Sunday, January 19, 2020

A New Year with Old Problems

Like many people out there, I felt surprised by how this year began.  On January 1st, the Pope slapped a woman's hand, an action that I feel was completely justified.  The woman grabbed him aggressively and he responded fairly but unexpectedly.  Then on January 2nd,  the U.S assassinated an Iranian general.

Gun Target

(Side note:  I spent some time on Friday, January 3rd, wondering what would happen next.)

I read the headlines a few times before learning more, because my brain could not comprehend that our country brazenly assassinated someone.  Especially someone from a country with which we are currently not on good terms.

I realize that I've been in a funk since then, worrying about when a new war with Iran will begin. (Sadly, I think it's a 'when' question, not an 'if' question.)  I wonder why Trump picked out this particular man to kill.  I know that American media portrays the victim as a "bad" guy, but I also know that American media is extremely biased.  Even if the victim was a bad guy, how does that justify murder?  How do the people who claim to be Christian accept this action?  Isn't "Thou shalt not murder" part of the Ten Commandments?  I know for a fact that none of the commandments has an asterisk to list exceptions.

Going down this thought path leads to depression and anxiety about the future.  Will any of my relatives in the military die because Trump wanted to distract the nation from his impeachment?  Will anyone in the military or civilian installations die?  How is this morally acceptable?

Instead of looking for answers to these mostly-unanswerable questions, I decided to look for the silver lining.  It's a technique I learned long ago when faced with bad/unhappy/terrible situations.  I know that there is no silver lining to this situation that makes up for the chance of world war 3 happening, but what I'm trying to do is find some peace of mind while waiting.

I spent several days thinking about what good can come of this situation.  Will the assassination wake up some of Trump's supporters to the truth about his presidency?  No, not really.  Someone who drank enough of the kool aid to still support Trump isn't about to change their minds now.

I finally conceded that there is no silver lining to this situation.  The U.S. will not, in all probability, face any real consequences other than a worse reputation.  Iran is gaining a better international reputation, but has no way to get reparations for the damage.  The United Nations won't censure the U.S. because we're on the Security Council.  The World Court system can't do anything, because the U.S. will pressure our allies to support us.  And our allies are smart enough to plan for the future.

The situation plays into the hands of smaller countries who feel like that larger countries can do anything and get away with it, while holding the smaller countries to stricter standards of behavior.

Yes, this is depressing.  So I ask you, do you see any good coming from this?

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