It seems questionable that we, as a supposedly secular nation, have a “National Day of Prayer,” and that we paid, according to an article in The Garden Island, “a good-sized gathering of County of Kaua‘i employees” to offer up what sounded like exclusively Christian prayers — at the county building, no less — in honor of it.
Still, I can’t quibble with our mayor that we should “pray that our government leaders will make good and just decisions.” The intervention of a divine power is about the only thing likely to ensure it.
But it’s really too bad that even as they were offering up prayers for the military, churches, pastors and ministries (which would seem to generate enough prayers on their own), business, government and media, no one apparently saw fit to pray for the `aina, kai and wai that support and sustain us.
And therein lies the big disconnect.
It seems questionable that the U.S. reportedly spent at least $3 trillion over the past 15 years fighting Usama bin Laden “counting the disruptions he wrought on the domestic economy, the wars and heightened security triggered by the terrorist attacks he engineered, and the direct efforts to hunt him down.”
To put it in some perspective, that’s “one-fifth of a year's gross domestic product — more than the entire 2008 budget of the United States government.” And what, really, do we have to show for it?
It seems questionable that even as Obama is calling upon God to bless America after the reported assassination of bin Laden, Al-Qaeda is calling upon Allah for “his help, support and steadfastness to continue on the path of jihad,” according to a statement the group allegedly posted on line confirming bin Laden’s death and vowing revenge.
So much for the “positive power of prayer” that our mayor referenced.
It seems questionable that the U.S. persists in using what Winona LaDuke characterized as “native nomenclature” in its military operations, including Black Hawk helicopters, Apache Longbow helicopters, Tomahawk missiles and most recently, Geronimo as code for bin Laden:
The term used when you leave a military base in a foreign country is to go 'off the reservation, into Indian Country.' So what is that messaging that is passed on? It is basically the continuation of the wars against indigenous people."
Donald Rumsfeld, when he went to Fort Carson, named after the infamous Kit Carson, who was responsible for the deaths of thousands of Navajo people and their forced relocation, urged people, you know, in speaking to the troops, that in the global war on terror, U.S. forces from this base have lived up to the legend of Kit Carson, fighting terrorists in the mountains of Afghanistan to help secure victory. "And every one of you is like Kit Carson."
[T]he Seventh Cavalry, that went in in Shock and Awe, is the same cavalry that massacred indigenous people, the Lakota people, at Wounded Knee in 1890. You know, that is the reality of military nomenclature and how the military basically uses native people and native imagery to continue its global war and its global empire practices.
It seems questionable that the U.S. should be allowed to carry out assassinations, which is why UN human rights investigators are calling on the U.S. to disclose details of the raid to “allow an assessment in terms of international human rights law standards.” Or in other words, was there any plan to capture bin Laden, or was it a "cold-blooded execution?"
It’s important for the truth to come out, both to clarify the contradictory statements about what really went down and to determine whether this kind of action will be sanctioned by nations that supposedly revere the rule of law. I’m sure many view Obama and Dubya as mass murderers, seeing as how between them they authorized actions that resulted in the deaths of many thousands, but I doubt anyone would sanction targeted hits of either as “justice served.”
Still, it’s not likely that the U.S. will respond to such inquiries. After all, we’re convinced we’ve got God on our side.
And for those of us who believe in a higher power that is love-based, that really seems questionable.