Chris's special friend Frieda's brother has written a book. I decided to read it for that reason, and now, I say this is a must read for us all.
Aaron Glantz's book How America Lost Iraq is more than fascinating. I cried this morning as I read his words, because he presents so fairly and kindly. The whole situation is heart-breaking, as we know, but he brings it to us person by person, and swings opinion, like a pendulum, back and forth.
He was sent to Iraq by Pacifica as a journalist. He was expected to report back with a certain slant, and he couldn't. He opened his eyes widely to all sides, and he gives it to us here. I am only on page 58, and I know there will be a shift, as, at first, the people did have expectations of what the U.S. would do to help, and, as we know, we haven't. Perhaps, what comes through most strongly to me though is the idea that someone will "rescue" us, whether it is a political leader or a religious one. We need organization to survive as a society. We do need leaders, and we do need to feel and fulfill the words of John F. Kennedy in his inaugural speech of 1961. , "Ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country."
And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country.
My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man.
Finally, whether you are citizens of America or citizens of the world, ask of us the same high standards of strength and sacrifice which we ask of you. With a good conscience our only sure reward, with history the final judge of our deeds, let us go forth to lead the land we love, asking His blessing and His help, but knowing that here on earth God's work must truly be our own.
I realize now Kennedy's words are interesting, because I don't think we questioned his use of the word God, and now, it feels like God has been divided into political parties, and that, too, is sad, though it seems now the Democrats are beginning to claim God for their own. I don't know what happened to the constitutional separation of church and state.
Anyway, I think this book is key to read, because it shows how complex the situation is, any situation, and I think it also shows what happens when we reach outside of ourselves for relief, and maybe now Iraq is saying, strongly saying, they want to do it themselves, and they should be allowed to do that. They worry about our influence on their children. Well, good for them for that. It seems like we have forgotten, in the pursuit of the "almighty dollar" that our children should come first. They are all we have. They are our future, and we should cultivate and nourish these tender, little beings entrusted to our care.
I find it odd that there is so much talk about "morality" in this country, and yet, the toys given to our children may not reflect the most basic level of that. What values are we offering our children? What do we want for them? How do we speak to inspire their souls?