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Friday, November 19, 2004

We Are Living in Sad Times: A Topsham Maine Journal

There were tears in the eyes of televions news anchor Tom Brokow as he described a sad story on tonight's NBC television nightlly news about a young Marine from the US state of Nebraska, who was recently killed in fighting in Falluja, Iraq. Lots of innocent people are being killed in the Iraq War, but tonight's story was particularly stirring because the Marine killed in recent street fighting was apparently stricken in an ambush at about the same time his young wife and high school sweet heart was giving birth to their first born son, back home in Nebraska. To coin the Charles Dickens cliche, "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times". Iindeed, it was a time of horror amidst joy for the families affected by the death of the Marine from Nebraska. His wife is in anguish. His newborn son will never know his father. Parents of the Marine killed wish their son were alive, rather than hailed as a "war hero". Grandparents of the new baby are distressed and confused about the future. This cluster of sadness joins with other sad stories. It seems like endless sad news. Yes, we're living in very sad times. Americans frequently complain about a lack of good news stories, "Too much violence in the news", they say. As a sometimes reporter, I say we can't invent the news. We just report the news. If the news is sad, it's because we're living in sad times. Even the American family holiday of Thanksgiving, just around the corner, doesn't seem to help. We're still living in sad times. All the bright yellow ribbons of remembrance in the universe of ribbons cannot make it better. So, what can help to make it better? Well, it's not a cure, but Americans must wake up and realize how much we have lost to this War on Iraq. We have not gained one inch of freedom for the people of Iraq in this war. In fact, I'd bet most people in Iraq feel they have less freedom now then they ever lost with the dictator Saddam Hussein. Moreover, our US elite spy agencies are too busy fighting between themselves to find out more information about how long the real terrorist Osama Bin Ladin will outwit our government. We need to put resources and energy into rooting Bin Ladin out of the caves of Afganastan or Pakistan, or wherever he and his evil kind are hiding. In another report on the NBC nightly television news with Tom Brokow, one journalist reported , "The US Government now realizes there may never be an Iraq without terrorism." Yes, that's right. There may never be peace or freedom for the people in Iraq. But, Americans voted for President George W. Bush because they believed he would bring freedom to Iraq and kill all the terrorists. Dear God, we need to pray for intelligent American voters. Many Americans are loosing their freedom of thought due to expensive mind games played on all of us in thousands of paid political advertisements slammed all over the media to make us believe Senator John Kerry was not fit to lead our nation. We picked somebody else to do the job. Those seductive political advertisements were a waste of a lot of money, except, they worked for the Republicans and badly hurt the Democrats. Yes, in Tospsham, Maine, these are sad times. Hundreds of yellow ribbons are fading and wilting on local lamposts, tired of waiting for the return of our soilders. What can we do? Pray for peace. Pray for enlightenment for zealous people who blindly believe the War on Terror should be waged in Iraq rather than in Afganastan, where Osama Bin Ladin is hiding from us. Topsham, Maine is a rural place with lots of trees and pristeen countryside. It's a place of peace, even in the saddest of times. I'm happy to be here and I pray for those so much less fortuante. I pray for peace and better times.


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