I have really need wanting to post this picture and thought Throwback Thursday would be a great reason. However, I have been conflicted on my feelings about today’s historic date and seeing the flood of photos in my news feed of the Towers and it was compounded by the announcement of American’s plan to start a new chapter of war with Islamic Extremism.
I watched a powerful documentary I will suggest everyone should watched done by VICE called "This Is What Winning Looks Like" it is a disturbing new documentary about the ineptitude, drug abuse, sexual misconduct, and corruption of the Afghan security forces as well as the reduced role of US Marines due to the troop withdrawal. I have not supported our leaders in all ways they went about the operations in Iraq and Afghanistan but I have supported the principles of the missions and the heroes that served my country in those operations. The documentary shows the unfortunate truth of the society we have left behind in our withdraw from Afghanistan. It saddens me to know of how many great heroes sacrificed everything in attempt to solve a problem that will never be fixed. It saddens me further that 22 Veterans Kill themselves everyday and this is something as a country we are not putting enough effort into fixing. We are using our Tax dollars and our best and brightest service man and women to fight a war we cannot win. Six months ago I would have thought we were at a point that I felt we should stop providing resources and our job in the middle east was “Completed as good as it could be” (side note: Yes I know nothing so don’t bother emailing me telling me I am not qualified to speak on this. I agree with you).
Watching what has happened with the growth of ISIS and the murder of our Christian Brothers and Sisters in the Middle East has prompted me to feel that it is in fact our responsibility as the US to step in and do something. I don’t care which god you pray to but killing another human will not get you closer to heaven. I have realized we are not at war with a country or an organization but rather an Idea. An idea that holds the perception that American Beliefs seek to undermine theirs. It might; we believe in equality for everyone and freedom of choice. I will respect your choice of religion right up until it hurts another human. That’s where is will tell you your idea is wrong.
How do you change an idea? The only way I know how to change a perspective is through education and information. I see these kids being recruited by these groups, following a religion and committing to a life of hate and I become so sad. These kids have the same innocence as my friends children. I can see it in their eyes how much they want to learn, grow and be accepted. I understand it, I understand why their Idea is growing. They are being taught based on a single foundation and never have the ability to be shown any other perspective. This prevents them from ever having a choice.
This all started today when I was looking at this picture I took of my buddy Kyle and I Fishing. I thought about lucky I am to be an American and have the freedom to experience such great things. I honestly believe deep down if you could give me some of these kids just for a weekend I could show/educate them how powerful acceptance can be. They are human and they have a choice; there are so many beliefs, perspectives and opinions in this world. That it is possible to hold a belief and also accept and love someone that might not. That your life can be something so much more. Unfortunately I cannot come up with a logistically viable option on how to bring some of these youths to Orange County to catch waves and experience Bear Flag Tacos.
We have a problem. This Idea based upon hate is growing. We cannot use force to eliminate the growth and spread of this Idea. There needs to be a new approach though education and information. It will not be easy and I don’t know where to start.
Never Forget. Never forget what makes America great, we have the freedom of choice.