The World Was Watching

Once a month, I have dinner with four friends — four bright, funny lesbians. There’s lots of laughter and an incredible amount of irreverence, and I look forward to it every month. Tonight, as it was mentioned that Obama signed legislation today to close Guantanamo and put an end to interrogation techniques that involve torture, someone made the statement, “Can you believe we are even having this conversation?”

Think about that for a moment. An American president officially ending America’s official, supposedly lawful, policy of torture.

During Tuesday’s inauguration, I watched as the cameras panned the millions of people on the Washington Mall. I saw tears in so many eyes and was amazed at the depth of emotion that I felt. I realized that this outpouring was not just for the man being sworn in on the platform — it was for the country that elected him.

And, all of a sudden, I understood a movie I recently saw, Valkyrie.

I’d enjoyed it and I learned a lot. I had no idea they came so close to assassinating Hitler and replacing his government. But I wondered about the central figure of the movement, Colonel Klaus von Stauffenberg (played by Tom Cruise). He was considered a war hero after being severely wounded in Africa. He had a wife and several small children. Yet, even with so much to lose, he was willing to risk it all. High ranking officers in Hitler’s inner circle, like von Stauffenberg, knew that Germany was within months of defeat, but still they made this final assassination attempt. And the reason they did this was to show the world that all Germans were not like Hitler.

That’s what I felt on Tuesday as I knew the world was watching.

No, I’m not comparing George Bush to Adolph Hitler — I actually think Bush is probably a decent guy. But the idea that the end justifies the means sets a course down a very slippery slope. It may be a way to win a battle or even a war, but at what cost?

We still have a long way to go to be everything that was envisioned by our founding fathers, but we are better than what’s been presented over the last eight years.

It feels good to be back!

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2 responses to “The World Was Watching

  1. I, too, feel good about the promise of our nation’s future.

    Watching the inauguration, it was evident that the whole country was united behind our new president.

    I had only seen that kind of palpable national unity one other time…behind our last new president….after 9/11. It amazes me that Bush went from 90% approval to the level he left with. And it makes me wonder “what if…?”

    I wonder where we’d be today if 9/11 hadn’t happened. What would the Bush legacy have been? How much of the last 8 years was affected by that one event? Would Obama even have been nominated, much less elected if Bush hadn’t dropped the ball so badly?

    I do love the way the nation is united now. I do feel change is coming. I just hope that Obama doesn’t end up disappointing us all in the end. People already expect so much of him. Anything short of total salvation will be insufficient to many critics.

    As we’ve seen, it’s a long fall off that 90% approval pedestal…

  2. Obama is smart on so many levels for ordering the closure of Guantanamo. It has been a long time coming

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