America is a state of mind

BY DEBBIE MENON

THE events that have unfolded in the past decade, we would never have thought would have occurred 10 years ago. Elements of changes in world power, focus upon the Middle East, battle cries of holy wars, nuclear threats, thousands of innocents taken in a single morning, and the list goes on.

Now, I am battling the impulse to generalize my anger at to “be prejudiced” against all Americans in general.

How can that be? I definitely know that most Americans are decent, good hearted, peaceful people who, while gullible perhaps, do not generally advocate the mass murder of others in the name of war on terror or war on anything. But in my emotions they are and my heart aches and I am angry at “Americans”.

If I, who has not directly suffered the loss of loved ones or the wanton destruction of her homeland, can feel such emotions, what about those closer to the conflict?

I was struck by an interview I watched on the BBC World News. A Lebanese woman was being interviewed, Zeina I think was her name. She described in heart wrenching detail the suffering of the Lebanese during the 2006 conflict with Israel. Nevertheless, when she was asked what she thought about the Israelis, She responded: “How can anyone put more value on one life over another? How can suffering be quantified? Of course, my heart goes out to the Israelis who have loved ones and who are living in fear as I am, and that’s why war is so terrible, because it harms everybody.”

I am not sure I could be so “Christian” if I were in her position. I do know that many Israelis work for peace and see Arabs as humans, etc, and not all Israelis support their government’s behavior. But, it is the US military and financial assistance to Israel that makes this conflict a much “bigger” and destructive act of hatred.

DeTocqueville once described America as a state of mind. I agree. That is the America I and the much of the world grew up believing in; an idyllic land, built upon ideals of freedom, equality of man, liberty and justice for all, those high and illustrious ideals of The Republic, reflecting the highest hopes and dreams of the glory of man.

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