The President's Speech

I’ll admit that I haven’t seen The King’s Speech yet, but I did listen to The President’s Speech last night. He waxed poetic on the moral imperative of protecting a people from tyranny, seeming downright animated at times. He was careful to point out that America could ill afford another extended and costly—in terms of lives lost and dollars spent—quagmire as happened in Iraq under the watch of his predecessor but really didn’t say a whole lot as to how long we could expect to be supporting the NATO efforts in Libya.

As usual, pundits and politicians were all over the place in their response to The Speech. Some for, some against, and all of it political posturing. The New York Times has a pretty good distillation of the various responses here. I especially find it interesting that most conservatives do not seem bothered by any potential cost—in terms of dollars spent. I guess we’ll just pay for this like we always do: by deferring the cost to coming generations of Americans or by cutting much needed social safety net spending for the least of us here in the States.

My heart is sick that we still find it necessary to revert to violence in order to solve our problems. The real cost of any war isn’t just the lives lost, property destroyed, and environment damaged. It is the effect such violence has on our collective psyche. The more we engage in it, the more we feel compelled to continue it. You hurt me. I’ve got to get back at you. It is like an addiction. Throughout the long arch of history, violence has absolutely never once-and-for-all-time ended violence. Nor has it brought about lasting peace.

Isn’t there a better way?

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