Thank goodness for heroes

Dear President Trump,

Look how easily we’ve slid into full-on war-mode and how easily we’ve let impeachment slip down the priority list. I know you don’t drink, but have you all been doing a lot of self-congratulatory glass-clinking lately? Have you been getting hearty slaps on the back from old pals who can get away with touching you like that and who are genuinely relieved for you (and themselves) that you’ve managed to get the world focused on whether the latest missile attack resulted in American casualties rather than who knew what about Ukraine when and who is or isn’t willing to talk about it on record?

I too would like to slap you, but not in an “atta boy!” sort of way – rather in a “come to your senses, you traitorous idiot!” sort of way or maybe a “go to your room, and stay there!” way. I felt absolutely ill when I read what you Tweeted last night. How on earth is it remotely ok for you to say that “All is well!” in the midst of what is going on with Iran? How on earth is it ok that we are now focused on how many people (Americans, Iraqis, Iranians) did or didn’t die during the most recent news cycle? Obviously none of this is really ok, but apparently nothing so captures our pea-brains or sells more papers than war headlines, so I guess kudos need to go to whomever it was in your posse that came up with the idea of lighting the match and dropping it on Soleimani.

Then there was the awful news about the Ukrainian plane having crashed in Tehran this morning and the resulting huge loss of life. When I first read it there was no indication of foul play, it just looked like a horrible, beyond belief coincidence that a plane headed to Kyiv could have crashed on take off from the Tehran airport. But then I saw the later WP article citing aviation experts who think the plane had already come apart before it hit the ground, suggesting that it was either hit by a missile or there was a major explosion on board. I saw this second version of the story when I was on a break at a work retreat and when I showed it to a friend he said something to the effect that if the plane was shot down he hates the thought that it could have been us as easily as Iran. He followed this grim thought by wondering who might have been on that plane that either country (US, Iran) wouldn’t have wanted to reach Kyiv.

Obviously the general public knows little of what caused the crash and authorities are understandably cautioning against speculation and conjecture so I’m going to cease and desist with these questions, but will note that the symmetry of this particular loss of life in this particular place against the backdrop of the impeachment situation and your military escalation with Iran is eerie and extremely unsettling.

One final, incredibly poignant thing – an article in the Telegraph noted that the pilot had the wherewithal to change course so that the plane would crash in open space rather than a residential area. How amazing to have such presence of mind and such heart just moments before you know you, yourself, are going to die. It reminds me of the crew and passengers on the 9/11 flight who forced the crash landing before the plane could get to Washington DC. Thank goodness for heroes.

May we be safe in this world.
May we make room for happiness as an act of resistance.
May we be healthy and strong.
May we not give up on peace.

Tracy Simpson

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