Welcome to the somewhat unbalanced mind of Orbson Rice.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Offensive Defense

In many circles I would be called unpatriotic or un-American for what I am about to write. To those people I say this: If patriotism is measured only by the violence one condones, then I do not want to be patriotic. The truth is that were I to be asked to fight for my country today I would stand up and yell “Hell no, I won’t go!” The ignorant masses will call me anti-American, but I believe my statement would be the only truly patriotic thing said in that conversation. I will fight for my country, but only when the reason for fighting is worthy of my life and the lives of others. I will support a war only when the cost of doing nothing outweighs the cost of fighting. Remember Orbsonism’s 5th Tenet: “Violence shall always be the last and worst answer to any problem.”

Ten years ago our country was attacked by a relatively small organization of terrorists. On that horrific day, 2,977 Americans lost their lives. Instead of targeting those terrorists, our country has gone on a terror campaign of our own with over 137,000 civilian deaths in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan (from Brown University’s study, http://costsofwar.org). Civilians! These people were not terrorists or military personnel. They were mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters. In the end, it was a small Navy Seal team that took out Osama bin Ladin in Pakistan, the one country we’re not at war with. A combination of intelligence and a specialized military squad seems like a more efficient way of dealing with the terrorist problem rather than attacking an entire country. Especially when it was the wrong country.

In the past 10 years we have started two wars and have spent between $3.2 and $4 trillion dollars (bye, bye debt ceiling issue). We have lost over 6,000 troops with over 550,000 disability claims as of last fall. Okay, I can keep throwing out numbers but it’s making me too pissed to write. I’ll let you check them out on the Cost of War website yourselves. The point is that the cost was and still is too high. Yet, we are still there.

I am not saying that I do not respect our military or honor their bravery. I do. However, I honor their sacrifice by speaking out when I believe they are risking their lives for an unworthy cause. They are given inadequate compensation and supplies and misled into believing that they are protecting us back home. Meanwhile, their families suffer as our country descends into a state of third-world mediocrity.

Many in our government suggest that we are helping to spread democracy and thus securing our own future. Have you ever wondered why we only seem to “spread democracy” in strategic countries like Kuwait and Iraq? Why we send support into Libya while human rights violations are rampant in places like the Sudan, China and Sri Lanka? We cannot claim we are supporting the spread of democracy and freedom when we turned a blind eye on Darfur where over 480,000 people have been killed and over 2.8 million have been displaced. We cannot call ourselves heroes, when we only save those who live in a strategic location and ignore all others. For more information on human rights violations throughout the world, check out www.amnestyusa.org.

I would like to be able to help everyone who needs our assistance. I fear however, that I will soon wake up in a country that cannot even help itself. I believe we must build ourselves up if we truly want to be a beacon to the rest of the world. We must leave Iraq, we must leave Afghanistan and we need to help people in the areas that really need us, like Detroit. You can call me un-patriotic or un-American, I prefer to think of myself as un-stupid.

Currently Working On: Currently reading the Budget Control Act of 2011 to determine if anything in it can actually help our country. Thus far, the answer in an emphatic NO. 74 pages of pointlessness. Good job Congress!

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