Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Opinion

April 30, 2013

LION AND THE LAMB: Our nation’s mission

CROSSVILLE —

On May 1 ten years ago, President George Bush landed on the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln just off the San Diego coast, and under a banner proclaiming “Mission Accomplished,” gave a speech announcing the end of major combat operations in the Iraq War. There has been some debate about whether the banner referred to the carrier’s 10-month deployment or to the war itself, but it soon became an ironic symbol of our involvement in the Middle East.

President Bush didn’t help matters when in that speech he stated, “In the Battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed.” And in a message to the troops in Afghanistan at As Sayliyah on June 5 of that same year, he said, “America sent you on a mission to remove a grave threat and to liberate an oppressed people, and that mission has been accomplished.”

On this 10th anniversary we are reminded of these two historical events by what happened in Dallas this past week. On April 25 the George W. Bush Presidential Center was dedicated. Located on the campus of the Southern Methodist University, this $500 million complex includes a Presidential Library and Museum, a Policy Institute, and the offices of the George W. Bush Foundation that raised the money for the center.

The institute will seek to advance four causes that Bush adopted as his own while in office: human freedom, global health, economic growth, and education reform. The museum, however, will focus more on events such as 9/11 and the Iraq War, and provide visitors an introduction to Bush’s decision-making role as “Decider-in-Chief” and his version of history.

One wonders how critical the museum’s analysis will be. The drumbeat for war on Iraq by the U.S. political establishment began almost ten years before 9/11. Dominating the Middle East and controlling its oil supplies were viewed as crucial for the U.S. economy and imperial expansion. “Operation Desert Storm” was expected to usher in a new world order of unfettered American global dominance.

In the months before the invasion of Iraq in March 2003, more than 300 retired generals, admirals, high ranking officers, national security officials and diplomats spoke out against any invasion. Retired General and former Director of the National Security Agency Bill Odum called the invasion the most strategic military blunder in our history. Will these be mentioned?

Along with the Iraqi war came a serious disregard for legal and justice issues. Will the museum, in its presentation of the role of our nation’s Decider-in-Chief, refer to any of these? In 2002, in violation of international law and treaties, the U.S. government instituted a new doctrine of “pre-emptive self-defense” and regime change as a goal for military intervention. It came with free fire zones, the use of antipersonnel weapons in dense urban settings, the torture of captives, and lies about the enemy having weapons of mass destruction.

Have the costs been worth it? The war has taken over one million Iraqi lives and created 5 million refugees. It has caused over 5,000 American fatalities and suicides, 200,000 injuries, illnesses, and traumatic syndromes, and a huge debt for U.S. taxpayers. According to economist Joseph Stiglitz, these taxpayers over time will be paying an estimated $3 trillion for this unfunded war.

The museum will have special electronic instruments for visitors that will allow them to interact with some of the exhibits. It will be interesting to see what kind of interaction will be possible on the subject of our nation’s mission.

• • •

This column is sponsored by Cumberland Countians for Peace and Justice and dedicated by the local writers to the theme that the lion and the lamb can and must learn to live together and grow in their relationship toward one another to ensure a better world. Opinions expressed in “Lion and the Lamb” columns are not necessarily those of the Crossville Chronicle publisher, editor or staff. For more information, contact Ted Braun, editor, at 277-5135.

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • Lion and the Lamb: Our war on women

    Jimmy Carter, who was president from 1977 to 1981, has had quite an impressive career as an author. His first book was published in 1975, and he has now written a total of 37 books, 23 of them after his presidency. He has set a high example for other past presidents, especially those who would like to find ways of being as beneficial to their nation as possible in the days after their retirement.

    April 22, 2014

  • Tidbits: "Selfie" destruction

    Technology continues to profoundly impact our daily lives, from the Heartbleed Bug that put hundreds of thousands of websites at risk of compromising customer usernames and passwords, to the little light that tries to tell me I'm about to run out of gas. Technology also impacts our language, with new words being created to describe the latest gizmo, gadget or trend.

    April 21, 2014

  • Stumptalk: It depends on what you mean

    A writer’s headline asks, “Do we really believe in democracy?” To which I answer, “What do you mean by democracy?

    April 21, 2014

  • LION AND THE LAMB: Four ways to demonstrate opposition

    Marcus Borg and John Dominic Crossan mention in their book, “The Last Week,” that Roman-occupied Palestine during the first century was under the control of Pontius Pilate who lived in the coastal city of Caesarea. Each year at the beginning of the Passover observance when Jews celebrated their liberation from Egypt, Pilate feared that they might be getting ideas about revolting from Rome, so he would come with additional soldiers on horses to beef up the Roman garrison in Jerusalem. 

    April 15, 2014

  • WE THE PEOPLE: Is it (new) party time?

    The Democratic and Republican parties are toast, according to Joe Trippi. The Republican Party is coming apart at its Tea Party seam. Democratic candidates struggle to celebrate President Obama’s health care successes, while responding to criticism of his failed promises, e.g., government transparency.

    April 15, 2014

  • TIDBITS: I found it at the library

    I have such fond memories of going to my local library as a child, searching through shelf after shelf and finding a book that would make me a Little Princess in World War II England, or bring me along as Nancy Drew solved the Secret in the Old Attic.

    April 14, 2014

  • STUMPTALK: The reason words have meaning

    If words did not have accepted meanings we would not be able to communicate effectively and civilized society would not exist.

    April 14, 2014

  • Lion and the Lamb: Do we really believe in democracy?

    The recent Supreme Court decision, McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, is in a long line of debates about power in a democracy. Should power be in the hands of all the citizens or should it be in hands of those who have greater wealth and social position?

    April 8, 2014

  • We the People: Public education or business opportunity?

    A month ago, we followed the money trail left by a ‘think tank’ to the major sources funding an attack on our traditional, locally controlled public schools. We saw that a handful of billionaires provide major support to many organizations lobbying for change.

    April 8, 2014

  • Stumptalk: Just another government lie?

    There is a vault located in Fort Knox, Kentucky. It was built in 1936 and encased in 16 cubic feet of granite and 4200 feet of cement. The door is made of 20-inch thick material that is immune to drills, torches and explosives.

    April 7, 2014

Marketplace Marquee
Parade
Must Read
Section Teases
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Raw: Kangaroo Rescued From Swimming Pool Raw: 3 American Doctors Killed in Afghanistan Raw: Obama Arrives at State Dinner in Tokyo Raw: Obama Plays Soccer With Japanese Robot Raw: Obama Visits Meiji Shrine in Tokyo Stars Talk Guns N' Roses at Golden Gods New Pictures of Ship That Sank in 1888 Oregon Gay Marriage Ban Goes to Court SKorea Ferry Toll Hits 156, Search Gets Tougher Video Shows Possible Syrian Gas Attack Admirers Flock to Dole During Kansas Homecoming FBI Joining Probe of Suburban NY 'Swatting' Call U.S. Paratroopers in Poland, Amid Ukraine Crisis US Reviews Clemency for Certain Inmates Michigan Man Sees Thanks to 'bionic Eye'
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Weather Radar
2014 Readers' Choice