Watch an hour or two of morning news programs to see the irony of the world kaleidoscope:
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Today, the developed world continues to remember the great nationalist war fought almost a century ago, which some hoped would be the last. CNN interviewed Buzz Aldrin, the first man to walk on the moon. Instead of pointing out that everyone on earth looks up at the same moon, Aldrin talked about service to country. Then came a young veteran who was horribly disfigured in Iraq and has undergone twenty facial operations, with more to come. He stressed how lucky he was to be alive, saying he could have stayed in bed feeling sorry for himself, but his family's love gave him the courage to get up every morning. In his decorated uniform he looked every bit the proud, handsome Marine.
That's one face of the world.
At noon on Democracy Now, Vincent Harding, who wrote Martin Luther King's last speech, and Pulitzer Prize winning author Alice Walker both said we had to do away with war. Walker wrote an open letter to President-elect Obama that's worth reading on www.theroot.com.
The two public figures were followed by a Marine who, after serving several years in Afghanistan, refused to be deployed to Iraq, joining Iraq Veterans Against the War instead. Sgt. Matthis Chiroux told how fifteen of those veterans had been rushed by mounted police outside Hofstra University, as they asked the two presidential candidates who were debating, to state their plans for ending the war. Footage of the charge brought home the fact that worldwide, police and soldiers are expected to carry out the same brutal tactics, in the name of service to country. Yesterday, the veterans were charged with disorderly conduct by a Nassau County judge.
Today, stock markets across the globe continue down. Blaming the U.S. for the crisis that affects them, the Group of Twenty developing countries--led by China--announced in the New York Times their determination to impose fundamental changes in the way financial markets operate when they meet in Washington this weekend.
The time has come to ask the question: with the best of all possible presidents, are we sure that nationalism, and "service to country" are the way forward?
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