If you haven’t heard this yet, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but Crimea is no longer a part of the Ukraine. Don’t worry this thing has happened before.
Seriously…. If you don’t believe me, just take a look at this great time lapse map of European countries’ borders changing.
So let’s not debate the merits of whether or not the Russians in Crimea are really representative of the population, if the Tatars who were expelled by Stalin have any rights, or how pointless it was for Khrushchev to give Crimea to Ukraine and therefore Crimea really should be a part of Russia. Honestly those are all great academic conversations, but here is the cold hard fact, those who are strong take.
Once again, don’t believe me just re-watch the time lapse map above.
But honestly, these debates around why Putin and Russia took Crimea and what he plans to do next are interesting, but that’s not the purpose of this article (believe me, The Economist and Foreign Affairs have much better analysis than I would provide). What has not ceased to amaze me since having gone to Iraq, being back, and now watching Americans discuss foreign issues, is the use of the “WE must”, “WE should”, and all of these statements ending with the idea that WE must take up arms to stop something bad from happening. Besides those who have served and who are making the call for a military intervention, the majority of those on the news, talk shows, and radio are people who have never been placed in between a bullet and wherever that bullet was intent on going. They continue to say WE and yet they never intend the WE to include themselves, nor do they intend the WE to include those who they love or care about. Rather the WE is someone else.
The WE was you and I.
There is something profoundly disturbing to many of us who have served, who have experienced combat, who have lost brothers and sisters, to hear those who have never been placed in harms way callously use the WE word.
Yet the use of the WE word only exemplifies the problems faced by this country and veterans. The problem is a lack of reality. The problem is the loss of what it means for a nation to go to war. The problem is that there continues to be people like you and I, who raise our right hands, defend our country, and who are disregarded by the people and society we protected after taking off the uniform. The problem is, that it feels like there are too few of us to make a difference at home.
Let’s face it, we make up less than one percent of this country.
But just because it is an uphill battle, doesn’t mean it isn’t worth the fight. I don’t know the answer to how we can solve the use of WE, but I do know that we have to do something, because we need to bring America back to US.