Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Reminder to the Mighty - December Great Experiment

I wrote this in September 2005 as I watched continuous CNN coverage of the fall out after hurricane Katrina.  Please enjoy my December contribution to The Great Experiment and head to to enjoy Monica's wonderful blog and the rest of this month's entries. 

Reminder to the Mighty

Hurrican Katrina unleashed hell on sovereign soil. Is this our retribution for Iraq? For the first time in years the attention of the media is thoroughly trained on something besides the war in Iraq. Unfortunately, that something is somewhat of another war zone. This war zone is not on the other side of the world, but is within our borders, along the Louisiana and Mississippi Gulf Coast. Thousands of Americans have lost their lives and many more are still dying each day.

They say God works in mysterious ways, ways we may not always understand. Is it possible we have become so callous and indifferent to the tragedies in Iraq, that we needed and up close and personal reminder of the hell of war, because the situation in New Orleans is as close to the hell of war as our country has experienced on our own soil in more than a century.

Almost every one of us has been guilty of armchair quarterbacking the Iraqi war, criticizing the actions of our government and troops as well as condemning the violent reactions of the Iraqi people. We have come to view the people of Iraq as uncivilized animals for not bowing at the feet of the soldiers that destroyed their defective civilization and are now trying to build them a better one. Nature destroyed the peace and civilization of the Gulf Coast, not soldiers and bombs. Those there to restore it are local and fellow countrymen, not foreign military. Yet Americans are responding with anarchy and violence against our own.

Should this serve as a huge reality check, perhaps? If the people of the most civilized and mightiest nation on Earth, who have lived a relatively easy and peaceful existence by comparison, are reacting the way Katrina's victims are reacting, how else could we expect the people of Iraq to react to their situation? Human nature, regardless of race, creed, color or country of origin, can be as ugly as it is beautiful.

We are seeing both ends of the spectrum now; beauty in the selfless actions of the police, military and volunteers trying to help hurricane victims, and ugliness in the selfish actions of some of those victims and the price-gouging profiteers. Difficult times such as these truly test human nature, and unfortunately desperation breeds evil as well as good. To that end, we should all be reminded to have compassion for one another, for the rescuers and the victims, and the soldiers and the Iraqis. And regardless of whom you pray to, be it God, as I do, or Allah, or Buddha, or whomever your higher power may be, remember to pray for compassion, patience and understanding as well as for the strength and resources to end the suffering and restore peace here and abroad. Ultimately, we are one people in one world, and sometimes even the mighty need to be rescued.