The Hashtag Heard Around The World — Why I Created The #SecondCivilWarLetters Hashtag.

Donald Trump is following in the steps of Alex Jones and other far-right supporters. He’s using his platform to flame the fires of war.

You can see that tweet here:

I’ve got a few words to say about this rhetoric. (** Published originally on Medium on June 10, 2018.)

We’ve only had one civil war in our nation’s history and I consider that a good thing. The war which raged on social media, starting with my tweet, was of sarcasm and no blood was shed in this war of words. I wish we could always keep it that way.

The original hashtag started here (and quickly followed by talented writers.)

#SecondCivilWarLetters

There was no malice attached to the tweet. In fact, it was the complete opposite.

When I read Alex Jones talking about a second Civil War, I became filled with rage. On a good day, his message is nonsense, but on this particular day, it was dangerous. He didn’t speak about an utterly fictional second Civil War supposedly being planned by Democrats just once, but three times to his crowd of rapt listeners and viewers who are already living in a political tinderbox.

Jones effectively put a target on half of the country. This was not “only” political rhetoric, but also highly irresponsible.

I’ve often been threatened online and I certainly have strong opinions, but I would never encourage anyone to take up arms against another. The cost of violence and war is too great to us as individuals and as a nation.

I served over 20 years fighting for this country in the US Army. Many of those years were served in war-torn countries. I saw the destroyed homes and museums in Iraq. I visited the Holocaust museums and concentration camps throughout Germany and Austria. I saw the death, despair, and destruction that comes with war. I saw what happens when a country is pushed to the brink of destruction. I saw the children begging for food in the poverty-stricken streets of Panama. I served behind the Berlin Wall, and I saw the hopelessness on the faces of those who lived there, oppressed for generations and only wishing for a better life. I was in Egypt during the 1993 Civil War and saw the upheaval and the despair of terrified civilians. I worked in the Cuban refugee camps, and I saw first-hand the sadness and pain that all refugees must face. In all these cases, there was a physical and mental toll on the refugee survivors that will remain with them in some form forever.

We witness modern civil war and refugees camps on TV in magazines, and newspapers, and online including those currently located at our Southern border, yet Alex Jones uses his words to incite fear and hate in his supporters. He uses his platform to create rather than quell violence and chaos.

During a civil war, progress stops, homes are destroyed, infrastructure falls apart, education becomes sporadic, and medical services are reserved for those who might survive to fight another day. The first to die are children, the elderly, and the disabled; disease and hopelessness set in, and some survivors soon follow their families to the graveyard.

Panama

Photo by: Greg Roberts

Those who do survive the war are refugees who have no place to call home, no bed to call their own, and no food to share with their children.

If the United States had a second Civil War, this time the refugees on the news would not be the strangers we cast aside or the ones that weren’t allowed to enter our country. They also would not be the faceless people overseas that we send thoughts and prayers to each Sunday. The refugee camps would be overflowing with millions of Americans. Our homes, colleges, museums, coffee shops, malls, and places we worship would all be bombed. There would be nothing left. Abstract as war may be to Alex Jones, this is what he’s toying with bringing into being.

Instead of working together for a better tomorrow and putting our resources towards something greater for our nation, our already crumbling streets would be marked with the throes of war. It wouldn’t matter if the damage was done by the enemy or friendly fire, everyone would suffer. That is the reality of a war in your homeland.

We’ve never in history had access to so much and been willing to throw it away over so little. We have food from almost every country in the world, technology at bottom-dollar prices, more choices of clothing then what some people in the world will ever have available to them in a lifetime — home supplies, party supplies, personal hygiene items, and fruits and vegetables in every color of the rainbow. Education is available at the touch of a button, science kits can be purchased online and studied at home, the Internet is available to most of American children so they can read the great speeches of wonderful men and women throughout our history, find help with their reading or math assignments when their parents can no longer help them, and use apps to produce and create some of the most wonderful music and art available in our history.

Our country has many issues we must work through, but we’ve never seen a time like this in history, where we have the potential to move forward and create the most advanced civilization the world has ever seen.

ISS

ISS from Endeavour — WikiCommons

All of this will disappear if we continue down the path of mutual destruction.

