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Jack Lynch, Editor
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An Opinion From Jan 1st, 2003 Revisited
January 10, 2007
by Jack Lynch
Note: This commentary originally appeared in the Frederick News Post on January 1st, 2003 as we neared the beginning of the Iraq War. It bears repeating as year four of this war is completed. It still holds quite true, even more so in some ways as this war continues, and sadly I've never brought back my patriotic ribbon to my door.
"Front Door Reflects Beliefs"
Our door now carries a wreath in keeping with the season of hope and joy.
In order to place it there I removed a large bow made from a ribbon of red, white and blue. I've kept that bow in place since shortly after the terror attacks of September 2001, but I'm uncertain now if I'll place it back there after the wreath comes down.
As I contemplate the New Year, it is with uncertainty. Not that my renewed patriotism has waned, but because the rumblings of war have left me with a sense of doubt about where we as a people are being led, and why.
War in Arabia may indeed be the responsible action of our great power, but the pronouncements in that regard over the past several months have not yet been convincing and clear.
My faith in the present administration's goals has been limited by its own mixed message. At a war's end, we may finally come to know just how fateful our battle has been, the revelations of real dangers that were hidden in Iraq may come to light, and our role of policing the world be vindicated. I certainly hope that will be true.
But I worry that we send our mixed message beyond our borders by our actions. That having done what was necessary in Afghanistan, we have left behind the further mission of bringing a better future to that land, and that we will do the same thing in Iraq.
Plus, the very real threat of great danger from North Korea seems to continue to grow without solution.
That country has demonstrated intransigence, deceit and threat to its brother democracy. Its missiles may be able to reach our western borders. Its admission that it violated agreements with us and used its capabilities to generate nuclear material in order to build weapons, as well as its direct threat to our representatives that to counter them would lead to many more thousands of American deaths than the Korean War, all add to the preponderance that they are indeed the real threat to our security.
I pray that this President is not simply a brash son of a failed father, seeking to avenge personal grievances. Remember, the father's failure to complete the job in Iraq is what led to his near assassination in the middle east at a later visit.
Megalomania and revenge are not distinctly Arabian qualities of dictatorial regimes, we as a people of democracy must be ever vigilant of those qualities in our own leaders.
The possibility lends itself to an old world sort of Shakespearean tragedy of the first magnitude.
We stand in possible danger of civilian deaths by terrorists at home, of battlefield deaths by chemical ordinance in Arabia, and a nuclear holocaust by missile in California. To meet these threats, we must proceed with caution and integrity in our dealings throughout the world.
I hope that by July 4th of next year, my patriotic ribbon will be proudly displayed once again, in the land that I love for its freedom and its translation of that good around the world.
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