What is honor exactly? And does America have it?
Honor (according to dictionary.com), is having high public esteem, having high respect, and being a source of credit or distinction.
Columnist Orson Scott Card wrote a rather pointed essay describing the state of America’s honor. He gave past and present examples of the honorable state of America. The rest of this article will be a brief summary and commentary on some of the author’s points of this must-read essay.
Honor and World War II
America didn’t fully enter the second World War until after we were surprise attacked at Pearl Harbor by the Japanese. In a surprise show of force, we conquered fascism in Europe and imperialism in the Pacific. The United States proved it could be a super power and proved to the world it could be depended on. The author seems to imply that the height of America’s honor was at the end of this war.
Honor Deteriorates and Broken Promises
The author mentions that after America withdrew from Vietnam, we didn’t fulfill our promise to supply the South Vietnamese with weapons. In essence, we left the South Vietnamese out to dry and let them be slaughtered.
Iran Hostage Crisis
On November 4, 1979, Iran captured about seventy hostages at the United States Embassy in Tehran. The author argues that Ronald Reagan acted dishonorably when he traded hostages to end the crisis.
Beirut Barracks Bombing
A peacekeeping force is sent into Lebanon after the Israeli invasion . On October 23, 1983, two truck bombs killed hundreds of U.S. and French forces. Approximately 220 Marines were killed. President Reagan pulled out our troops after the bombing. The author argues that Reagan acted dishonorably because he withdrew troops without avenging the loss.
Gulf War I
President Bush promised support for an uprising against Saddam Hussein after the end of the first Gulf War. The support never came and the people supporting the uprising were slaughtered.
Withdrawal from Somalia
The United States military originally went into Somalia as a peacekeeping force. However, things escalated and soon Army Rangers were in the fight of their lives in the Battle of Mogadishu. Eighteen American forces were killed and President Clinton soon afterwards ordered a withdrawal.
Millions of Tutsis were systematically murdered by Hutu militia groups from April to June 1994. The author argues that a show of force by the United States could have stopped the genocide.
The Present Test of Honor
The United States is currently in the struggle for Iraq. President Bush has promised the American and Iraqi people that we will establish Democracy in that troubled country. However, support at home is waining and our House and Senate will not approve more funding for the war without a timed withdrawal from Iraq.
The author argues that if America is proven a liar at this point in our history, that honor will be hard to restore. The credibility of the presidency will be shattered, our reliability as an ally will deteriorate, and our enemies will be strengthened.
The author then compared Nancy Pelosi to Neville Chamberlain. Chamberlain is historically known as a coward who showed no backbone when negotiating with Adolf Hitler in the 30s. As a result, millions perished. Will Pelosi and this Democratic congress go down in history as putting the final nail into the coffin that is buried along with America’s honor?
America’s honor is waning. To be strong as a country and to defeat fascism and Islamic extremism, America needs to honor its promises and finish what it started. It may cost lives now, but regaining America’s honor will cost many, many more. That’s my 500 Words.