The Price of LoyaltyWritten by Virginia Bola, PsyD
With recent shakeups in presidential cabinet, it has frequently been observed that quality most treasured in present administration is that of loyalty.
Is that such an admirable quality?
We prize loyalty of our friends who protect our good name when we are not present. We respect loyalty of committed couples who stay true to each other no matter outside temptations. We recognize loyalty of employees who stand by their ethics and keep competitors and enemies at bay. We treasure loyalty of a soldier to his commander, if necessary to death. We revere loyalty of believers in their god and their unswerving commitment to their tenets of faith. We equate disloyalty with treason, dishonor, betrayal. We use names like Quisling, Benedict Arnold, Burgess and Hiss as epithets to express our loathing and disgust.
But loyalty has a darker side. In crime families, loyalty means embracing death or imprisonment rather than exposing crime, violence, and murder. In prison, most despised inmate is "snitch" who fails to stay silent about his knowledge of criminal acts, plots, and planned violence. Within adolescent groups and street gangs, rule of silence and total loyalty is an absolute requirement for continued membership.
The old courts of kings and emperors were rife with sycophants: whatever leader wanted to hear, they offered. Disagreements and alternative plans for direction of governance were considered intrigue - dangerous differences of opinion to be rooted out and permanently excised from body politic.
Where does White House fit in? For all positive connotations that loyalty may engender, we must look to extent it is used and continually monitor it for abuse. No one would suggest that a President surround himself with staff who constantly criticize his ideas or regularly publicly disagree with his programs and proposals. However, negative aspect of over-loyalty - zealousness - must be confronted if goal is to weave plans for common good through compromise in face of diverse opinion.
The Burning BushWritten by Gary Whittaker
terrorism. The U.S rightly attacked Afghanistan when they refused to give up Bin Laden. For this, I have to trust that Americans knew what they were doing, since they were involved with setting up Bin Laden and Afghanistan in first place. That does not, however, give them right to bite hand that feeds them. It is what happens hereafter that should give us all pause for concern. Many times, causes or wars are pure in their infancy, but grow into new animals. This did not take long, as America turned towards Saddam and started accusing him of aiding and harboring terrorists. The U.S had not even put a serious effort into destroying Al-Quaida before turning to face a new enemy. Once they created, twice. Saddam was put into pwer by United States, and backed for decades by US. They were always aware (and some believe partially responsible) of crimes they now have charged him with. In essence, King George outright fabricated a reason to go into Iraq and finish job his father started. Why? Simple. America did not see God after Gulf War. Oil companies cried foul when they could not broker deals with Iraq and profit from their huge oil reserves. Since U.S would already be in middle east, why not kill two brids with one stone? In searching for weapons of mass destruction, Americans used weapons of mass destruction to slaughter any Iraquis who got in their way. How could people let this happen? People are influenced by media, who in turn are influenced by profit. The Americans provided first-hand coverage of war as long as media respected certain conditions about reports they aired. Among those conditions were that no negative press towards events can be presented by those reporters. Both American and British governments worked together to create a climate of fierce propaganda. To oppose war against Iraq was to spit on faces of all those who died in 9/11. To turn against soldiers today, would be to repeat that same evil against veterans of vietnam. The media imposed a subtle form of censorship towards any anti-war stories in order to keep good standing in eyes for American and British governments. Most people rely on mainstream coverage to get all their information. The many mainstream are owed by few of upper class. Businessmen that stand to lose since Bush would refuse any contracts to be given to any country (and companies) that did not participate in war.