Saturday, July 26, 2008

In the Valley of Elah

At a friend's suggestion, we watched a Netflix DVD movie titled 'In the Valley of Elah', starring Tommy Lee Jones, who received an Oscar nomination for his role.
This was an excellent film about a very serious subject; the terrible impacts that are happening to our brave combat soldiers who have seen action in Iraq.

An exemplary soldier from a military family goes missing after returning from Iraq and his concerned parents get help from a police detective to investigate.
This is probably not something that young and impressionable Mary Poppins & Walt Disney fans might enjoy, but it is a powerful story -based on actual events- that needed to be told.

Many people may think they know about the horrors of war from their own service, stories from others, or just watching TV, video games & movies about it.
But, maybe not about the unnecessary horrors of an ill-conceived war, like Iraq, where our troops have been deliberately put in harms way from unseen enemies who operate on their own turf and use tactics that the Geneva convention never addressed.
Those conditions have such lethal and lasting effects on human beings, that we cannot even conceive of this 'war's' eventual costs!

Whether they believe that anything comes after life or not, the architects of this contrived conflict -I won't honor it by giving the title of war- may have created such a bad karma for themselves that they may burn in the hottest of hells for eternity!

A real war, resisting ruthless aggression by power hungry psychopaths -like Hitler- is rightly justified. But, even that is still a terrible thing that is to be avoided if possible by diplomacy, worldwide peace-keeping alliances and any other means available, providing of course one believes war is an outdated way of resolving anything, and an absolute last resort to be used only if all else fails.

Why do we elect, tolerate and not even question leaders who routinely act against this principle and against the lessons we ought to have learned long ago?
When will we learn that democracy is not a spectator sport for lazy people who prefer being pampered consumers instead of alert and hard working citizens?
I think that starts here at home, in our towns and districts that are the true wellsprings of freedom.
But these wellsprings also need to be nurtured, replenished and renewed by us to be sustained, so that what we get is bubble-up democracy and not some corrupted idea of trickle-down anything!

What we see with the Iraq situation is something that could have been avoided had we paid better attention!
We certainly could have paid better attention to the people we elected, and that starts at home.
So, go ahead and make my day and connect the dots.
You get what you pay for, so be careful how you spend your money, time and vote!