I look around me and realize we have everything we need to survive, and the politicians and their pundits push the idea to throw it all away.

Alex Jones is an adult. I may not agree with anything he says, but he’s not stupid. He knows that his words carry weight and that his audience sees him as their guide. He knows that his words can inspire a mob mentality. For him to insist many times that a civil war is on the horizon is akin to someone shouting fire in a theater or claiming a hijack on a plane. It is irresponsible, immature, and dangerous to the foundation of this country.

He has children of his own. Do the photos of children trying to survive in Syria not haunt him?

My own Great+ uncle William Blount signed the US Constitution, I read articles about our world history daily, and I’m well versed in our own civil war, so when I heard Alex Jones’ false and inflammatory statements I was angry. Angry at the ease in which he used his vast platform to incite hate and anger and to ram a wedge between two groups of Americans. Angry that he would dare to use his voice to incite war and throw away all the sacrifices so many generations of families have given this great country.

In a moment of pure frustration and reflecting on the mass murder of hard-working journalists, our rights being stripped away daily, racism running rampant through the country, and the deep divide we have found ourselves in, I wanted to shout and rage online. I was furious. I wanted to scream and say, “Enough!” But in a moment of calmness, I remembered the jesters in the king’s court and thought of how the talented comedians of today represent those jesters. Jesters held an important role in the great tragedies, bringing carefully worded opinions from the people to the leaders of a nation, telling them the truth in ways that their advisors never would.

Instead of reacting out of rage, I turned my anger into comedy so I could point out the destructive insanity Alex Jones presented to his followers and to the nation.

In one tweet and one hashtag, I wanted to show just how ridiculous his claims were and present the silly daily basics we would lose during a civil war. I wanted to defuse the cycle of angry rhetoric with laughter and sarcasm.

Our country isn’t perfect, not even close. But what we have is a country that we should work towards saving, not breaking apart. We should be working hard together to help house the homeless, aid the undereducated and the jobless, provide care to the sick, and access to the disabled. We should be helping those who have served their time for their crimes to reintegrate into society so they may provide a better future for themselves and their families. We should help veterans find jobs and obtain training in areas which will prepare them for an ever-changing future. We should help parents find resources for themselves so they may provide a better home and education for their children. We must work towards humane immigration and oppose inhumane practices.

We need to be a nation which stands up against evil and supports kindness and compassion. We should be a nation where those who are the future of medicine, technology, education, and manufacturing are welcome in our country, not shunned. We should work with other nations to help all people achieve their greatest potential because alone, we will fail, but as a global friend, we will succeed.

If we continue to fight among each other and listen to the rhetoric of those who wish to throw a match into the tinderbox we now live, we will fail ourselves, our citizens, and our allies. We will fail as a nation.

To Alex Jones, I refuse to give your ramblings of a civil war any credit. I will meet you with horror and disdain. I refuse to allow you or others like you to break my resolve to keep fighting to make this nation a better place for everyone. I refuse to allow you to bring down everything generations of people have sacrificed for.

I will not shed blood on our country’s shores. Your children and your listeners deserve more from us. I may not agree with them, but they are my brothers and sisters in this fight to find the best way forward. We must find a way to create a country where we can support progress for the future for everyone, or we will fail together. No matter what negative message you spread, I will continue to fight hard for the rights of all people and the planet we live on.

I will fight you with legislation, with my vote, and I will continue to fight your ridiculous accusations with as much comedy as it takes to stop more blood from flowing in our streets.

Amanda Blount

1LT(R), US Army

 

** This essay was originally published on Medium on June 10, 2018.

https://medium.com/@amandablount2/the-hashtag-heard-around-the-world-why-i-created-the-secondcivilwarletters-hashtag-c48311aab3c0https://medium.com/@amandablount2/the-hashtag-heard-around-the-world-why-i-created-the-secondcivilwarletters-hashtag-c48311aab3c0

View story at Medium.com

Journalism 101

Journalism 101

 

Until next time…Be safe, be kind, and take time to love one another.

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*See copy-right information referring to artwork and memes used on this site

American victories since the election of 2016

The reason I’m sharing this is to show people what’s been accomplished in a very short time. It’s going to be a very long 4 years so we must keep our spirits up.

