Friday, June 5, 2009

Remembering Buchenwald

All this week, I've been struck by how provident it seems to have President Obama as our leader in these difficult times. His outreach this week in a historic speech at the University of Cairo, was honest and surprising in it's tone. He spoke as no other President could have spoken. He pushed on the fundamental issue to the Middle East Process, which was that both Israel and Palestine had to compromise and accept the right for the existence and sovreignty of both states. Israel must stop their settlements and pull back to the original treaties. The Palestinian government must get under their control, the violent terrorist attacks carried out by Hamas. Both have to stop playing the victim and the aggressor.

If you listen to both extreme sides, each accuse the other of lying and killing their people. They are both right and wrong.

All too often it's easy too marginalize and disparage a whole culture or race. That happened once before, which led to the death of millions of Jews during the Holocaust.

One thing is clear, regardless of race, human beings are capable of both kindess and love, but also of great evil. Each society naturally has it's extremists. Those who are filled with fear and hate. We have Rightwing fundametalist conservatives here in the US, who only spout venom and hatred for those who are different from them.

They don't see the benefit in open and honest dialogue, nor of accepting of differing viewpoints. They would rather just use their guns to shoot people, as has been demonstrated by the conservative nutcase that opened fire in a Tennessee Church because of his hatred of Liberals. Or most recently, this pathetic speciman of a human being who thought he was justified in assassinating Dr. Tiller, who was known for helping women who no one else would help.

It's led, cowardly conservatives like the aptly named Dick Cheney to spit on the US ideals of democracy and justice, and commit acts of torture on other human beings.

Yes there are criminals and terrorists, but we must follow the law, and be above the violence that the terrorists love. By committing torture, we have ceded the moral high ground, and have aided and abetted the recruiting tactics of Al Qaeda.

But what struck me most today is that when President Obama visted Buchenwald, he admonised those who would deny or forget the horrors that were committed so long ago.

The Germans are very careful and almost obsessed with not denying or forgetting that they killed millions of Jews. Any hint of anti-semitism is dealt with swiftly and harshly.

The current generation knows that they are not to blame, as they were not there, but they do accept that, as a nation, what they did was wrong. They accept that dark period of their history with shame and regret.

What I find ironic, is that politicians like Inhofe of Oklahoma can be such a liar and an idiot as to call President Obama "un-American", and yet deny that we tortured.

As they advise many people with addictions, the first step is acknowledging you have a problem.

It's too bad that dishonorable conservatives like Inhofe can't do what's right and acknowledge what they did, so that we can fix what's wrong with America.

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