Open letter to Eric

Eric, I appreciate the time and thought you put into your response about my desire to go to Syria. Here’s my reply. I’ve edited some of your response only for brevity and clarity. I didn’t intentionally change the meanig of anything you said, but if you feel that I did, let me know and I’ll set things right.  NOTE:  Eric’s comments are in italics, my response is in plain type.

My first step is to denounce and disagree wholeheartedly with the involvement of countrymen in such conflicts, other than readily available aid for the thousands of refugees who flee such nonsensical violence present in countries who currently possess supposedly valuable resources.

I agree with you Eric. I wouldn’t be involved with the conflict in Syria. It’s their fight, it’s their civil war; I don’t think the US has any business being involved in what goes on.

I’m sick and tired of the United States being a wet nurse for half the world and a policeman for the other half when we have tremendous problems in our own borders that need addressing and solving.

Please entertain going to northeastern Iraq first and interviewing citizens displaced by the current Syrian regime

The American attitude towards Vietnam wasn’t turned by stories of people that had been displaced by the fighting. Attitudes at home started changing when people like James Natcheway showed through words and images what was really happening.

And what was happening on the ground was a great deal different than what Walter Cronkite and the media of the day were saying. Hell, it was a lot different than what LBJ was saying.

The war could’ve drug on far longer than it did if someone didn’t go and show the real story.

If you are that concerned about geopolitics, go to Egypt.

Hell, I could care less about ‘geopolitics’. I think it was George Carlin that said the only reason men fight wars is to compare the size of their dicks. That’s all “geopolitics” is. A bunch of overpaid, elitist, candy ass bureaucrats that want to make a buck in their pocket and a name for themselves. I’d rather spend an hour with a refugee who understands humanity than a week with any politician. Well, a week with Kennedy would be different, but I think you know what I’m saying.

I prefer to work abroad where my country is somewhat appreciated.

Tell me somewhere that America is appreciated. I’d love to hear. Yep, there are many countries around the world that appear to be “pro-American” when the cameras are on them. But having traveled in 51 countries — and shot (photographed) in many of them — I can tell you that it’s a different story at night when the cameras are turned off and the reporters are back in their cushy hotel suites.

Two words: “Religious Extremism” and when people hear it they cry bias and conservative and any other number of misinformation

“Religious Extremism”. Shoot, amigo. You don’t have to go overseas to see ‘religious extremism’. Ever hear of Westboro Baptist Church in Kansas? Koinonia Farm in Georgia? Or a dozen other places? Gandhi had it right when he told a missionary, “I like your Christ. I don’t like your Chrisitans.”

More people have been killed, and more wars fought, in the name of Christ than any other single purpose — and most of those ‘extremists’ have been Americans. I don’t think we have any right to bitch, moan and complain about “religious extremists” over there until — and unless — we can do something about the atrocities that we have committed in the name of Christ.

If you go to this country called Syria, you will be viewed an outsider, an infidel, a person who must be killed by some crazy idiot with dreams of being a martyr because of mind-boggling religious if you go, tread lightly…

Yep, I’ll be viewed as an outside and an infidel. But gee, I know people in the US that would call me those things — and worse. Sometimes Eric, we have to stop doing what’s safe, comfortable and convenient — and just do what’s right.

One thought on “Open letter to Eric

  1. Wow..this is very cool, and thank you for posting..i am glad we can agree on things, like your first point, and please understand i do not consider this an argument or anything, just good, solid conversation about things that matter..people. you and i, them and us, people living in a world of choas and disparity with little end in sight other than a swift unknown death..i agree you could possibly shed light on issues which are not seen in popular mass media..and yeah, geopolitics is in a current state of horrible disrepair due to the people actually involved in it, the elitist with hands tied by corporations and lobbies, the part of the root of our problem at home (i still call the US home)..and i agree, a person such as JFK could attempt to do some good nowadays, and i pray we have a young, competent President such as him soon to clean up this far as America being appreciated around the world, I have not traveled nearly as much as you, but from my own travels i have gained respect of many people from many different areas of the world as an ambassador, if you will, of my culture (the South) and the USA..i am not talking about mass media portrayal of America throughout the world, only my personal experience, and locals anywhere can tell the difference if you talk with them Francais, ce le meme chose..just like us, people are skeptical of “the news” and tend to develop their own opinions in their personal life, same as we do..another reason i mentioned geopolitics is because i am somewhat involved in them working construction at US embassies and consulates..i am not freelance like you, even though technically i subcontract and work for myself, i still represent the US gov’t being on a DOS contract..i still have an obligation to rules and regulations doing this, but i cannot even say that to the average American renegade, displeased with our economy same as me, without sounding like a square or “gov’t tool” as it were..i feel like there is a certain freedom you enjoy being able to travel without the requirement to be tied to the system currently in place, and our situations allow for different interpretations of the experiences we both encounter..regarding religion, i am on the page as you, and this is why i chose the particular phrase “religious extremism” rather than the more specific “islamic extremism” that pervades in the middle, i used the latter phrase on a comment of a post from Upworthy, and some people disagreed, some people agreed, and some people just got plain nasty about it..i did not then, nor do i now, intend to pick on one singular religion in order to claim it has “extremism,” because the fact is practically every one does..hell, people shoot up schools and former employer’s companies for little to do with religion at all in the states..what i was trying to hint at is the scope of violence and defined atrocity that is concentrated, quite undeniably in significant amounts in the region of the world known as the middle east..i am aware of our problems at home as well..acutely aware if i may say so, and there is nothing more i want to do in life than to see it fixed and put right..if you can do some of this through your writings and pictures, Mr. Jerry, then may God bless your every single effort..i will end with a quote from Obi-Wan Kenobi: “You must do what you feel is right, of course.”

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