American Heroism, No Saving Officer Ryan

Recognizing heroism always helps a speech. But I object to Trump’s exploitation of the death of Chief Special Warfare Officer William “Ryan” Owens. And I object to Trump’s lie- the mission returned no actionable intelligence.

Was Owens a hero? Yes. He prepared tirelessly and plunged into a dangerous mission and gave his life. His parents are heroically dealing with his loss and their grief.

Truly heroic Americans

The true heroes are all the men and women who’ve died in the Middle East escapades that Bush needlessly started. Their families heroically go on, bearing the sadness. And their comrades are heroes, many struggling to heal deep physical wounds. And those with and without physical wounds who bravely keep on, bearing the grief of the loss of so many, plus their PTSD and depression. And their guilt. As heroes, they feel guilty for being human, unable to save their comrades from harm. Many heal, but many can not. Meanwhile the lure of drugs gives many heavier burdens. I salute the heroism of all of their families who struggle to help them as well as withhold help at times so they can help themselves.

Non-American heroism

Plus the heroism of the millions in the Middle East in countries that have been destabilized and had many of their own killed or injured by the violence. They, too, struggle with heartache and PTSD, but without our Veterans Administration and hospitals. Many have no haven of a peaceful homeland in which to heal.

For many, it began when their husbands, brothers and fathers were thrust into unemployment when the US dismissed the Iraqi police and army. And then it exploded in the civil war that rash act unleashed. Many were tortured by Americans and humiliated as well. Some of those created Isis as their last hope. Since then, many saw their sons and daughters lured into Isis, only to have them abused and enslaved and lure others.

Plus many of the same in Africa, where the militants have spread. Bush’s escapades spread us too thin to effectively help in many parts of the world. Especially, it stopped us from being able to take a positive initiative to stem the spread of radicalism.

Heroic and generous hosts

And the millions in Europe, the Middle East and Africa that have opened their countries and communities to many of the refugees. Some of these refugees, displaced from their cultures, have reacted with violence to the new cultures in which they were placed. Especially young men whose cultures prepared them to be strong workers and parents in their homelands, not displaced, unemployed refugees in a distant land.

The sin of pride

Bush’s big mistake was a sin, pride. Pride is often considered to be the worst of the seven deadly sins. He acted in ignorance. He forsake responsibility and gave power to people similarly arrogant and ill-informed, people smart but without wisdom, without ethics at their cores.

And this is Trump’s mistake. Unlike Bush, Trump has an excuse. His cognitive deficits, his narcissism, prevent him both from being truthful, humble or even realizing how prideful he is.

And it’s the Republican mistake. Instead of working with Obama for 8 years, they vilified and opposed him. They sacrificed ethics for a chance at power. And now they have it, on the coattails of a disabled, unaccountable ogre in a position that’s far, far above him.

One thing is certain. This incompetent leadership will make our lives replete with opportunities for heroism.

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