For fighters to keep their spirits up through a very long battle, they must see the victories which are taking place all around them. During this battle the victories are piling up daily and we must take the time to celebrate these victories!

America is great and we’re only going to get better and better. We’ll keep fighting every day.

Progress since the election:

  1. Unprecedented levels of ongoing civic engagement.
  2. Millions of Americans now know who their state and federal representatives are without having to Google.
  3. Millions of Americans are exercising more. They’re holding signs and marching every week. (FITBIT users are using protest matches to increase their steps).
  4. Alec Baldwin is great again. Everyone’s forgotten he’s kind of a jerk.
  5. The Postal Service is enjoying the influx cash due to stamps purchased by millions of people for letter and postcard campaigns.
  6. Likewise, the pharmaceutical industry is enjoying record growth in sales of anti-depressants.
  7. Millions of Americans now know how to call their elected officials and know exactly what to say to be effective.
  8. Footage of town hall meetings is now entertaining.
  9. Tens of millions of people are now correctly spelling words like emoluments, narcissist, fascist, misogynist, holocaust and cognitive dissonance.
  10. Everyone knows more about the rise of Hitler than they did last year.
  11. Everyone knows more about legislation, branches of power and how checks and balances work.
  12. Marginalized groups are experiencing a surge in white allies.
  13. White people in record numbers have just learned that racism is not dead. (See #6)
  14. American people in record numbers also finally understand that Obamacare IS the Affordable Care Act.
  15. Stephen Colbert’s “Late Night” finally gained the elusive #1 spot in late night talk shows, and Seth Meyers is finding his footing as today’s Jon Stewart.
  16. “Mike Pence” has donated millions of dollars to Planned Parenthood since Nov. 9th.
  17. Melissa FREAKING McCarthy.
  18. Travel ban protesters put $24 million into ACLU coffers in just 48 hours, enabling them to hire 200 more attorneys. Lawyers are now heroes.
  19. As people seek veracity in their news sources, respected news outlets are happily reporting a substantial increase in subscriptions, a boon to a struggling industry vital to our democracy.
  20. Live streaming court cases and congressional sessions are now as popular as the Kardashians.
  21. Massive cleanup of Facebook friend lists.
  22. People are reading classic literature again. Sales of George Orwell’s “1984” increased by 10,000% after the inauguration. (Yes, that is true. 10,000%. 9th grade Lit teachers all over the country are now rock stars.)
  23. More than ever before, Americans are aware that education is important. Like, super important.
  24. Now, more than any time in history, everyone believes that anyone can be President. Seriously, anyone.” – Susan Keller
  25. The White House has never in modern history had so many phone calls or letters (citizen involvement does work).
  26. The sales & download of The Constitution have increased.

 

This list was not mine, but I did make a few changes. I can’t give *45 any credit for any of this. *45 did not do this. The American people did this. The American people decided they were not going to let their country fall into fascism and they created these victories! Many more to come!

Please copy and paste to share. ** Add new positive things as they occur **

John Barron: The very odd story of Donald Trump’s alias

John Barron: Exploring the connection between Trump’s Alias & the real Russian KGB journalist named John Barron.

How did a real Russian KGB journalist’s name become the alias for Donald Trump? Does this possible connection also explain how the name “Barron” became the namesake for Trump’s youngest son only one year after the real elder Barron passes away?

As you read this, remember, I have zero proof these two men met.

Even though the timeline fits well and the Russian connection can’t be ignored, I’ve never found a real connection b/w the real John Barron; the Russian journalist, and “John Barron”; Trump’s alias. But, I’m not going to ignore it either. I’m saving this information in case a connection pops up.

My first question was; why would Donald Trump, the man we knew in the 80s, pick a name like “John Barron” as an alias?

Sure it sounds good, but if you want to pretend to be someone else for an interview, most people would pick a NY sounding name. A name which was common enough the people on the other end wouldn’t be able to look it up in the phone book. Remember, before the 90s, reporters had to use huge phone books to locate names & finding a common name in a place like NY was almost impossible. For this instance, John would have been a good pick, but Barron seems out of place. Donald Trump had the entire NY phone book to pick from, yet; he used John Barron? It could be a huge coincidence, but in my mind, it didn’t seem like a good choice.

