Friday, May 30, 2014

Duty, Honor, Country?

Note To My Regular Readers:  I wrote earlier about getting an enormous number of page views for some of my earlier blogs, about 10,000 visitors this week alone.  They were picked up by other sites and the word spread rapidly.  Unfortunately, I also got 4,000 Spam comments which Google was good enough to send to my spam folder.  Still, they clog up my blog and need to be stopped.  So, until this brougha dies down, and the page views return to 500 or so per day, I've had to apply a verification block to make comments, to cut down on spam.  Hopefully this one extra step will not keep you from commenting.

Ten or fifteen years ago, when the Japanese real estate industry collapsed, and with it the entire economy, the Finance Minister climbed into a high speed elevator that ferried him to the 100th plus floor of a Tokyo skyscraper, then jumped off the roof to his death.  He felt like he had to "take a bullet" for the economic collapse.  Again in Japan, three or so years ago when nuclear disaster struck Japan, the Japanese Energy Czar resigned immediately and took responsibility for a natural disaster.
Just last month the Premier of South Korea resigned from office following the ferry disaster; though surely the Premier played no role in that tragedy.

Yes, there are still places on earth where honor is a precious thing.  I'm wondering these days if honor is not something we value in America anymore...and if the lack of honor is not just another symptom of a crumbling society.  

When the IRS got nailed for targeting conservative groups, and trying to influence the outcome of an election, the IRS Chief didn't come forward, own up to her mistakes, and resign.  Nor did those in the White House who were directly involved in the iRS harassment of its citizens, own up even to political overreach.  Instead, everyone lawyered up, "took the 5th" and slunk away to their own personal hidey-holes.  

Last week when the VA Chief sat and listened to testimony after testimony about veteran deaths and medical negligence and cooking the books to earn bonuses, he refused to resign, even as whistleblower letters sent to him a year  before had gone unanswered.  To quell American indignation and anger, the White House trotted out a "martyr" and offered up a dude for resignation; one who had already announced his resignation a year ago...already qualifying for a nice fat federal pension and subject to lose nothing.

When Fast and Furious was revealed, despite the negligence of the main stream media to even investigate it, Obama's Justice Department lawyered up and stonewalled any attempt to investigate how that goat rope came about...and refused even to explain to a border agent's parents,  why their son was killed by Mexican drug cartels with weapons supplied them by the U..S. Justice Department.
No one took the fall  for that one either.

How many of you remember how Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton emerged from the war room of the White House, guns still smoking in their holsters, and took credit for taking out Osama Bin Laden?  Hell, as far as they were concerned Seal Team 6 didn't exist!  And yet when four Americans were killed in Benghazi, when no one from either the White House or the State Department took that "3AM call",  those responsible for mounting a military rescue...or even explaining what the Ambassador was doing in Benghazi, hunkered down and came up with the idea to blame the disaster on an obscure anti-Muslim film that few had even seen.

There was a time, dear readers, when America had her share of honorable men.  Franklin Roosevelt had to fight Hitler and Mussolini alone there for awhile.  He used Lend Lease to keep the Brits afloat long enough for his country to recognize the real world wide threat of the Nazi's.  

And who remembers that Dwight Eisenhower was so fearful that D-Day would be a disaster that he wrote a press release in advance, taking full responsibility should the operation fail?  Honor.

When a young John Kennedy had his PT boat shot out from under him, he took responsibility for the loss and took it upon himself to rescue his crew.  Twenty years later, after only a couple of months into his Presidency, he stepped up to the podium and took responsibility for the Bay of Pigs, even though that was Eisenhower and the CIA's gig, set in motion before JFK even took office.

America has a long tradition of valuing honor.  From Washington to Lincoln to Roosevelt, to Kennedy, and to Reagan we once had leaders who lived by principle.  Even George W., whose Middle East strategy I disagreed with, always shouldered the blame as "the great decider".

Not so much anymore.  We seem to be a nation that tolerates "little men and little women".  When all those finance wizards on Wall Street brought down our entire economy no one saw fit to send even one of them to jail...not one.  When a trillion dollars was wasted in an effort to stimulate the economy, when those "shovel ready" jobs were not forthcoming, it simply became an "oops" moment  and no one fell on his sword for that massive fail.  Then came the massive political lying, ala the "war on women", pushing the elderly in wheel chairs off the cliff, the demonization of "the rich", and then the IRS mess, and the VA mess and the Benghazi mess...and the best we could do is offer up cover-ups, stone-walling, early retirements and an anti-Muslim film.

A nation without honor, a nation run by "little people" cannot long exist.

Sad.  Damned Sad.


Jerry Carlin said...

No responsibility from our leaders and institutions trickles down to the people. It seems, they don't give a crap, why should we? and before long we become the problem we are trying to fix!
I actually prefer "The China Solution" and think failed leaders, corrupt politicians and pilfering business people, maybe even those who litter, should be shot.

A Modest Scribler said...

Absolutely correct, Jerry. Sometimes we condemn society from the bottom to the top, but you are right; a society needs leaders who will accept responsibility and lead in a principled and moral manner.

And, by god, your blood lust for those litterers gives me hope that you'll join us in that 2nd Civil War. ;)