Sunday, March 20, 2011

What If?

I remember at my son’s funeral sharing the following statement, “May his shed blood on this foreign soil produce a harvest of freedom.” As I was preparing his eulogy I remember thinking is it even possible that freedom could become a reality in Iraq? Could I even imagine what it would look like? Here I am nearly five years later and I am seeing those seeds watered with the blood of our servicemen and women sprouting forth across the Middle East.

What if....Egypt?

Last week I was watching the news and saw Secretary of State Hilary Clinton in Egypt stopping her motorcade to get out of her vehicle to walk the square where the Egyptian uprising has led to a new opportunity for freedom. She stated she wanted to see and take in where a revolution for freedom took place. "To the people of Egypt, let me say: this moment of history belongs to you," Clinton said following talks with Egypt's new foreign minister, Nabil al-Araby. "This is your achievement and you broke barriers and overcame obstacles to pursue the dream of democracy." My heart raced as the flashback to Heath’s funeral and in my mind thought what if?

What if...President Obama?

From Iraq to Egypt to Iran, Tunisia, Bahrain, Yemen, Algeria and now Libya, people have risen up against the totalitarian rulers. Yesterday, Operation Odyssey Dawn launched an attack to create a no fly zone in Libya. I question what if this action had not taken place a week ago when the momentum was in favor the people who took their heroic stand against Muammar Qaddafi. It was frustrating to watch the Libyan people fearlessly fight only to be pushed back by pro Qaddafi forces and the world again talked of creating a no fly zone. I was particularly annoyed that our President who was more concerned about discussing his March Madness brackets than the devastation in Japan including the nuclear energy plant meltdowns and the Libyan uprising.

What if...Libya?

On the eighth anniversary of the beginning of the Iraq War, I am concerned like many of you about entering into another conflict while we have ongoing warzones in Iraq and Afghanistan. Time will only show us if these prolonged actions by our military will help the people of Libya. But again I wonder what if? Tunisia and Egypt can inspire us that new democracies can emerge. What else can we expect from the people of these oil-rich countries that have been denied basic human rights for so long than to rise up? They seek a democratic rule of law and social justice that they have been denied while their dictators exploited the riches of oil for their personal lavish life styles at the expense of their country’s people.
What if...we were inspired?

If the time is now we need to stand strong with these people. I will never forget watching the brave people in China in the Tiananmen Square Riot that occurred on June 4th, 1989. The world watched as they were massacred by their own government. Let us learn from our past mistakes and stand beside the Libyan people. I am inspired as I think of what if?

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