This post reflects my personal views and opinions only.  I’m a former Navy SEAL but, I don’t represent the opinions of the SEAL or Special Operations community. It’s important for veterans to have a voice, after all they are citizens with a unique perspective.  Please remember that the Special Operations PACs that have sprouted up don’t represent these communities either. The active military serves and supports the elected Commander-in-Chief, period.

America Remains The Greatest Country

I believe that we live in the greatest country on the planet however, you can’t kill your way into the hearts and minds of people. Its become a habit these days, and it’s just not good diplomacy. People will start resenting you for it, and radicals will use this to stoke their own internal fires of hatred to forge tomorrow’s extremist. Sure bad people need killing (I’ve killed a few myself) but, it’s only part of the equation. More on this later.

Cultural Change Doesn’t Happen Overnight

I’ve been fortunate enough to travel extensively to including Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, U.A.E., Afghanistan, and Oman to name a few. Getting outside the U.S. is an amazing experience and his has taught me some very valuable lessons in my life.  An important lesson I’ve learned is that you can’t affect cultural change overnight and a lot can be accomplished (relationship wise) over a shared meal or drinks.

Change takes time, sometimes decades or longer.  Look at ourselves in the mirror for a second. Slavery, segregation, woman’s rights, and religious tolerance. We’ve come a long way as a country, and we still have plenty of room for improvement.

Erosion of Constitutional Rights Under The Banner of Patriotism

Since September 11th we’ve let career politicians severely erode our civil liberties and they’ve leveraged patriotism and protection to the full extent.  We have drifted away from exemplary values that people and countries of this world once looked upon with respect and admiration. I would rather live in a free society, and accept greater personal risk, then see my rights continuing to be eroded and taken away from me.

Here’s two examples of what I’m talking about:

The Patriot Act-designed to protect but, in short, it gives law enforcement the ability to racially profile and title II allows (with very little oversight) the government to monitor and collection information from U.S. (and foreign) citizens (phone, email, etc.).  We have to ask ourselves how much of our freedom and privacy are we willing to give up in order to feel safe. A caged rat is relatively safe but has very little freedom.

Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp-read up on it for yourself . However, creating an offshore detention facility that denies basic values we hold dear (regardless of the fact that a lot of these prisoners are very bad) in America, to me, is hypocrisy at its finest and don’t be fooled into thinking the rest of the world hasn’t noticed.