Let’s start with the background of this story. Back in the 80s, President Donald Trump was known for using an alias when talking to reporters or looking for real estate. The first use of John Barron by Donald Trump was June 6, 1980. He used the name when discussing tearing down Bonwit Teller department store to make way for Trump Tower. There were issues around tearing down the building and Trump kept his distance by using an alias. Using an alias to conduct business isn’t abnormal and this coincidence may have gone unnoticed had Donald Trump not run for president.

The first connection I found of John Barron being a real person was on @JoyAnnReid’s page. She posted a tib-bit which stated there was a real John Barron, who wrote about the KGB/Russian spies in the 80s. Well, that got my ears perked up. I knew during the 80s Trump spent time in Russia, so I went digging.

Here is the Wikipedia page for the real John Barron.

John Barron / WIKI

During the 70s and 80s, the real John Barron wrote extensively about the KGB/Russian spies. He was fluent in Russian and spent a lot of time researching his stories around the world. Between writing his spy stories and books (he published his first book in 1974) he also wrote a story about Mary Jo Kopechne’s death at Chappaquiddick in a car driven by Ted Kennedy. He wrote this story in in 1980 (the same year DJT started using this name).

This is important. This was a huge scandal back then.

People forget, Trump spent his life as a Democrat, and even donated plenty of money to the Kennedy’s. They all ran in the same circles. Donald Trump and the younger Kennedys were close acquaintances. The Trump family and Kennedy family may not have been “best friends,” but they ran in the same circles, supported each other in politics and business, and partied with the same people. The death of Mary Jo hurt the Kennedy family and their extended circle for some time.

During the 1980s, Ted Kennedy was rumored to have connections in Russia, especially during Reagan years. What is even stranger about this timeline is the story that Ted Kennedy tried to convince Russia to help him (a Democrat) throw the election to the democrats in 1984. “Kennedy would lend Andropov a hand in dealing with President Reagan. In return, the Soviet leader would lend the Democratic Party a hand in challenging Reagan in the 1984 presidential election.”

Ted Kennedy asks Russia for help with 1984 election

On top of all of this, who else was in Russia in the 80s? President Donald Trump spent a lot of time in Russia in the 1980s. His family was always searching for new ways to expand their business there.

It would not be out of line to suggest the Trump families and the Kennedy families crossed paths while in Russia at various times. Where does John Barron come into play here? Did they ever cross paths at the same time, or did Trump learn the name “John Barron” from his friend Ted?

Another oddity of this story, and what grabbed my attention concerning the connection between Trump and Kennedy, were the odd remarks from President Trump himself. While running for president, he spoke directly about the car accident involving Ted Kennedy.

“DJT spoke about the accident on October 10, 2016 5:31 PM EDT – Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump discussed Sen. Ted Kennedy’s 1969 car accident in which a colleague was killed during a rally on Oct. 10 in Ambridge, Pa.” (The Washington Post)

Donald Trump speaking at rally referring to Ted Kennedy car wreck

I find that speech very odd, because of all the political deals between the Kennedy’s and the Trump’s he choose to speak about the car wreck first. By this point he would’ve known about Ted asking for help from Russia in 1983, and even though it would have been the perfect “dig” into the democratic party, Trump doesn’t speak about it, instead, he speaks about the car wreck. It didn’t seem like the correct topic to choose from when campaigning for against the same party who colluded with Russia against the Republicans. Why would he not bring that topic up?

Where does this leave us?

Through his diligent work, the real John Barron would have been well known to the KGB, Russian citizens, and of course, to Ted Kennedy and the Kennedy family. The Kennedy family spent time in Russia, with Ted asking for help from Russia to throw the 1984 election to the Democrats. Donald Trump was close to the Kennedy family and spent time in Russia.

If Trump picked up the name “John Barron” through those sources, it’s very possible he pulled the name from memory and used the alias by mistake. We know he, and his family, have a habit of taking ideas and using them as their own. Maybe he thought he created this name from his memory, but in reality he had run across this name during his time in Russia or talking to the Kennedys. No matter how he decided to use the name, he had to retire the name in 1990, when he had to admit the name in a court case involving his businesses.

