Live by Sword Die by the Sword
Impeachment Trial of President Donald Trump
Fires in Australia
General Qasem Soleimani Killed
Ukraine Flight 752 Shot Down
Iran Launches Ballistic Missiles toward Iraq
Protest in Lebanon
Prince Harry and Megan Markel Make Change
Earthquakes in Puerto Rico
Coronavirus from China
Earthquake in Turkey
Entire Russian Cabinet Resigns
American Embassy Attacks in Iraq
Death of Kobe Bryant and Friends
Peace Treaty Proposal for Israel
7.7 Earthquake in the Caribbean
It has been a busy year thus far, this is by no means an exhaustive list; and it does not cover any of the events impacting you and me.
I had planned to write about the assassination of General Qassem Suleimani.
You see when I was in 6th grade, Damaris, a Cuban friend from church, taught me how to play my Father’s favorite game, chess. Once I knew the basics, I started playing chess with my Father, who was a master, at least in my opinion. In Cuba, as a child, after his regular school day, my Father would have private chess lessons; he not only excelled in his studies, but loved the game.
Sitting down to a game of chess, with my Father, was not relaxing, for him it was not just a game; rather a way to demonstrate and refine your intellectual abilities.
The question he most often asked, when I was about to move a piece, was what will be my next three moves? I remember the first time he asked me that, I went completely blank; I was thrilled to know what my first move was, I could not possibly fathom what would come next.
But playing with my Father I learned that a winning strategy had to be built, it did not come with just one move. As time passed, I became a fair chess player, and certainly loved the game, in no small part because it was something, which I could share with my Father.
I will say it took me many years to beat my Father, at a game of chess; however, I did win against others, and those moments led to a fantasy, which I nurtured for quite a while. I imagined myself being such an outstanding chess player, that I was invited to Cuba, to play against Fidel Castro; my families and many others nemesis.
In my world, Fidel was responsible for everything, which had ever gone wrong with our life; I dreamed of a world without him, convinced everything would be fine if he was no longer able to keep my family and the thousands of other Cuban families, separated from each other and their country.
Thus, in my fantasy, I would meet Fidel to play chess, and being given this access, find a way to end his life. Now, I will admit I did not work out exactly how Fidel would meet his demise, but I knew I would be the heroine of that story! Yes, I knew that my desire to “take Fidel out” was morally and legally wrong, and certainly not anything close to what imitating Christ, should look like; but Fidel was an evil man.
Perhaps, I should be embarrassed to admit any of this, but when I learned that General Qassem Suleimani had been killed by a drone, my first reaction was that I could not believe we, the United States, had actually killed him. I had heard the reports that stated an individual of great importance had been killed in a drone strike, but I did not imagine General Suleimani was the target. As soon as his death sunk in, I told Kate, who was sitting next to me, I wish we had had that technology in the 1960’s. I went on to tell her, can you imagine if we had been able to take out Fidel like that?
My Cuban fantasy life returned, with thoughts about what Cuba would have been spared the anguish that man brought, if Fidel had been executed in say 1960. Of course, sooner would have been better; but in my head or heart, I would like to think I might have given him time to perhaps do the right thing, though we all now know he was never going to do the right thing.
I have read and listened to the castigations, being leveled against the United States and President Trump, for caring out the execution of a man responsible for both domestic and international violent and inhumane behavior; but I neither mourn Mr. Suleimani’s loss, nor do I condemn President Trump’s choice.
Mr. Suleimani chose to live by the sword, thus he could not be surprised to die by the sword; I believe we reap what we sow.
The Iranian Revolution has destroyed Iran, exactly like the Cuban Revolution destroyed Cuba. While both Cubans and Iranians, pre their respective revolutions, would state that their countries, could keep pace with any nation in the developed western world, after the bravado that both cultures share, is tampered down, we would admit to maybe not being quite comparable to those first world countries, in 1959 of 1979, but we were holding our own, and working to improve our worlds. Today, both countries are far from where they were at, at the dawn of their revolutions.
But it has been a busy news month, and instead of giving you my opinion on the commonalities of Iran and Cuba, or further discussing Mr. Suleimani’s crimes against humanity, I am feeling a bit overwhelmed by the world’s reaction, not to Mr. Suleimani’s death, which I thought may lead to war, but the reaction to Kobe Bryant’s death.
Kobe Bryant, was killed in a helicopter accident, along with eight other people, including his daughter Giana. He was a man who had a successful career in basketball, and had moved on to storytelling, also finding triumph. Mr. Bryant was accused and arrested for rape, though he apparently lived long enough to rewrite his epithet, and that case is barely now mentioned.
Yes, when I saw the news that he had perished, at such a young age, I was shocked; further despair came to me when I learned that his daughter had died with him. I grieve for his wife and children that survive him, and for those who knew him. But in the last few days, I have also read about a writer who was disciplined, by her employer, a major news outlet, because she had the audacity to bring up that besides being an outstanding athlete, he had also been arrested for rape. Mind you, we are now living in the Me Too Movement, and at this very moment, in New York City, a major Hollywood producer, is on trial, accused of rape.
After a few days, I decided I needed to know more; I went to Wikipedia, my faithful stand by, when I want information. They have a special entry on the subject: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kobe_Bryant_sexual_assault_case ; this is besides the entry on the man. I read the details of his case and am left a bit sickened.
From all of the kind words being said about him, by people who knew him, he seems to have been forgiven by his wife, and lived his life in the pursuit of more noble deeds. As a Christian we are supposed to believe in redemption and second chances, and new beginnings; and I would like to think that I do. I have certainly been in need of God’s mercy, on more than one occasion; but how easily do we dismiss rape? Does being a good father, or athlete, or humanitarian, or anything else make what happened in that hotel room irrelevant? Do we judge a person by their worst choice?
So how do we mourn these men? At the end of their lives, what they will share is the month and year, which they died; and both unexpectedly. One had done nothing to redeem himself, the other perhaps had, but that is not for me to say. Yes, I think one of these men hurt countless people, while the other maybe only one woman; but how many women are there out there, who did not come forth because they knew they were not going to be believed?
These are sad days, and not the best way to start a new year; I honestly do not know how to feel about the developments this month, but for what it is worth, I do not believe Mr. Bryant should replace Mr. West, on the NBA Logo. That is all for Now