, but the path is clear. Ahead, others have blazed it. Where injustice exists, there are laws and voices to strike out against them. While some may block the road they do not form barricades because if they are unjust they will eventually crumble.

This is what the Middle Eastern people see under all the wrinkles of hatred and anger being thrown at them. And, in respect to the rest of the world, the Middle Easterners see that America stands virtually alone in this fight for their freedom. They see America has not pulled out after the war, tucked its tail between its legs and headed for the high ground to leave the less prepared and skilled to be placed into servitude by the gun wielding insurgents.

Charles Krauthammer's editorial in the March 14, 2005 issue of Time Magazine "Three Cheers for the Bush Doctrine" is yet another positive reinforcement of America's presence, determination and staying power in the Middle East and that "astonishing developments are being produced in the Middle East".

So it was refreshing this morning to hear Evan Thomas speaking on the IMUS radio show with Don Imus about how America was doing the right thing for the right reasons despite a holocaust of criticism from the media opposing such actions.

The VigilanceVoice message was reaffirmed today by Evan Thomas' comments on 'Imus In the Morning'

I felt good. I felt I have been on the right side of the Vigilance issue, and while my voice is a mere grain of sand in a desert of clamorous headlines, one day, perhaps, these writings will be viewed in context with others and given some credit for the stand on Vigilance not for America, but for the world.

For I believe America's role is still the Great Sentinel of Vigilance. I believe we are destined to teach Vigilance to all who are willing to listen, and, to fight for those who are deafened by the roar of Terrorism.


Go To March 8 Story: "The Scar Tissue Of War..."


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