It’s a hot summer day in the late 70s and my cousin and I are sitting on Great Grandma’s front porch, old tobacco barns lining the fields behind the house. Off that dusty old dirt road that ran by her house, the driveway circles in and around this big ol’Maple tree that we had tied a yellow ribbon round, singin’ “it’s been 3 long years, do you still love me”, is one memory I have of that place where I was born.
Another though is outside of this country store in that same town, dad was in the store and mom, my sister and I were sweltering out in our no-air condioner silver station wagon. I remember watching the door open, hopeful it was dad, but instead were 4 black teenagers who split off and 2 by 2 walked either side of our car, and mom said, “girls, lock your doors”.
My memories of the south, of North Carolina, well they are a complicated mix of history, pride and a kind of racism so deep and old that my Canadian raised self still struggles to understand.
My research of that southern family of my dads has led me way back in time, to decades before the states united. Many of them go back to the misty beginnings, when the first British settlers took that long treacherous voyage cross the ocean to those shores, courageously gambling their futures on a hope and prayer of better days ahead.
I’ve learned that many of those ancestors lived at the same four corners of Pitt County, North Carolina for centuries. It was only really in those opening decades of the 20th century, and into the closing decades that the records begin to show this mass migrating away as the tobacco industry died off for lack of those willing to lose their lives for a nasty habit.
Ahem, a habit BTW I have not managed to kick.
Yet, its really just been over the last couple years that I’ve actually felt such a strong affinity to that land down yonder where I was born. Suppose, tis true that it is only once there is a threat of losing something that you begin to realize its importance, the place it holds for you.
For me it was sort of this abstract fact that my 4x or so Great Grandfather died just a few weeks into the Civil War to some disease he caught in the trenches. Just an interesting factoid that his brothers were captured at Gettysburg. Merely number on an ancient census that list the number of slaves the various households of my ancestors had, along with the number of boys and girls with a number on old scans of yellowed paper housed in some archive hundreds of miles away. You know? Long ago and far away sort of ancestors, people and places that are so far removed from where I was raised, up here in the Great White North.
Same as my understanding of American politics in the past. I saw it for the drama and stage craft that it is, for the entertainment value alone I would sometimes become aware of the shenanigans of the government to which I had no investment, if I paid attention at all.
At first, way back in 2015 we began to get a sniff of this growing movement of MAGAs. Through those summer monthes, I would catch little hits and hints out of the corner of my eye of him, at first thinking nothing of his chances of winning, even really up to the very night of the election.
Sitting in the bar across the road from my apartment, I and the rather silent patrons watched as that narcississtic conman actually won the highest office of the United States of America. Even the next day, days afterwards, utter amazement at the depth of ignorance in an America that had seemingly I guess become very, very lost. That there are still so many that continue to support him, well, I suppose I have become immune to their cult-like nature.
Of late though, can’t you sort of feel this change in the air? Many are beginning to wake up, look around, and see that they are in fact in the minority, and that many, many, many respected individuals from various factions are speaking out, and against, this puppet on a string that leads their nation.
For a man who has been in office for almost 3 years now, he has had more than enough time to learn the ropes. He has had more than ample time to grow into the role. And, as fun and hilarious as it may be to watch his deranged antics and bully tactics, some do have an awareness, more and more, that he is making some very dangerous decisions, and often based on rather sketchy conspiracy, um, crap.
Yes, it is all fun and games until the president of the country decides to pull the troops out of Syria, potentially destroying a window you had on taking out an ISIS leader. So, whilst the POTUS was out on the greens his generals got together and executed a last chance mission to take out this guy. Succeeding in their mission, yet, some factions are suggesting this may not have the result its suppose to; which is to destroy ISIS. In fact, while it will weaken it, it will not destroy it.
ISIS, or ISIL, is not just some second rate group of extremist with lots of guns and hatred towards the west. No, they are an organized militant organization with pockets all over the Middle East.
The French Defence Minister Florence Parly responded to the news with the following statement;
(translated) “Baghdadi: Early retirement for a terrorist, but not for his organisation. We will continue the fight against Daesh [ISIL] without rest, with our partners, adapting ourselves to new regional circumstances.”
“I congratulate our American allies for this operation. My thoughts today are for all the victims of the madness of Baghdadi and the criminals who have followed him.”
Trump would do well in the future to heed the advice of his advisors, because, as this VOX articles puts it … His constant carping on European and other allies risks jeopardizing one of America’s most important counterterrorism assets. Abandoning key partners like the SDF is short-sighted and sends a message that America cannot be trusted.
Certainly, stands to reason that one would expect to not have to keep reminding a president that he should be listening to his advisors and not his flabby burger gut.
In one tweet, Trump threw away an alliance with the Kurds the U.S. had depended through many battles across the Middle East, with Kurds pointing at targets on the ground, and American missiles hitting those targets. And, even though the U.S. betrayed them, it was the Kurds who were instrumental in the U.S. getting Baghdadi. The Kurds are PERSONALLY invested in annihilating these terrorist organizations, and have lost far, far more than the U.S.
And, so funny enough, on the day I post about how you reap what you sow, just such a thing became, well, um. so.
Yes, that doth warm the cockles of my born in the U.S.A. heart.