"Just a few families stepped forward. I think we're losing the sense of being a nation. Losing the sense of being a nation should concern us all. We have fought the war in Iraq as a nation divided. If we are still this divided in the next war, there is a good chance we will be defeated", quoting Jim and Maria Simpson who lost their son Abe, as well as his best friend and cousin Jonathan. Both died fighting in the Habbaniyah-Fallujah corridor.
To the Simpson's it may be little consolation to know that the vast majority did and do support the efforts of those who served honorably in the Mideast. It is little consolation to know that all wars are strewn with blunders and mistakes, but that is no good reason to abandon the mission. Yet, as the American military has adapted continually to overcome its mistakes and the mistakes of its government, American society has become more divided. As Rome and Athens demonstrated two millennia ago, every military, no matter how strong its internal code, eventually mirrors its society.
It was easy to criticize and condemn the Bush Administration for its faults; it is harder to decide how our society can retain sufficient unity to be the world's strongest tribe.
Our recent election was a mirror to our society and the image in the mirror need to change. Obama says he can do that but most of us who voted for McCain did not believe in the "changes" the president-elect advocated nor did we believe that he could "heal this divided country" and that he could lead and also lead his party to work together with Republicans as non-partisan political parties. I do not believe many of the Democrats now in power have the interest for the "common good" at heart and believe many of them will be posturing for re-election when the new administration takes control on January, 9, 2009. And I condemn many Republicans for their abuse of power over the past 8 years and that they work with the party in power, rather than plotting how to get their party back in power in 2010-12.
I do now want to become an Independent and ask that my party not to drive me out. As I've blogged before, unless some major changes are made in the Republican party heiarchy, I will make a personal decision I do not want to make.
Obama has possibly the best opportunity in history to lay partisan politics aside, list the problems by priority and listen to the input of those who have the interest of the entire citizenry. He said race was not involved in the election. That's fine as long as he tells many of his new voters that to have "a chicken in every pot" they are going to have to educate themselves and go to work, accept responsibility, get over the "I'm a victim" mentality and have some attitude adjustments.
Obama has made many promises, many I hope do not come to pass and may not come to pass if he surrounds himself with people who know how to sort out the special interest demands that are saying "me, me, me and I want it now".
I have as I said I would in earlier blogs, give him the opportunity to lead this country. I now wish him well.
As a closing thought in expressing my heartfelt sympathy for the Simpson's and all others who have suffered through the Mideast blunders and successes that "the desire to live in peace does not in itself, provide the means to achieve peace".
The source of much of the material in this blog is credited to "National Review", September 15, 2008 edition.