I'd seen the headlines but simply didn't want to read the articles. You know the ones I mean? Where the Defense Department's general counsel claims that Martin Luther King would have "understood" our need to invade and occupy other people's countries, terrorize their citizens, and kill their children? What better way to commemorate this man of peace and love than to say that if he were alive today, he'd realize he was all wrong, that he'd turn his back on his moral and religious values and decide that violence and hate were the solutions after all.
This morning a friend sent me the link to the article on the Defense Department's website and I succumbed and actually read it. I was more disgusted than I could have imagined. As if the "If he were alive today" blasphemy weren't bad enough, Jeh Johnson, the general counsel who made the remarks in a keynote address to the Pentagon, compared today's troops to the Good Samaritan of the Bible.
Volunteers in today's military, he said, "have made the conscious decision to travel a dangerous road and personally stop and administer aid to those who want peace, freedom and a better place in Iraq, in Afghanistan, ...
Anyone who believes that the Iraqis and Afghanis consider our troops akin to the "Good Samaritan" deserves the Sarah Palin Award for Gullibility, and that special gold (from Glenn Beck's personal stash) medal with "Don't Retreat, Reload" skillfully engraved just below that aptly placed surveyor's symbol.
My husband started No More Victims, a small non-profit in 2002, just prior to the invasion and occupation of Iraq. NMV pairs war-injured Iraqi children with communities across the country for medical care, in an effort to spread an awareness that will help to educate and advocate for Peace. We're currently in the process of bringing 13 year old Salee Allawe back to South Carolina for her third pair of prosthetic legs. Salee lost her legs to a US air strike while playing hopscotch in her backyard in 2006. She not only lost her legs, but her best friend and brother, as well. Though Salee and her family have the amazing ability to separate the American people from our government (something we as Americans don't seem to be able to do with other nations), and to love all of their wonderful American friends that they've grown to know on their trips to the States for Salee's legs, somehow I don't think they would consider the act of destroying their country and dropping bombs on groups of children at play to be shining examples of that touching Biblical parable of compassion. Maybe I'm wrong, but I simply don't believe Mr. Johnson's comparison works, either for Martin Luther King or for our nation's invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan.
If our government thinks that we are so easily misled that we can believe that destroying other people's countries and killing their children is an act of kindness, isn't it about time that we stood up and told them we're not that dumb!?
We don't believe that it's healthy
- to have 50 million people without life-sustaining health care
- to have a government that cares more about tax cuts for the super-rich than the increasing numbers of homeless lying in our streets
- that celebrates our young men and women when they're off in "battle" but neglects their needs (leading record numbers to suicide) when they come home
- that thinks the solution to a madman's killing spree is not better mental health care but to arm more madmen with ever more lethal weapons, and
- that Sarah was really looking for land to buy and those weren't crosshairs on that map.
We don't buy it and we don't believe it.
On Tuesday of this week, a dozen Democratic lawmakers sent Johnson a letter opposing his characterization of Dr. King. Let's all truly honor his memory this year by working to make this a more just and peaceful nation.