refers to the speed of information.
The world has grown smaller – a proverbial phrase, that often refers to the speed of information.
Not so long ago, terrible news in far away places took days, if not weeks, to reach us in the safety of our communities and homes. We could protect our children from the ugliness of the world. We could control the reality we desired for our children – and perhaps ourselves. Many of us can remember going to the theater to see the news reels that showed the realities of World War II and too few years later the Korean War. How many Americans knew of a far away place called Pearl Harbor before Dec. 7, 1941?
How many Americans could not forget those black smoke images of burning American battleships in a far away place that suddenly became close and galvanized our nation and created a day that will forever live in infamy. Sixty years later another generation of Americans have been galvanized by another surprise attack and fiery images that will also live in infamy.
Through the black smoke of 1941 the enemy could be seen clearly. The battles were fought around the world against a global evil and victory achieved. The enemy is not seen as clearly through the smoke filled skies of Sept. 11. But the evil is there and the threat is real. We are a compassionate and good people; however, if attacked we will respond quickly and defeat the aggressor. We have yet to defeat the aggressor(s) of Sept. 11. The battle lines are not as clear as those of 60 years earlier.
What if the mission of World War II had been limited to pushing Hitler’s Nazi’s out of France and Poland and back into Germany? Could Europe or, the world have co-existed in harmony leaving the German people in the hands of a madman murdering dictator? A leader that murdered his own people? Attacked his neighbors? Who developed weapons of mass destruction? Recently more than 40,000 people assembled on the streets of San Francisco as did hundreds of thousands of others in cities around the nation and around our shrinking world. At the San Francisco rally, a young woman spoke to the crowd. Her remarks were broadcast live on radio for thousands more to hear. She spoke against the federal INS agents and their efforts against her people, and that the “Fattah” the uprising of her people would continue).
The freedom to make such remarks against our government and its policies would not be possible in her own homeland. It would not have been possible in Hitler’s Germany, or now in Saddam’s Iraq. One of the many things that these dictators have in common. It would have been dangerous for the world to have left Hitler in power after ousting his Nazi forces from France. Hitler’s secret labs had developed the V2 rocket and were within months of creating the atomic bomb. If left in power, what would be left of the world today?
History does repeat itself. The next fiery surprise attack may be a mushroom cloud. A deeply disturbing thought and on the minds of many is “The Sum of All Fears.” The world has grown smaller – not safer. We are no longer out of harm’s way in our communities and homes from the evils of far away places. However, we can still protect our children and their future. What good ever came from war?
The bittersweet truth to this timeless question is that war can sometimes be the lesser of two evils.