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TO:JULIE

Posted by vince on 12/31/04 at 15:40 (166341)

Sometimes the truth is ugly, but it is always just the truth, and you think that you can make it prettier by hiding from it.
You may not agree with my post but what I said is absolutely true. We are hated all over the world. The tsunami just rid the world of thousands who had prayed every day for the death of all Americans. They have shown that they would kill you, your children, your friends and family without a second thought. They would slice off your head and film it for the world to see. With each terrorist washed away, with each woman gone who was able to bring into the world another terrorist bent on our destruction we are just a little safer but not yet safe enough. I do not make excuses for those who wish me harm- I rail against them and will never tolerate the attitudes that allow the enemies of this county to exist. My father fought our enemies for us and my family lost 4 men to the enemies of this country. They would thrash in their graves if they knew that they gave their lives for those who now apolgize for our enemies, who wish to pity them and assist them in their plans to destroy us by not standing up to them. I cannot believe that you are an American. I would forgive a dog or a snake for biting me but never a fellow American who supports the enemies of this country.

Re: TO:JULIE

Dorothy on 12/31/04 at 17:01 (166344)

Actually, Vince, the tsunami 'rid the world' of human beings with families who loved them and needed them, survivors who are mourning and grieving and in pain, who are in fear and terror of what the future holds for them. Maybe some hated America; maybe some loved America; maybe some didn't give a thought to America one way or another. America is not the central focus of everybody in the world; most people hold as their central focus their own home, neighborhood, family - just as you probably do. Many Americans and Europeons travel regularly to the parts of the world that were damaged; in fact, Americans and Europeons were among those hurt and killed.
Many of us have fathers, uncles, husbands, brothers, grandfathers who 'fought our enemies' as you put it; you have no exclusive right to that claim. John H., who is a friend to many on this website, is one such person who fought for his/our country - he is also expressing compassion and concern and sorrow for the human tragedy that we have seen this week.
You clearly have hatred in your heart - sadly as most human beings do for one object of their hatred or another - but if your home and family were destroyed, if your city and town and state were destroyed, wouldn't you wish that other human beings would care for and about you - and not about your hatreds, not about your opinions. And if they cared for you, don't you think that you might be more likely to think of them with love and gratitude and respect? It is possible that America could make friends of 'enemies' - many people of Europeon heritage think of America with love because of the kindness that Americans showed them in the devastation of WWII. Yet I don't think that those GIs, nor do I think that most of us, do what is humanly decent because of a possible favorable 'payback' - most do it because it is right and good, and most act on those impulses, thank God.

The recent NYT editorial gave the most telling fact - that the original Bush-announced U.S. contribution that was to be $15 million (increased later in response to public criticisms) was LESS THAN ONE HALF OF WHAT THE REPUBLICAN PARTY WAS GOING TO SPEND ON THE BUSH INAUGURATION!!!

Most Americans want to love and be proud of this country. We want leadership that represents the love and pride we have in our best impulses, not our worst. I urge you to put yourself in the shoes of the people who have been hit hard by life, by nature, by fate - and think about how you would want to be treated. Regardless of your religion, compassion and generosity are part of all religions; compassion and generosity are part of the American tradition and, before this and the most recent administrations, America was generally respected and held in affection in the world.

You are correct that our nation needs to attend to the many, deep needs of our own country, but that kind of attention is not mutually exlusive of the attention needed for those who have been hurt by the earthquake and tsunami. What are you doing to attend to the needs of the people and circumstances you cited as needs in the U.S.? Do you just use those as excuses not to help others who are in immediate, overwhelming need right now? I hear the demogogues on the radio saying similar things - why should we help those countries when there are great needs here - but what they never say is what they are doing about those needs that they refer to when they want to discredit the generous responses to the needs of others. I submit that they only use them as excuses to do nothing anywhere, including our own country. What do they - or others with similar opinions - actually do for 'the homeless', public schools, and the other problems you and they cite?

If we all let go of our tight hold on our greed and hatred, just a little bit, we will feel better and the world will be better - and that means not just your world but also the world of the people in pain and sadness tonight. I heard some of the people who survived the tsunami interviewed; they were saying things about how they were going to live differently, how this changed what they think is important - you know, a 'life-changing event' - Maybe if we could all think of ourselves as survivors - as we are - and in the 'there but for the grace of God...' sense, we might see things differently.

Re: Dorothy

wendyn on 12/31/04 at 17:17 (166345)

Excellent post Dorothy.

