Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Visits from Friends, Neighbors Makes Sad National Weekend Bearable

AN EDITORIAL comparing the 
U.S.'s Broken Promises to the Kurds 
with those of the South Vietnamese.

I have taken the oath to the Constitution at least twice in my life; once for a six year obligation as an enlisted soldier in the U.S. Army in the middle of the Vietnam War years. The second time was for another six year obligation as a commissioned officer in the NY Army National Guard during the Gulf War. As a Chaplain, I opted for the status of "retirement" over "discharge" because it kept me closer to active duty and my continued interest in the families that serve our country in such a dynamic and self-sacrificing way.

Columbus Day Weekend 2019 will forever be engraved in our memories--as U.S. military and as U.S. citizens. Our Commander-in-Chief handed the second loss of a war to our men and women serving in Syria with the men and women of "Kurdistan." In 1975, our U.S. military had to be air lifted out of Saigon because we were surrounded by the advancing North Vietnamese Army. In 2019, our U.S. military is now "trapped" in the Turkey-Syria war zone where all roads leading to their escape have been cut off, making it appear that another emergency air lift may be necessary to save the lives of our people, although nothing is certain at the moment.

Back home we are learning about the shameful actions of our leaders over the faithful workers in the Department of State who worked hard to obey the law while our Commander-in-Chief employed alternative methods in accomplishing a "shadow policy" in Syria. 

We who are in, or closely associated with the military, are embarrassed and feeling powerfully betrayed by our Commander-in-Chief--and for some of us--it is the second time in our lifetime. Fifty years ago, we worked closely with the men of the South Vietnamese Army only to have our government betray the promises made to them and run with our tails between our legs. Fifty years later, our men and women have worked closely with the Kurdish men and women and now suffer the same fate again--betrayal of our word and promises.

Both then and now, we turned our comrades in arms, our friends, over to the enemy to fend for themselves and to confront atrocities being carried out by enemies with excessively evil intentions. Had this been a Commanding General who did this to his men and women serving militarily, he would be out of a job. But because it is the Commander-in-Chief, we must wait for over a year in order to vote him out of office, or pray that an impeachment be accomplished, mercifully, earlier than that. In the meantime we suffer weekends like this past one and feel the weight of shame for a nation upon our shoulders. Lord, Have Mercy.

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