Wisdom with Age – Maybe not

Like most Sundays I chose to kill my pleasant mood by reading Dick Feagler’s opinion column in the Cleveland Plain Dealer (my local fish wrap). I must be a masochist because as soon as I had begun reading I knew what lay in store…frustration.

And now we’re muddled in some kind of “war on terrorism.” A blank check. A war run by suits who can spend our dead a few at a time and, in the face of defeat, declare victory.

How can someone as old as Dick be so blind to the realities of the modern world? In the case of his current article he’s also ostensibly ignorant of world history. The idealism and naivety of his work would seemingly come from a freshman member of the college democrats rather than from a seasoned journalist.

Yes Dick, you’re right, war is bad. I don’t think any sane person would disagree with that. It’s so bad that I think it should always be avoided, when ever possible. The problem is that the “bad thing” (war) has often been necessary to serve a greater good (i.e. freedom, liberty, etc).

It’s so easy to say war is always wrong. A luxury provided to America’s journalists from, ironically, war. The truly great leader is the one who understands when, after expending other alternatives, war (or its threat) is necessary for long-term peace and liberty. For example Benjamin Franklin, Abraham Lincoln, and Winston Churchill just to name a few.

But now, we’re in another war that nobody understands. Another war like Korea and Vietnam that stabs at the pages of history.

I hate when people talk about Korea and Vietnam like they were not important. Lest you forget, we were fighting a war against communism, against totalitarianism. Did we fight those battles well, maybe not, but I believe our cause was more than just. The Union lost several major battles in the Civil War; did that make their cause unjust?

I disliked death then and I still do. The older I get, the more I resent it. I’m mad at death, and my anger is equal to my fear.

Oh, and one more thing Dick… you are going to die. So am I. So will everyone. Maybe your opinions would be more in-line with mine if you didn’t live in fear. The fear of death haunting you so… I truly pity you.


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