In the past couple of weeks, both Elizabeth Edwards and Tony Snow have been found to have recurrences of their cancer. They are both well known people so this has received quite a bit of play in the media.
What's really struck me about this is seeing how many people there are in the public eye that have come forward as cancer survivors. Laura Ingraham, Cokie Roberts, and Jonathan Alter just to name a few, and that's just in the political area. If there are so many famous people, how many countless others are there and of those, how many DIDN'T make it?
As the daughter of a cancer survivor, I can tell you that one of the primary emotions you feel when you are first told of that you, or someone you love has the disease is fear. Fear you won't be there anymore, or that you won't have that person with you. Fear of suffering, fear of life never being normal again. And even if the outcome is a good one, you never do forget that fear.
I can't think of a better definition of terror. Just as horrific as any car bomb, and probably more destructive because of the sheer numbers if nothing else. Then consider all the money we are pouring into Iraq, supposedly to fight a war against terrorism, and then think about how much good that money could have done for research against this terror. Does anyone doubt that cancer kills more innocent people than any Al Qaeda monster could ever dream of in some evil scheme?
Do we really want to win hearts and minds? Take the money wasted in the whirlpool of despair that is Iraq right now, which is doing nothing but teaching people to hate us, and instead spend it on finding cures to fatal diseases. We'll earn more good will among the people of the planet than 1000 democracies we've forced on other nations. America truly would be the hope of the world again, a special place where a lot of the good guys live. At least some of the time. It would be so nice to feel like we were wearing white hats again. It would be better than the images people have in their heads now of American blood soaked hands. And say what you will, that IS the image most in the world have of us currently.
That's the War on Terror I want to win. It's a war that's winnable. And it's a war that will cost no innocent life except if we fail to act. Heck, instead of a generation growing up to be terrorists, maybe we could have a generation growing up in the world that might even like America a little. What would it feel like to have a war where the body count went down instead of up? I might have a glimmer. We would finally be walking the walk of our talk. We would be proving that this nation truly does value the sanctity of life. I gotta tell ya, I think that would feel pretty damn good.