But one issue still bothers me about the name “John Barron.” One year after the writer John Barron passes away (2005), Trump’s youngest son is born (2006) and Trump names his youngest son Barron. I thought about this, and maybe it’s a coincidence, but something seemed off.

Trump’s two oldest sons are named Donald JR and Eric. Obviously, Donald Jr. is named after Trump Sr. and its very possible Eric could be named after his grandfather; Frederick (FredERICk) Trump, but Trump’s youngest son is named Barron. I can’t find that name anywhere in his family. Maybe Trump liked the name so much he named his son his own alias, or maybe, at some point, he crossed paths with the real John Barron and liked the name well enough he used it for his son’s name.

Maybe this whole thing is one big coincidence, but with all the connections leading back to Russia, and the connection of Ted Kennedy working with Russia to try to throw the 1984 elections, I felt the need to publish what I found.

I know there are a great number of “maybe” statements in this story, but in the vast resource of social media, maybe someone has the key to this puzzle.

Until we find the key, this story will remain an interesting mystery.

I’ve added some articles for you to read about the information I’ve included.

Since our country is in the middle of facing questions dealing with Russia, I suggest watching the video. The video is very interesting.

John Barron Video

Remembering Communist Conspiracy Fighter John Barron

John Barron Obituary John Barron Obituary

Thank you for reading. Until next time…

Be safe, be kind, and take the time to love one another.

America was attacked by terrorists in 2001. Sadly, we’re now destroying America from the inside.

— Originally written in 2016, I stand by these words more than ever. — 

15 years ago today terrorists set out to destroy us. People from all walks of life lost their lives or were severely injured in the attacks. It didn’t matter how much money a person made, or what race, religion, job, or gender they were; everyone was affected. Stockbrokers, secretaries, firefighters, police, Soldiers, waiters, and many more died in this senseless attack. For once, this wasn’t a white or black problem, it wasn’t a male or female problem, and it wasn’t a rich or poor problem.

This was an American problem.

Please understand, I’m not blind to the issues we faced as a nation before 9/11. In fact, as a female with bi-racial children, I’m well aware of the gender and racial inequalities in our country. These issues always seemed too big of a mountain to conquer, but for a very brief moment in time, there was hope as we all came together for the good of each other.

There was the sincere belief that this attack shook us out of the daze of everyday issues.

It was the beginning of a new decade and a new millennium. Life seemed pretty mundane after surviving the infamous millennium computer virus and a heated presidential election. It was September, school just started, and many parents were beginning their Christmas shopping. Sales papers were already floating around preparing families for the annual Black Friday squabble over this year’s version of Cabbage Patch Dolls and Elmo toys. Except for a few military missions around the world, we were experiencing a time of peace. As Americans, we lived our regular routines. A Bush was back in the White House, and fall was in the air.

Then, at 8:46 am, on September 11th, 2001, hijacked plane American Airlines, flight 11, hit the North Tower of the World Trade Center.

Nothing would be the same after this day.

In the aftermath of disbelief, mourning, and very slowly moving on, there was this hopeful belief that in rebuilding our structures, honoring the dead, and helping the affected families, we could use this time to restore our nation into something new. The terrorists may have attacked us, but this was our chance to show the world we could rise from the smoke with a new outlook on life and a new appreciation for each other. We could be better than who we were before.

For a little while, this was true. We figuratively, and very literally, stuck our middle finger to our enemies. We came together for a common cause to rebuild and work together as a people.

For years we worked hard to bring the country back to some state of order, and it felt good. It gave us hope for a new tomorrow. We showed the world we were one family, separated by differences, but bound by the American spirit. We would not be destroyed.

Unfortunately, the love and compassion built during these troubled times would only last a short period.

Soon after the war began, Soldiers were being attacked in ways we had never seen before. The IED (Improvised Explosive Device) was basically a pipe bomb on steroids. In every war, there are standards and rules most fighters abide by. Two sides go to war, and they fight each other, working very hard to avoid civilians and national landmarks. But the enemy Americans faced in the early years of the war had studied our fighting tactics and our equipment for many years and used this information in ways we had not encountered before. They hit us where it hurt, under our vehicles.

