When I was a soldier serving with the US Marine Corps as a reservist, I was stationed in Okinawa, Japan. I was young then and I needed money for college. At that time serving my adopted country seemed to be the right thing to do. While my older kin were bitterly opposed to war, I didn’t connect the dots that being a soldier meant having a possibility of one tragic day I would be called to choose between being killed, or worst still, having to take a life. I was fortunate that my career in the military did not go very far, and I was never confronted with that possibility.
My Military Occupation Specialties or MOS was 0311, or a grunt – nicknamed, “bullet stopper.” It seemed funny back then, not so much now if I had to think about it. I hated the grueling endurance and tactical training we had to go through daily. But I knew I was a part of something much bigger; you see just a stone throw away, the near side of the globe, a war was eminent. This was back in 1990. I had to be ready because I didn’t know when I would be called upon to relieve my fellow Marines. Each day I had to put in my best effort. The motto was breed in peace and not in war.
What was memorable was my training on paroling. At the end our patrol route I was always fearful. Our squad leader would stop us just shy of crossing ‘friendly line’. Then everything went quiet and I found myself leaning against a branch for support as if the tiny stem could help carry my heavy load of weapons. The end of my patrol route usually meant the end of a long day and me being enveloped in the stillness of dark nights.
I thought to myself, “This is scary”, what if they think I’m the enemy after all I’m Asian, I don’t look like my fellow Marines? This could be bad. Somehow in the darkness our friends knew we were returning from our patrol and that I’m one of them and not some attacking unit. Later, I realized that our squad leader had total communication with our command elements at the base.
Upon returning, we were met with several guards asking each one of us, “Friend or Foe?” You see there were always chances that some hazardous element would attach itself to the patrol and infiltrate the base. The guards can quickly determine if you were a friend or foe, simply by asking. If you were a friend you would provide a password and they would allow you save passage.
I dread the possibility if anyone would somehow forget the password. No one ever did, perhaps we were all fearful and made every effort to remember our password. Now, we are not so lucky in our country, specially, with our Government, we don’t know who is our friend or foe anymore?
It seems that the longer we drag on with the health care debate, the better the special interest lobbyists are in drowning out our collective American voice. It is almost as if we, as Americans, need to have a corps of lobbyists just to be heard. If you think about it we did lobby collectively by voting our representatives into office. Why had they forgotten us, the American People?
Bill Maher, on his September 18, 2009 show, said something in effect. It’s just that, it’s an option, refereeing to the health care public option. His guest Wendell Potter, “If there isn’t a public option, then the health insurance industry wins, hands down.” The only time I could ever remember not liking options was when I had to endure the long wait for a child to make up his mind among all the options he had to order from the menu board at a fast food place. Do you think our representatives in Congress think the people are just a bunch of kids wasting their time?
On June 13, 2009, I watched the brave and free spirited people of Iran took to the streets in protest for one of their presidential candidates, Mir-Hossein Mousavi, in the controversial election where Mahmoud Ahmadinejad prevailed as Iran’s elected President. I felt helpless for I could only watch – the injustice of it all. I witnessed brutality and murders unlike anything, from some distance shores, yet deep down I realized that it could easily be here, in the heartland of America. It was the first time I saw a young woman shot and killed, I suppose I wasn’t the only one. It was on the news everywhere. I was angry and frustrated to witness what, some called, the “stolen election”.
When I reflected on this, it dawned on me with great sadness, what would we do if that were to happen to us? Even sadder to realized that our elections too are being stolen, not by brutal hinge men or paid thugs, instead the thieves are far more cleaver and effective; they come from all parts of our society, most are very well to do. Somehow, they chose to work for some special interest groups by lobbying to undermine their fellow American a fair voice in Congress.
We all know why the thugs beat the Iranian people; they were paid to do so, after all the thugs had to support their family. Perhaps, lobbyists are also a victim in this age of greed and ethnically challenged time. Why would the lobbyists rob us, the American People, aren’t they robbing themselves? Perhaps the lobbyist is only a pawn in the war chest of corporations. Perhaps it is not that they are paid to rob us only that they are just like us, trying to make a living.
What about our elected officials who are being paid to look the other way? My question to the Congressman, perhaps those who are so passionate in representing the corporations someone like Senator Jon Kyl from Arizona. Senator Kyl, if you ‘sell out’ to the lobbyists, who will protest your stolen election? The last I have checked, corporations can’t vote. If the world asks us Senator, why don’t we protest? Can we really take to the street for our ‘stolen election’? How, when we put you in Office? Who do we protest to if you allow your own Office to be stolen?
To the entire Congress, do you think the world hears our silent cries? Do you think the world can see the corruption and greed that prevail unchecked on Washington? …Do you think they know? Do you really think the American public will allow this to go on forever? If only there is a way to tell who is a friend or foe…
Copyright 2009 by fartingcamel.com