Our Fallen In Yemen (2017Jan29)


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Sunday, January 29, 2017                                        10:51 AM

Well, it’s become real—or is it ‘realer’? The first Trump administration counter-terrorism operation in Yemen has ended with the loss of a US serviceperson. Blood has been shed. We can all hope that Trump’s phone call to the grieving family will prod him into taking this job slightly more seriously, now. All this time, all this campaigning, and Trump is finally confronted with the fact that America is the arsenal of freedom—and freedom ain’t free.

Not that Trump is much worse than the rest of us. Will that fallen soldier be headline news all week? Or will he have sacrificed his life for his country while his country neglects to so much as notice, beyond a column in the New York Times? Will our armed services personnel retain their sense of duty and honor, while 99.9% of their countrymen obsess over inaugural crowd sizes, or repealing health care coverage for twenty million people?

Who would have thought that an elitist egomaniac who slaps his name onto any building he can find, in pursuit of brand-recognition, would discover that his name on a building (now that he’s the leader of a nation which ISIS is sworn to attack) makes that building a somewhat uncomfortable stopping place for most people? It’s ironic that his family’s businesses are now in a position of hoping that ISIS, Boko Haram, and others will repeal their fatwas against the USA and ‘replace it with something better’.

Then again, America’s pride in being ‘the land of the free’ is going to take a hit, what with Muslim bans, 2,000-mile walls, repealing women’s right to choose, and attacks on the fourth estate (if not facts themselves). Perhaps our armed services will lose their loyalty, not because they fall unnoticed, but because the country they defend no longer exists. Up until now, they operated on the premise that the tree of liberty must be watered with the blood of patriots (and tyrants—but let’s not get the Secret Service all het up). But without the tree, why bother with the watering?

If America becomes no different from any third-world dirt-hole, why would we even bother getting excited by the thought of invasion? Here comes the new boss, same as the old boss, right? According to Trump, our elections are a farce, anyhow—anyone who didn’t vote for him voted illegally—or whatever conundrum that fevered head came up with. So, we’re not really a democracy. Add in the voiding of the Constitution, and the trashing of our tradition of welcoming immigrants and refugees—and it’s not really America anymore, is it?

Just add a new SCOTUS appointee who hails from 17th-century Puritan Salem, as a cherry on top, and you’ve got a whole new country. All we need now are people willing to die for it, and people willing to live in it.

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