Part 4 in the dialogue between me and Ben Coker, Jr. of South Carolina following my Veterans Day post.
Hi Mr. Coker,
I’m enjoying our dialogue. I am not the student of history that you are but as a television news producer and international traveler I think I’ve got a pretty good handle on current events. I would like to address your question on whether we should turn our heads from those who are being oppressed, maimed and killed throughout the world. Absolutely not! I personally know the cost of the Holocaust. My family died in it. But should we send in armies every time we perceive a threat or injustice? I don’t think so. Clearly after 9-11 we had to get tough and go after those who violated us and killed so many of our citizens. I remember watching NBC’s Today Show on the morning of the attack and telling my then 7 year old son (the subject of the Veterans Day post) that we were going to war. It was our generation’s Pearl Harbor. We had to strike back. But have we really done anything to beat down radical Islam? We may have disorganized the extremists and driven them into caves, but they’re not going away and in the process we have alienated many moderate, peace loving Muslims throughout the world.
I’m thinking Greg Mortenson who is building schools in the remote reaches of Pakistan and Afghanistan is doing as much if not more good than our armies. Instead of battling with guns, Mortenson is fighting so children will grow up educated and be able to look the Taliban and Al-Qaeda in the eye and say this is not for me. So many of the people in the world who become radicalized do so because they have no opportunities or hope for a future. Our armies may be holding the line but I think we need systemic changes in those countries to beat down oppression. That is when women and children will be better off. Our armies, and George Bush, may have kept another attack from American soil, but we shouldn’t forget the work of Laura Bush who went to Afghanistan to champion women’s rights and education there. This may be very Pollyanna of me and I’m not saying we don’t need war, but I think we need diplomacy and peace more. Eagerly awaiting your thoughts. Best, Vicky
For more information on Vicky Collins visit http://teletrendstv.com.