Friday, October 09, 2015

A Trip Down Memory Lane


I am watching the PBS documentary Frontline about the Lockerbie terrorist bombing of Pam Am Flight No. 103 in 1988 over Scotland. It is looked at, in part, through the eyes of one of the brothers who was killed on that terrorist-struck plane.

I also took a trip down memory lane as I came across my high school year book from the Class of 1966. I read the principal's message and the message of the president of my class. Both messages were full of optimism and hope that our class would make a difference in the world for the better.

Everyone who was in the class with the exception of, perhaps, three were white. One of those three was an intellect and received no recognition for her brilliance. She ran for Secretary of the class and told me she would never make it because she was a Negro (the nice word in that era for persons of color.) I could not believe it then.

I looked at my own picture, of course, which described me as "openhearted and friendly. She will surely reach her goals." Well the openhearted and friendly part, perhaps, they got right.

Then I thought of our nation and how low it has sunk, how divided it is and how US foreign policy was Machiavellian in which political expediency is placed above morality more than it was humane and selfless as we, in our naiveté, were told it was. But I did not know all of those things then nor did I know anything about the Islamic world (or Moslem, the appellation of the time for Muslim) nor did I know anything about terrorism and how the two are so inextricably intertwined. I did not know those things then.

I wonder if the Holocaust had never happened and Palestine was shared or if the Jewish people did not create the Israeli state as a refuge for the millennia of anti-Semitism suffered by them that led to the murder of at least 6 million Jews, if the US had not financed a coup in Iran in 1953 deposing a beloved leader, Mosadeq, and put in his place, the brutal Shah with his murderous secret police, Savak, had not taken place, if we did not have to greet every single opposing nation with force, if Vietnam did not happen, if the burning of the Vietnamese country side with cancer-causing Agent Orange did not happen, if My Lai did not happen what would our nation – no what would the world look like now?

Are Muslims by nature simply beasts (see link below) no matter what another nation did to them? I wonder about all these things as I look at that brutal link entitled “The Islamic State (ISIS) Is Raping 8-Year-Olds. And the World Is Doing Nothing.”

Who would do such a thing to an 8 year old? Then again who would do such a thing as to bomb and kill doctors of neutral political stripe who save lives and risk their own in a war zone? Who would kill innocent patients bombed and burned in their beds? Who would do such a thing as to invade a nation like Iraq that did nothing to it and kill god only knows how many innocents? Who would do such things?

Those are the questions I ask. Could it all have been so different; so much better than the political decay we see before our eyes in our time?

Maybe if I write about this and send it to a newspaper it will give me another Warholian 15 minutes of fame. What if that, in the long run, will mean nothing and the world will keep on going on as it has for thousands of years and my principal’s and the class president’s messages were wrong? What if it all ends in a flash?