We were fighting a force which did not typically face their enemy in battle. After many years in various wars, fighting in many countries and circumstances, they perfected guerrilla tactics. They planted explosives for American and allied Soldiers to run over and cause confusion, leaving Soldiers as sitting ducks. A sniper, or a small group of enemy Soldiers, would then pick off US Soldiers one by one. The US had to respond to these new tactics with new equipment quickly, but the number of deaths and injuries of US Soldiers and allies kept growing.

The enemy also hid in towns, hiding in homes of women and children. This had a tremendous mental impact on American Soldiers. Not since earlier generations had we seen blatant disregard for civilian life during major wars. Obviously, many American Soldiers had deep turmoil when women and children are used as shields in battle. These Soldiers remembered the stories from older generations of WWII veterans when they spoke of giving candy to children and supplies to women, and how these small tokens of kindness kept them going through the war. The new generation of Soldiers started their journey with the same generosity, but as the fight wore on, and the death toll rose on both sides, the trust between Soldiers and citizens became strained.

Americans wanted answers. None of this was supposed to happen. America was the highest rated military in the world, but we couldn’t win a quick war with a few rag-tag guerrilla fighters? We were supposed to go in, kick butt, come home, enjoy a few parades, and everyone have hot dogs and apple pie. That’s the way Desert Storm ended, and this war was supposed to end the same way. The older generation was looking for one more hurrah, and the younger generation wanted to follow in their parents’ footsteps.

War isn’t glamorous and should never be looked upon as such, but the new generation wanted their own stories to tell their children and grandchildren. They yearned for the title of “The greatest generation” for themselves. Once the war was declared, all of America anticipated a quick declaration of Victory in all the newspapers bringing our hero fighters home. Sadly, none of this happened. Large victories came with high prices, and small battles were not won easily.

The American people expected to invade Iraq and win as quickly as we did back in Desert Storm, but that would not be the case. Some of the bloodiest battles occurred in Iraq, and even after Saddam Hussein lost power, the battles for smaller regions still raged on.

The enemy Soldiers were more prepared then the American government anticipated, and the price tag of the war was staggering. Six years after the twin towers were attacked, and still, the war continued.

Reports of enemy abuse by American Soldiers were reported around the world, sexual assaults of female Soldiers became rampant, millions of dollars of cash (sent to help the war effort) went missing, and in other areas, American officers were caught rigging contracts to pocket millions of dollars of money. Massive injuries to Soldiers became the standard news stories, KIAs were named weekly on TV and radio, and citizens were ready to move on.

This war was slowly becoming less like WWII and more like Vietnam.

Back home, brewing under all the patriotism, goodwill, and tax breaks for families, there was trouble just on the horizon. Many people saw the storm coming and even sounded the alarm, but their voices were drowned out by the noise of the continuous war effort. In fact, some people who sounded early alarms were fired or removed from their jobs. These firings did not stop the storm, it only delayed the truth, and this delay contributed to the most significant economic crises since the great depression.

Through the fog of war, when we were shopping to save America, making comfort packages for the Soldiers abroad, and waving the American flag during parades, our banking institutions were stabbing us in the back.

Banks and mortgage companies used the war effort as a reason to push the boundaries of laws and policies to approve subprime mortgages, investors moved retirement money from trusting people to these new investment accounts, and many people were encouraged to purchase homes to flip for big bucks right away. Wall Street created a bubble so big that very shortly it would be the burst that was heard around the world.

The ripple effect of the housing bubble bursting affected all economic institutions like a tidal wave. This recession might as well have been the planes hitting the World Trade Center again. Just like individual floors in the Twin Towers, as soon as housing debt crumbled, other intuitions fell one by one, taking people and small businesses out along the way.

Only the ones who left the real estate market early were able to escape unharmed. All others were scarred for life, or their lives were utterly shattered in ruins, some even resorting to suicide to avoid the pain.

The economy collapsed, the war dragged on, many companies failed, and people lost their jobs. When they lost their jobs, they lost their medical benefits, and in many cases, these same individuals became homeless. American’s stress levels soared, and we turned on one another. The love affair we had for one another ended shortly after the economic collapse.

With so many people struggling to keep their families fed and clothed, America became physically and emotionally exhausted. Many Americans had no hope left for themselves, and they certainly didn’t have energy or resources left for others. Many called to bring our Soldiers home. The money was needed to fix our economy, not the economy of enemy nations.

