When does compassion get to be too much?

I’m no Leftie. At all. I share some views with the American Left and some with the Right, but the last thing I’d allow is to be labeled as Left wing. So when I agree with the far Left on an issue, I will definitely to keep it to myself and to friends whom I know agree.

One of these issues that will label you as a far Left extremist is the war crimes we committed overseas. Think Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Think Agent Orange. Think depleted uranium use in Iraq and Afghanistan. Think the over 4 million civilians killed by us since 1990. You know, that kinds of stuff. It’s all facts that can be easily proven, but God forbid you ever bring them up! You’ll be instantly cast into a category so extreme that you may be the only one inhabiting it. It’s intellectual suicide to most people outside of academic circles and probably a cause of literal alarm by your neighbors.

And I’ve accepted that. I stay away from bringing up our war crimes. It’s cowardly and dishonest, but it seems necessary for now.

But we all have our lines to draw, and I had to confront mine when I was recently asked to contribute to an effort to raise awareness about the high suicide rate among US veterans of war. It was a hard No for me.

No, no, no, and no. If I’m not even able to bring up our war crimes, I sure as heck won’t encourage sympathy with the perpetrators of such crimes, many of whom fully acknowledge and support such crimes even if they did not commit them, and many of whom still seethe with hate toward Arabs and Muslims and spread lies about them here in the US to propagate phobia. No, I won’t spread awareness for them. Sorry.

And I really am sorry. I hate to know that anyone killed themselves. It really breaks my heart and I really do wish that I could help them. But if I’m forced into being silent about the far, far higher numbers of people killed and maimed by them, I cannot in good conscience spread sympathy for the killers beyond the confines of my heart’s aching for their psychological anguish.

The question then becomes: How do I respond to such a request for supporting veterans? Do I lie and come up with some other reason besides my conscientious objection? Do I tell it like it is and face the unpalatable consequences? Or do I just say no without giving a reason?

So far I’ve gone with the third option, but I don’t know how long I’ll be able to keep my mouth shut. I just hope we in the US finally start to see the glaring obviousness of God’s revenge upon us for all we did to other peoples.