The suicide rate among service members is an epidemic. Leon Panetta, the former Secretary of Defense agreed six years ago. Unfortunately, data regarding the veteran suicide rate is incomplete. For example, veterans who commit “suicide by cop” are not included in the tally. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has made an appeal for more uniform reporting of suicide data.
According to scientific thought, our planet is now 4.5 billion years of age. Since the first humans began to roam the earth millions of years ago, their first instinct was to find food and defend themselves– violently when necessary. We are still functioning in this primitive, violent way these many millions of years later, not taking into account that the world is no longer the same and human beings are no longer cave dwellers.
Friday morning was an unusual one for observers of the United States Senate. The longest vote in the chamber’s history, in which several of the deliberative body’s sacrosanct rules and traditions were bent, resulted in a somewhat foregone conclusion, and with it, another abdication of congressional responsibility. An amendment requiring the president receive explicit congressional approval before attacking Iran got 50 votes after more than 10 hours of open-house voting. It needed 60, and failed.
After a short period of peace enjoyed by Israeli and Palestinians living in Gaza the war has started up again. The Cease Fire took affect on May 6 after a two day war where 700 missiles were fired from Gaza to Israel mostly intercepted by the Israel Iron dome, but several missiles did succeed to do damage and kill or injure Israelis.
Israel retaliated, striking military and political targets in Gaza, killing 23 Palestinians and injuring others. Egypt and Qatar succeeded to bring the two sides to a cease fire.
The world is in turmoil. The threat of war is becoming real. Tensions in Venezuela between Madura and Guerra have created tension between United States and Russia two of the greatest nuclear powers in the world. North Korea refuses to subdue before USA and continues to develop its nuclear capacity. Tensions in the Middle East are rising over oil interests in Libya. Saudi is applying pressure on the government of Libya in the same way it is pressuring the world accepted government in Yemen. Sanctions on Iran from America have made tensions between China a nuclear power who depends on Iran for oil and America. Iran is also protected by Russia one of the clients of Iran oil. Russia is also behind the ruling government in Libya.
Another flare up between Israel and Hamas began unexpectedly over the weekend. While Jews in the south were praying in the Synagogue on Saturday morning (the day of the Sabbath) suddenly there were sirens. The people interrupted their prayers and ran into bomb shelters. Officially another battle began between Israel and Gaza. The war continued until 4:30 on Monday morning.
Nearly 700 rockets were fired from Gaza and four Israelis were killed. Most of the missiles aimed at Israel population centers were intercepted by the Iron Dome anti-missile system. Very few made clean hits into Israeli populated areas in the south including Beer Sheva, Kiryat Gat, Ashkelon, Sederot, Nitivot, Ofakim and Israel settlements in the south.
Jesus said in Mathew 10:34-36, Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter in law against her mother in law. And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household. In other places in scripture Jesus is described as a man of peace which seems to contradict this passage.
In War’s on Foreign Shore
What will you tell, those who fell
in war’s on foreign land?
In pride they died, a nation cried,
now in grandeur stands.
Could you say, it was the way,
of freedom to repent?
To weep and cry, for those who die:
friend’s in battle spent.
Through muck and mire, they tire
then fall upon their face;
with mud caked grin, get up again;
march on to set the pace.
- World War I, also known as the First World War or the Great War, lasted from 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918. More than 17 million people, military and civilian, lost their lives in World War I, mostly in Europe.
- President Trump and 60 world leaders are gathering in Paris for the opening of the Paris Peace Forum, an initiative to improve international cooperation and governance. They will also be commemorating the 100 year anniversary of a war that remains deeply controversial, but that set the course for every significant political event of the 20th Century that followed.
- At the Thiepval Memorial in France, British Prime Minster Theresa May laid a wreath and left a card with an extract from poem A Soldier’s Cemetery by Sergeant John William Streets, reading: “There lie the flower of youth, the men who scorn’d to live (so died) when languished liberty.“
- In England, one local historical society is placing a postcard at the home of hundreds who died. “Time passes but we need to remember those who have died because of the sacrifice.” Even English football (soccer) players are pitching in to help remembrance efforts. “It’s amazing to think, when you are in this bubble and the world we live in now, that those guys went off from playing football and went off to war.”
- It is estimated that 1.5 million Indian troops fought to defend Britain. Of those, 400,000 were Muslim soldiers.
- Mark Rogers will march on Sunday for his grandfather Lewis Rogers, a gunner who survived the war, but whose brother Bertie did not. Bertie was one of three of Rogers’s great-uncles who died in the war. “All were young men. As Lewis said: ‘There was no old men there.’”
- The United States joined the war in 1917, at cost in lives of 50,585 Americans and wounded 205,690. A century after World War I ended, discarded munitions from that and other wars continue to make their way onto beaches around the country.
- The most famous American soldier, Alvin C. York, charged a hill where Germans were entrenched, killing 25. He captured 132 more of the enemy. His bravery earned him a promotion to sergeant and the Medal of Honor for valor.
- OPINION: For the United States to have stood aside in 1917, looking only to her own defenses, while the whole European continent fell under the domination of a militarist, aggressive, proto-Fascist Imperial Germany, would only have postponed the final day of reckoning for America itself.
- OPINION: The intervention led to big changes in America, as well as the world. It began the creation of a political order most citizens now take for granted, even as some protest against it: a state equipped to fight war after war abroad while keeping a close watch on allegedly subversive activities at home.