President Bush put into place a date to leave Iraq, and President Obama honored that timeline. In 2011, it was time to pack up and come home. There was very little fanfare about leaving. No declaration of victory or victory parades. There was some progress for Iraq citizens, and many did not want the Americans to go, but it wasn’t up to the Soldiers. It was an agreement between two countries, and that was that. It was time to let Iraq care for themselves and let our Soldiers and country rest.

Sadly, we now know the time between America leaving Iraq and a new enemy force taking over Iraq was very short. ISIS came in right behind our Soldiers and destroyed most of the accomplishments and progress we helped put in place.

In the despair of a recession, and ISIS taking over Iraq, all the money Americans invested in Iraq, all the deaths and injuries suffered by American and allied Soldiers, and all the time spent making progress, seemed a huge waste now. Americans poured their hearts and souls into Iraq, only to be left wanting and homeless. Of course, the broader economy is more complicated than this, but how do you describe the details of how this happened when middle-class parents lose their homes and can’t provide for their children? You can’t.

American Veterans, citizens, politicians, and families of the wounded and dead were outraged. Eight long years of time, money and blood were poured into Iraq, yet in a matter of months, ISIS erased that progress from the face of the Earth.

With this new information and the economic crises still fresh in their minds, Congress turned on one another, and the American people divided themselves down hard lines of politics.

With the war still raging in Afghanistan, and many battles requiring American military presence, there were talks of Soldiers entering Iraq again. Soldiers and civilians alike became weary of war. Too much money and lives were lost to a war effort which barely made bleeps on the evening news.

Jobs were scarce, and money was tight. Racism, sexism, and nationalism rose so severely people started killing each other in movies and the streets for no other reason than not liking how the other person lived and looked.

Protests for racial equality became so heated, and destruction so complete, many of our cities began to look like war zones in our country.

Anger, hatred, abuse, and death followed. We no longer needed a reason to be angry with each other. We no longer needed the terrorists to tell us to pick up arms and fight. We no longer saw each other as Americans. We saw each other as individuals fighting for the same pot of money and the same plot of land. We started tearing each other up from the inside.

An attack on our soil didn’t tell us to do that; we did it all on our own.

Now, in 2016, not only do we now live in a country divided not only by political lines, but we have divided ourselves down so many lines of anger the lines of love and hate have become blurred, and it’s difficult to know who to remain angry with anymore.

The planes are no longer there, the buildings are rebuilt, families are slowly rebuilding their lives, and even though the war may continue, the economy is slowly bouncing back.

So, why are we so angry with each other? Where is the constant hate coming from?

The honest answer is Americans have been told to hate for so long, it’s really all Americans know. Racism is growing at a breakneck speed, hatred of LGBTQ is on a rise, sexism is not only promoted in business, but voted into offices across the country, and hate of “others” because of different religions is a constant theme in the media.

The catalyst of our anger is no longer there; The only people making us angry is the media and ourselves. Yes, it took the 15 years for their plan to work, but it looks like the terrorists won. They didn’t need planes to destroy America. No. They tapped into the dark places of America and nourished those places with the fuel of hate.

They set out to destroy who we were, and the plan worked.

The enemy played the long game. They worked hard for hundreds of years to destroy love, freedom, and happiness. To our enemy (and we have many), 15 years is just a drop in the bucket of time for their plans.

I’m not talking about Islam; I’m talking about those in the world who hate light. They hide in the dark corners of the world, in caves, in basements, and in dark alleys, festering and muttering to themselves while shackled to the darkness of hate. They live in darkness and grow angry with those living in the light. They make plans to destroy beauty, reading, science, math, travel, and great pieces of art.

These are the people who destroy the beauty in our world. These are the ones who hate the light. They hate those who smile. They hate those who hold our gay brothers and sisters close. They hate when women succeed in the worlds they can’t touch. They hate when different races are married. They hate mixed children who can easily put their feet in two worlds and bring peace. They hate everything America stands for, and they hate us because we don’t give up.

Those who live in darkness hate the light, because no matter how dysfunctional we are and no matter how many times we fall, we smile, give the world the middle finger, drink our beer, pray to our individual gods (or not), and then we drag ourselves up, dust ourselves off, lick our wounds, and we continue to fight like never before.

