awkwardly

Thursday

They Sell Tootsie Rolls For Mental Retardation, Don't They?

For pink ribbons, you think about people afflicted with a problem, you feel sad for them, you might donate some money towards research.

For red ribbons, you think about people afflicted with a problem, you feel sad for them, you might donate some money towards research.

Knights of Columbus occasionally stand outside of shopping centers and sell candies, giving money to research or prevent mental retardation.

Maybe yellow ribbons should give us similar feelings. There are hundreds of thousands of our countrymen who have received such inadequate education, they actually believe that the US military is now and has often been a force for democracy, freedom, justice, and lots of other abstract terms cribbed from Superman comics.

It's not that they want to take part in illegal invasions. They just don't know any better. Most of them are unaware that the Communists in Vietnam agreed to have elections throughout North and South Vietnam in 1956, but that US ally Ngo Dinh Diem cancelled the elections. America supported his decision and supported a string of RVN dictators who came to power by coup. Is that democracy? US ambassadors and officials were warned about some of the assassinations and coups in South Vietnam and let them go forward. Is that justice?

Could anyone believe that our military interventions in Panama, Kosovo, Iraq or Grenada were actually launched to promote democracy and defend people from tyranny, considering the murderous regimes that we supported in Indonesia, South America, or the many dictators that we ignored during the same period? Some British pilots patrolling the No-Fly Zone over Northern Iraq in the 1990s reported witnessing Turkish planes loaded with bombs entering Kurdish territory, the same planes returning empty, and Kurdish villages destroyed afterwards -- during the same time we were using the "no-fly zone" as a pretext to bomb Iraqi military installations. How many of our troops would guess that Turkey killed more Kurds in the late 1990s than Saddam did? How many would know that more tonnage of bombs was dropped in Laos during some years of the Vietnam War than were dropped on Vietnam?

The liberal way to solve a problem like this would be to throw money at it, do some research to find out how to teach History more effectively so people will stop swallowing the flimsy, ostensible reasons that the US takes military actions. But we can solve the problem in a stern-father Conservative way, without losing any money on it. You don't research stain-proof carpets when your dog pisses on it. You rub his nose in it, right?

The proper Republican way to educate our ignorant citizentry is to give them total immersion in the experience of American conflicts: compell them to enlist in the US military. By putting them in a position where they will see democracy being prevented, collateral civilians being slaughtered, where the ostensible reasons for invasion evaporate within hours or days, they will learn the hard way.

Got it straight? Pink ribbons are to fight breast cancer. Red ribbons are to fight HIV/AIDS. Knights of Columbus Tootsie Rolls are for ending mental retardation. Yellow ribbons are to fight political and historical illiteracy via tough love and total immersion.

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