Re: TO:JULIE but directed to dorothy

vince on 12/31/04 at 19:29 (166347)

For your information Bush has upped the $'s the USA will donate to 350 million and I predict it will reach 1 billion before the end.You are just one of the Bush haters who will never get over the fact that he won the presidency with such an overwhelming majority of the popular vote. When the world's scum stops preaching for their rabble to strap bombs to themselves and blow up all those who don't believe that they will get 72 virgins when they die, then I will stop calling for their demise. How quickly you have forgotten that the USA was attacked first and 3000+ innocent Americans were slaughtered and 1000's more suffered from the economic downturn that followed. I don't hate and I am not greedy and I object to you calling me that but I will damn well call for the demise of anybody who wants me dead just because I have worked hard and have a little more than they do. However, I am finding that I am approaching the ability to hate those who live in this country as traitors and apologists for terrorists. Ramsey Clark must be your hero Dorothy. How much have you contributed to the local mosque and to Saddam's defense fund. Is a picture of a beheaded American on your desktop as wallpaper? Were you one of those who celebrated when the Cole or the USA army base in Saudi Arabia was bombed? AND IF I READ ONE MORE POST FROM ANOTHER WEAK-KNEED LIBERAL CRY BABY I WILL PROBALY VOMIT ON MY KEYBOARD. PLEASE DO NOT HAVE A HAPPY NEW YEAR- JUST THINK OF ALL THOSE WASHED AWAY AND PRETEND THAT THEY ALL LOVED THE USA AND THAT AMERICANS ARE EVIL AND DESERVE TO BE HATED BY THE REST OF THE WORLD. And by the way my IRA has increased in value by 50% since Bush took office 4 years ago. It's now back to what it was before Clinton saw to it that I had to work another 10 yers before I could retire. I guess I should be hated for that and called greedy. Well if you are ever hungry or homeless you can come to me, look in my window and watch me and my family eat our dinner. But if you try to put your hand in my pocket I'll chop it off.

Re: TO:JULIE

john h on 1/01/05 at 11:21 (166354)

Dorothy: I think before this is over we will give 2-3 billion dollars. Most will come from private donations. I heard on TV this morning the U.S. contributed something on the order of 39 billion dollars in foreign aid last year. The thing we all need to worry about is that all this aid does not get stolen as in the oil for food program. The news is already talking aobut the strong possibility of much of it being stolen in one way or the other. We have a supprisingly large number of military retired living in Thailand. I saw a retire Master Sergeant on TV this morning. He had come down from Bankok and had organzied groups to pick up the dead. A lot of unreported aid takes place evey day. Experienced people on the ground and in the area is one of the more important things needed now to bury the dear and clear the roads to let supplies move. A military unit I belong to established an orphanage in 1968-1969 in the northeast Thailand along the Laotian border. For hildren who lost their parent during the war. To this day we still keep it running and it has grown in size. Flying a helicopter I had the joy of flying in supplies and books when I was there and seeing the joy on their faces. We built a very nice school building also. Some of our guys make yearly trips back to this day to see how it is all going. Many other units did the same thing. These things go largely unreported which is fine with us. I flew a lot of missions with Thai Pilots some on my aircraft. Wonderful people. I never did go into Sri Lanka. I bet a lot of Buddahist are showing up in the area as thier must be a million of them in and around Bankok. I understand there are around 6-10,000 islands around sri Lanka and those areas and we know little of what happened. Strangely islands that are very low and not much to stop the waves were not nearly as damaged as built up areas. The large tsunami waves never really built up due to shallow waters and barriers and just rolled on past and over the islands. I also read that these waves can move at over 900 mph (faster than the speed of sound). A young English girl around 10 had just been studying Tsunami's in school and had just gone to the beach with her parents. When she saw the water roll out she knew exactly what was comming and shouted for everyone to run as a Tsunami was comming. She saved a lot of lives as the people around her did run for high ground.. Amazing.

Re: Hope Springs Eternal

Just An Observer on 1/01/05 at 11:41 (166356)

Well said, Dorothy!

We often hear that terrorism is born out of desperation. Perhaps now given an opporutnity to help those in need, we might give them a different perspective on life and just, maybe as a result, spawn LESS terrorism. One can only hope that when those little survivors grow up and take their place in life, somewhere deep in there hearts they will remember who came to their aid and comfort. One can always hope...

The contempt in Vince's post makes me wonder, had he born into such unfortunate circumstances, which path he might have chosen. Scary!

Re: TO:JULIE

JudyS on 1/01/05 at 15:30 (166360)

Just a small correction - President Bush didn't increase the amount of aid from $15 million to $350 million in response to criticism - it was, and will be, increased as need became/becomes more and more identifiable.

Also, both major political parties in the USA are 'guilty' of excessive spending for campaigns and inaugurations.

Re: TO:JUDY

marie on 1/01/05 at 16:02 (166363)

In defense of Bush. I know don't die of shock. :) Bush pledged 35 million because that was all he was able to pledge at that moment in time. It was the end of the year and there was simply nothing left. NOT his fault just the way it is.He can't just wave a magic wand and create money that isn't there. After reports for the new year funding were in he was able to increase that amount. I'm sure once congress is back in session more funds will be made available.

Re: TO:JULIE

marie on 1/01/05 at 16:03 (166364)

Dorothy I'm so honored to know you. Thanks for that post.

Re: vince

marie on 1/01/05 at 16:08 (166365)

http://www.flickr.com/groups/tsunami_help_missing/pool/tags/lindman/

Happy New Year! Here's one more post. :)

Re: TO:JULIE

Dorothy on 1/02/05 at 01:26 (166388)

Marie ~

You are very kind. I am also honored to know you - and have much to thank you for, e.g. the pleasure of your art that you share here. Happy New Year!