We fight together for the good of others. All people and all religions can stand together under one flag, including, Christians, Buddhists, Jews, Wiccans, Hindus, Muslims, Atheists, and more.

We used to work together making this land a place to raise happy and healthy children. Sure, most of the time, we disagree and fight within our own groups, but what siblings would get along perfectly for over 200 years without fighting?

That was until recently. Our family has been wounded like never before. We don’t care about each other any longer. There is no respect for our fellow human. The scary and sad part is, the empathy for those who are different than us is almost gone. Even when we strongly disagreed with others, there was always a certain level of respect for other humans. For the majority of people, there were lines which should not be crossed, and now, it seems, those lines are not just blurry, they are no longer there. Respect for each other as humans is gone. It’s frightening to watch humans turn on each other like animals.

We no longer experience the typical dysfunctional family issues. What we have now is something entirely different. We have hate, greed, murders, divisions of family, and groups sliced so thin it’s impossible to know who is friend or foe.

The darkness of our enemy was sent to destroy the essence of America; the caring, open-armed, free, loving country, who accepts the sick, poor, and downtrodden of the world, and their plan worked. It took 15 years, but the plan worked. It’s a sad state of affairs when we are doing more damage and killing more of our own people than the attackers did who started us on this path.

15 years of war has created a world we’ve never known in the history of our country.

As a parent, is has been so sad to raise my children in a world where all they’ve known is war. They’ve never known a time of peace.

The same war their parents fought in is the war the children are dying in.

15 years of hate and war has got to have an effect on our young children and our young adults. There is no way they can come out of this unscarred. No wonder some of the children have lost their way.

With the upheaval of the world, the economic collapse, the insane election, and not knowing what the next four years will bring, they have no idea how the world will look when they grow old or if they will even have a world left to grow old in.

How long will the war go on? Will we see our grandchildren pick up arms and fight the same enemy? I don’t know. I just don’t know. I’d like to know the answer, but the way our country is headed, I’m afraid we’re going to tear ourselves apart before we end the wars in other nations.

At least I can take some guilty comfort in knowing we are on this side of the war and I’m not trying to raise my children in a bombed-out shelter with no running water. As a mother, I’m sad that I’m glad I’m not living in a shelter when I know this means other mothers in this long war are.

What I can’t take comfort in is worrying if my children will die in a random shooting, if my children will go off to war themselves, and most of all, if my children will find happiness and comfort in a country which looks much different than it ever has. Each generation has their burdens to bare (my generation faced Vietnam, the Cold War, Desert Storm, and many others) and they survive and thrive. I know my children’s generation will be okay too. But what about America as a whole?

What about America? Just like I said in the beginning, I’m not blind to the problems of our nation. We still face racism and sexism just as we did before 2001. We still face prejudices over different religion, culture, and moral belief. I’m certainly not denying that we still face enemies who would like to see us wiped off the face of the Earth and use our bones as toothpicks.

The thing is, we’ve always faced enemies, just like they face us, but we used to actually get things done and live our lives while dealing with these other issues as needed. Now, it seems, the country has become stagnated. It’s gotten to the point where everyone is so angry about everything and spending so much time yelling at each other and killing each other, no one is actually focused on changing anything. People are so frenzied in anger, people aren’t doing anything to move the country forward – or, is that the point?

Just because we’ve been told to hate and just because we’ve hated others for 15 years, doesn’t mean we have to hate another culture just because we’re told to blindly.

We no longer need to tear each other apart. Why hate others for their race, religion, or culture? We have plenty of enemies who wish to do America harm, there is no reason to invent enemies based on bigotry.

It’s time to lay down arms and rebuild our relationships, rebuild our communities, and rebuild our nation. It’s time to stop the hate of others based on bigotry and start the healing. It’s time to come together and openly talk about our issues while moving forward to a stronger country and a brighter tomorrow for our children.

Don’t let their darkness spread through the soul of our nation.

Don’t let 9/11 be the day the enemy won.

Until next time…be safe, be kind, and take the time to love one another.

 

 

** The article was edited from the 2016 original for length, clarity, and grammatical errors.