To My Darling Children:
You live in a dangerous time. It is not hyperbole when I say that I have not seen a more treacherous period in my life. It is an era of deceit. Powerful forces are skilled at manipulating and distorting information for their own greedy and malevolent ends. Those people are in positions of control, around the globe, in the government, business and the media. Their unchecked ability to initiate and control world events is frightening. Their threat to your safety and liberty is real.
Your generation is being lulled with a flood of lies, masked by a deluge of misinformation. It is very difficult, even for me, a professional observer, to filter through the obfuscation in order to find the truth. There are battalions of liars skilled in herding the public to accept and embrace their selfish actions, unwittingly many times, by persuading listeners with purposely misleading arguments.
You two occupy the highest tiers of my love and concern. I worry that you are not hearing or discerning the truths of your world. There are things you ‘need to know’. To that end, I am going to begin sending you missives that I feel will help you navigate your days and protect your futures.
I hope you will respect and embrace my wisdom. I have lived an enlightening and adventurous life. I have travelled extensively. I have talked with people from all walks. I have always listened with an open and analytical mind, a skeptical ear, an empathetic heart and with nuanced understanding of actions and motives.
As a journalist and adventurer, I have been blessed with extraordinary opportunities to satisfy my unending curiosity. I have seen things and been places. I have climbed on glaciers, watched whales breach the surface of seas, witnessed the thundering launch of space shuttles, gazed awestruck at herds of elephants crossing the savannah, been at the site of a nuclear power plant accident, travelled on political campaigns with presidential candidates, walked down streets of poverty and decay, been moved by emotionally charged religious services, dined with a Vice President and a black-separatist minister, confronted a dangerous white separatist, helped start nascent cable and Internet news organizations. I have heard and told the stories of countless characters from incredibly diverse backgrounds, who have revealed volumes about life – the good, the bad, the evil, the beautiful and the sublime.
All that is to say, that you would disregard my insights at your peril. I expect the both of you to make your own judgments in life. But to do so without knowing the truth behind your decisions would also be at your peril. Please listen to all that is around you. Ask questions, question authority. But, most importantly, seek out the truth. It will not come to you on its own, especially in the current climate of deception. You are responsible for what you truly know to be true.
Know where you stand and why you stand there. And when you take a stand, I expect you to be kind, understanding, generous and loving in your criticisms. Don’t ever hold your ground for its own sake. Know when to compromise, when to hold fast, when to relent and when to accept defeat. And certainly, know how to be right graciously, not triumphantly.
I love you both more than you might ever know. I will do everything in my power not to misguide you, knowingly by personal motive, or unknowingly by flawed personality. But, do know that my insights have been powerfully accurate through my life. Digest them, ponder them, reject or accept them. I implore you, seriously consider them.
Life is spectacular. Live it fully. Love courageously. Fight righteously. Listen with compassion. Be passionate. Use your talents. Travel curiously. Embrace foreign ideas and cultures open-mindedly. Be just. Be kind. Be you.
So, having said all that, you need to know that the implications of the Iraq War are having a tragic effect on your future and freedom. The invasion of Iraq was an opportunistic outrage, unjustly launched by the neo-cons in the Bush administration who are beholding to powerful corporate interests. It is not about freedom and democracy, it is about the wielding of political power over a region rich in oil resources. The tax treasure and military might of the United States have been stolen by a cabal of determined power-holders to remake the world in their own interests.
To enlighten that point, please watch the Frontline documentary called “Bush’s War”. Frontline is a stellar series of PBS programs produced by credible, conscientious journalists seeking the truth. They have been reporting on the war for five years, conducting hundreds of candid interviews with the actual players in the government and other reporters with unique access and insight. They have compiled it all into an enlightening report. You can watch it online, in short chapters.
This war is far from over. Forces are at work to keep it going and to expand it across the region. True motives are still being masked with intentionally misleading phrases from the Bush government and the McCain campaign that it is about “freedom and democracy”. It is not. It is about greed and power. Please, please, arm yourself with the information in “Bush’s War”.
This election is the most critical in my lifetime. I will write more about it in subsequent missives. But, for now, don’t be deluded that this war is not profoundly driving the geopolitical world in which you live. You must take an interest. Your lives are at stake.
I love you,