Saturday, May 23, 2009

Have Americans become a nation of cowards?

To answer my own question; I don't think so. Americans have made the bold choice to move away from Bush era policies and look to the future. This is not a sign of cowardice. I do have a broader point that I want to make. I'm becoming increasingly troubled by the reluctance of our leaders to close Guantanamo Bay Cuba and move prisoners to U.S. facilities. It seems to be a reaction to fear; and, Dick Cheney is the biggest fear mongering, cheer leader of them all. Why?

When I was 17 years old, my parents bought a piece of property on Ashumet Pond on Cape Cod. Their intention was to build a retirement home. The pond at that point in time was relatively undeveloped and I have to tell you, the fishing was fantastic. The pond bordered the Massachusetts Military Reservation, Otis Air Force Base and Camp Edwards. Just to the north of my parent's new property was a secluded sandy beach adjacent to acres and acres of cranberry fields. One day while fishing off of the beach, an elderly man approached me and told me the history of the beach. He said the beach was used by the military to exercise German POWs during World War II. He told me he thought the Germans had it pretty good. they were allowed to swim in the pond and they played soccer along the beach.

Where was the fear then? While the country reacted to fear by imprisoning loyal Japanese citizens on the west coast, it seems like our mortal enemies may have been treated pretty good.
Now I'm not proposing treating our al Qeada enemies the same way that German prisoners were treated in this instance. I am saying that there should be absolutely no fear about placing these prisoners in super-max facilities around this country.

The herd mentality of Congress is amazing to watch. While I maintain that Americans are not cowards, I may not be able to say the same thing about the majority of Congress that envision Willie Horton around every corner. Thank you Sheldon Whitehouse and Jack Reed for not following the coward's path.

It seems like Cheney and friends simply don't trust the "message" that is America. Our message is far more powerful than theirs. Let's do our best to get these prisoners tried, sentenced and moved to secure facilities here. It is our responsibility and Americans should fear nobody.

As for Dick Cheney and friends that live in fear; that's your problem not America's, go to bed with your shotgun.

Another Bush problem that is confronting Obama because George W. did nothing to resolve the issue involves the release of Manuel Noriega (for a snapshot history of Noriega click here). You remember; our friend, our employee, our informant, our CIA go to guy that became our enemy according to George Bush, Senior. Our enemy that was housed in U.S. prisons for decades has served his sentence. Noriega's sentence was completed in September of 2007 and is now being illegally held by U.S. authorities because they don't know what to do with him. Stay tuned!


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