I have been reading Paul Theroux’s book Ghost Train To The Eastern Star in which he follows in the path he had taken earlier in his books The Great Railway Bazaar. I found the book interesting making me proud to be an American and a person who finds joy in the international community. Until that is he arrives in Southeast Asia and we learn of America’s role in the Cambodian genocide and then the Vietnam War where we had killed two million civilians in a proxy war while dropping 7 million tons of bombs on them.
According to Theroux Cambodia is still traumatized but Vietnam is thriving full of youthful vigor the war virtually unknown or of concern to the country’s young people. And that brings me to my shame. I had written recently defending the LGBTQ community that is threatened with death in some nations around the world and how 79 of those nations had voted down the inclusion of this community in a United Nations human rights accord.
My response was to denounce those nations in jingoistic terms out of anger. And that anger had an effect on me after writing in this blog for a year about world peace as well as about gay rights. Yes it is wrong what those 79 nations did but I was no less wrong in my reaction to it. My response was wrong though I was justified in my anger. What I should have tried to do instead of saying things like maybe the Vietnam War should still be going on is try to reach out to these nations and try to explain that they were wrong and why and a least open up their minds. Instead what I did is force them into a corner shutting their minds tightly and for this I am ashamed.
I failed in my support for my LGBTQ friends and for my desire to see world peace and that is why I feel compelled to apologize for what I had written hoping to draw back all the feathers of the pillow I had opened up in the wind an impossible task knowing once something is in writing it never goes away. I can only hope that those I have offended on both sides of the issue allow me to hit the “reset” button in this one instance so we can continue our walk to a better world for all.
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