First off, please read this article on the Salon website.
Musa al-Gharbi is a political philosopher affiliated with the Southwest Initiative for the Study of Middle East Conflict (SISMEC).
My wife and I have been frustrated with many of the people we run into at GOP events for years. We had to stop attending the local Conservative group, simply because my wife and I always came away angry. The focus of so many people in the gathering was pro-war, pro-hurting other people, whom they demonized.
I am a Vietnam veteran who, after serving a year and a half in Đà Nẵng, volunteered to return to Vietnam as a US Naval Adviser. I had fallen in love with the people and the culture and simply wanted to help. However, I also came to understand war is not glorious, war is not effective and, after the fall of South Vietnam, war clearly leaves behind nothing good.
Today we live in a nation that has been actively at war since Operation Desert Storm in 1990. To quote the article, the people in that conservative gathering “have rarely met a war they didn’t enthusiastically embrace: be it in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen or Ukraine, their proposed solution to any geopolitical challenge seems to be direct violence, violence by proxy, or the threat of violence.” Yet, they are constantly throwing their Christian piety in your face, while proudly embracing something that many people believe Jesus Christ would consider repugnant. I believe there is a place for the military and police to defend and protect. However, they should not be used to attack, destroy and subjugate other nations.
The Pope talked about being pro-life, which is a label many neoconservatives claim, yet they only value selected types of life. Look at the impacts of conservative policies; the war on drugs, immigration policies, the Military Industrial Complex and the item the Pope directly addressed, the death penalty. Where is Christ in those policies?
So, I come to my ultimate question. Where does an old school conservative like me fit in today’s society? When it comes to national politics, my boat is drifting without a rudder, lost “at Sea”.
Fortunately, Mary and I have been able to find a different focus. Local politics. Focusing on what is happening in your community, is focusing on something where you can have an impact for good. Unless you decided to run for office, it doesn’t matter what your political affiliation is. As a volunteer, your work is welcomed and valued. You can have a real impact!
Here are the areas where we are currently envolved: