From the Salon web site on Friday of last week we learn that Fox News is playing to stereotype and openly calling for the screening of Muslims that have any position with America’s defense, especially those in uniform. This of course follows the tragedy of last week at Fort Hood involving an American born officer who is a Muslim allegedly killing or wounding several dozens fellow soldiers on what appears to be a "religious conviction" motivation for his alleged behavior.
This is not helpful and although it is an appropriate question to explore, the news channel is being very "unhelpful" to say the least if this initially reasonable question soon turns into another Fox Channel crusade against "them". This stuff is not only getting old, it is dangerous. The story is here.
As I have previously pointed out, this kind of thing has happened before in the U.S. Armed Forces. I am getting tired of Fox News telling me who my enemies are. All the time. Non stop. I had no idea there were so many "thems" out there!
Here is an intersting and thought-provoking article written by Paul C. Roberts entitled "The Evil Empire" which is worth a slow read.
Although I do not necessarily agree with a lot of what is said here, it seems crystal clear in its more-than-obvious declaration that participative government is dead for the average citizen. That is not good for veterans. Without participative government we sacrificed for nothing.
Moving into our perusal of today’s New York Times we can start to inform ourselves about the state of our nation.
Here is news that veterans need to consider in order to be informed citizens.
The official unemployment rate has now hit 10.2% which is the highest level of joblessness since 1982. However, a broader reading of that figure means that actual unemployment is about at 17.5% of the working population. This is obviously not good for the nation’s economic health. Can we afford to wage these wars given this figure? That story is here.
Here is a related story that targets and discusses the greatest growing threat of unemployment since the Great Depression.
Here is a story that discusses how the huge job loss situation in the U.S. affects the financial markets and therefore the value of our economy as a whole.
In this story, typical Afghan citizens say that they do not want more U.S. troops on their territory.
In this story, Gordon Brown the Prime Minister of Great Britain warns President Karzai of Afghanistan that unless he immediately stems corruption in his government, he will lose any hope of continued British support for his regime.
In this story, investigators are still struggling to determine the motivation behind the alleged killer of the Fort Hood soldiers, Major Hasan M.D.
In this story, Muslims in the community surrounding Fort Hood are voicing concern that they will now be seen as dangerous radicals and insurgents due to the alleged actions of Major/Doctor Hasan.
In this editorial the New York Times discusses ethinic hatred and religious bigotry in the wake of Major Hasan’s alleged assualt on fellow soldiers. I think this is a very important read for American veterans.
In this Op Ed piece by Bob Herbert, he discusses the enormous stress that continued deployments to combat zones places on troopers. He touches on the responsibilities of those of us who are not being deployed relative to these people in uniform who are under this incredible strain.
Here is a salient quote from that Op Ed piece:
"The fallout from the mental health challenges facing America’s fighting men and women is vast, and it descends most immediately on close relatives. We have laid an unconscionably heavy burden on the volunteers and their families. The wives, husbands, children and parents bleed emotionally right along with those who are sent into the war zones.
This small sliver of the overall U.S. population has carried the burden of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, mostly without complaint, for years. It’s time to reassess what we’re doing to them."
In this Op Ed piece by Charles Blow, the problem of joblessness is laid directly at the feet of President Obama. It is his watch now.
Here is an Op Ed piece by Viet Nam veteran and former Senator Max Cleland called "The Forever War of the Mind". It is powerful. I am sure so many veterans can relate to this.
And finally, as if older veterans did not have enough problems, here is a story from CNN News that outlines a condition in people over fifty. If they have sex, they can lose short term memory. Great. Just what I wanted to know! I can sex my way into dementia!
So to wrap things up, here is today’s quote from On This Day section of the New York Times:
"On Nov. 7, 1917, Russia’s Bolshevik Revolution took place as forces led by Vladimir Ilyich Lenin overthrew the provisional government of Alexander Kerensky"
Hmmmm! I wonder if…. Never mind…I don’t want to go there…..
CWO3 Tom Barnes, USCG (Ret.)