April 8, 2009 4:51 AM EDT
Gentlemen, first, allow me to say that healthy debate and the exchange of ideas is the element that makes our country unique and gave birth to our nation. You all represent the American ideal in that regard.
With regard to one`s questioning of the government, I believe it to be our highest duty to do so. I believe that we must question and watch closely the activities of our government. Our lack or desire to do so in the past has contributed to the current climate.
With regard to the violence in Iraq, there is always more violence in a time of war. Germany was "peaceful" and there was less violence in Germany (unless, of course you were a Jew) than there was until the allied invasion. But make no mistake, our efforts in Iraq were clearly designed to centralize a threat that knew no borders. Afghanistan as well. We had to develop a strategy that would bring Al Qaeda and the Taliban to a centralized front, and this we achieved. Of course there was less violence, but for who and at what cost.
With regard to the two party system, it has become stagnate to the point that one can scarce determine the differences between Republican and Democrat. Instead they have become a system of elitists who will do just about anything to maintain power, influence and pad their pockets.
It is a shame that our men and women in uniform often find themselves in the middle of partisan bickering and debate when they, indeed, sacrifice their lives for a cause greater than themselves. This has been the sad reality since the start of this nation.
The War in Iraq will be debated for generations to come. The threat of state sponsored terrorism continues to be a concern for American foreign policy and while North Korea and Iran are the current hot topics of intelligence and global security concern, they are by no means the last. We have not heard the last from Syria, and surely others in the region, who will continue to sponsor terrorism and tout their rhetoric to blow Israel off the face of the earth.
Where ever there are governments and organizations created by men, the inevitable elements of corruption, terror, violence and tyranny exist. Our country is no less immune, which is why questioning our government and its policies is not simply a good thing...it is a duty of every citizen to do so.
Our men and women in uniform are the best damn kids in the world. For whatever ills currently plague our country, and for all of the negatives we face in the economic and political life of our nation, our soldiers are the one element upon which our nation has always been able to rely.
Gentlemen, those of you who joined this discussion could teach Washington a thing or two about healthy dialogue, the differences of opinion and how to communicate those differences in clear, open and well-intentioned terms.
It is always a pleasure to listen, to read your posts and to see the familiar faces and names in our round table here. While we may find ourselves differing with one another on policy, we do so with passion, honest expression and the realization that in the final analysis we all do so as Americans.
GriffithCorp4/8/2009 6:13 PM
INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS TRIBUNAL