To punish Syrian President Assad for using nerve gas on his people or not? President Obama asks the American voters to reflect on the “values that define us” to help make the bomb or not bomb decision. What does history tell us about those values? After all, we are what we do, not what we say.
Our Declaration of Independence says “all men are created equal.” But the actions of our political, business, and religious leaders tell a different story. Ask the Native Americans, the black slaves, the 12-year-old factory workers in 1910, the Chinese immigrants, Japanese citizens during World War II. Check out “Manifest Destiny,” the doctrine that gave us the blank check to take this section of the continent away from native Americans and Mexicans.
Our politicians have tricked us into several wars — with Spain, Vietnam, and Iraq — all based on lies. Our tax dollars supported a dozen vicious dictators who massacred their own citizens with weapons we paid for in Indonesia, Argentina, Vietnam, Guatemala, the Philippines, Cuba, Iraq, among others.
Of course, we have also performed thousands of humanitarian acts. But how many innocent lives have our values cost to date? Food for reflection.