Line of sand in the eyes


Photo illustration by Korbl Klimecki

Jeff Gonzales and Jeff Gonzales

Humanity has hefted the weight of war for as long as we have existed. Fighting over the “line in the sand” of the moment with impacts that have far reaching affects.

So, when looking to tackle a column that looks at national news to break it down to a level that matters to the every day student, Syria seemed the way to go.

As I poured through the vast array of information online and in print about the possibility of an upcoming war, I could easily see how this matters to students at American River College.

Talking to the vet on a grassy knoll next to Rose Marks Pavilion about his experience firing at enemy combatants, I felt the limitation to my print space like a noose choking the life out of an amazing story. As I listened to the speeches made by President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry, the reasons for action seemed clear.

Yet the more I pursued the impact that students know war has, I began to realize that people already know the implications. What service would I be doing by repeating the information that abounds in the media?

Scouring the Internet, I looked for something that may have slipped by the headline story of the moment. That was when something odd hit me. Among the gripes about Obama seeking congressional approval for action in Syria, an update on the leaks that Edward Snowden had let loose on the world appeared.

That made me think; the media’s pouncing upon the story of war, as amazingly huge as it is, conveniently helped push down the fact the U.S. has been keeping tabs on just about everything.

Though war is something the media should be talking about, we also need to know when our government crosses the Orwellian threshold at home.

Sure, most of the information the National Security Administration is capturing is metadata. Yes, it is designed to make us safer. But the implications this has for the future are tremendous.

With the possibility of war on the horizon, it’s good to remember what we are fighting for. If we claim to have the right to tell a country what weapons they can use, let’s remember why we feel that way.