Sunday, August 26, 2012

America High Low

The death yesterday of Neil Armstrong, the first human to walk on the moon, elicits bittersweet memories of great success. Many look back at NASA achievements and feel awe, recognizing amazing engineering accomplishments in the face of extreme risk. Space remains a daring frontier. Neil Armstrong and his compatriots are heroic pioneers who pushed humanity ahead and achieved an amazing milestone.

The same day, death was announced of the 2000th US military serviceperson in Afghanistan. This is the USA at its worst, a greedy interfering militaristic behemoth, occupying distant lands for decades, bringing ruthless tragedy to rural peoples, installing puppet dictators to fuel America's corporate coffers, keeping an obnoxious toadying wealthy minority in death-dealing secretive power over an underemployed, deliberately misled majority.

American yuppie, opening Cristal champagne in a Manhattan nightclub, or enjoying your boat off the Hamptons: please spare a thought for your American cousin, dead in the Afghan dust. Remember also to thank people who've worked together, as each struggles in our own small way for a better world.