Eye-Opening Perspectives for Heroic Hearts

Eye-Opening Perspectives for Heroic Hearts

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

President Obama's Focus At Arizona Memorial Service Was 20/10

by Winsip Custer CPW News Service

If the tone, content, and delivery of a pastoral message could be judged by an optometrist, President Obama's gifted, sensitive and compassionate message to the heartbroken families in Tucson was 20/10 according Juan Carlos Caballero of Costa Rica.

I spoke with Juan Carlos Caballero in Miami on Wednesday as he watched the service from his room in the Hotel Fountainebleau. The seasoned newspaper man has watched many memorial services in the wake of senseless killings, but he has never gone into detail as he did following President Obama's message on Wednesday night.

"I was hoping above all else, knowing that the families would be there, that Obama would spend a significant part of his message on little Christina Greene, the nine-year-old who had just been elected to her school's student body. My heart went out to her parents, not that it didn't go out to the others, but when it is a child who dies needlessly it impacts us in a broader, deeper and more penetrating way. It did so when a church was bombed in Birmingham that killed little black girls in their Sunday School class in the 60's or when we saw a young Vietnamese girl running from her napalmed village in Viet Nam. Obama didn't let them down. He drilled it. He drilled the message straight through the heart and soul of the families and the nation's citizens and put evil on notice that it will not prevail against the goodness it seeks to devour. He drilled it in a way that I have not seen a sitting U.S. president do. Ever."

It was at that point that Juan Carlos seemed to choke up in a way that resembled House Speaker John Boehner's more emotional moments. I asked if he was okay. "No. I'm not. I thought of that little girl just having put down her dolls to look to more adult things, but never dreaming that this is part of the world into which she was born. I too, lost a child. Not a nine year old, but a twenty-three-year old. Not a girl, but a boy. He had gone to the States to study animal husbandry and agriculture in Austin. He was working part-time at an organic nursery and he provided the herbs and vegetables for the restaurant that Diana Southwood Kennedy's made famous, Fonda San Miguel in North Austin," he said.

"As President Obama spoke I wondered what Christina's parents might have been thinking. 'If only we had not let her put down her dolls, or her dog or cat and just let her stay a little girl and not go out into this cold world. I thought of my son who I never told about his great, great grandfather fighting against William Walker's greedy coup de 'tat in Central America, or about my newspaper connections with fellow Central American journalists which put me in the know about men like Paul P. Kennedy. I had no knowledge of my son working with Dianna Southwood Kennedy nor of her invitation for him to visit her in San Miguel Allende in Mexico that spring before his death. Nor that her restaurant was George Walker Bush's favorite Austin restaurant. It was Diana's husband, Paul, whose New York Times article would blow the whistle on the American base in Guatemala at Retalhuleu where the Bay of Pigs, also called 'Operation Zapata' soldiers trained," said Caballero.

"When my son left Austin and went to work in Kemah, Texas I didn't know that his job on the Kemah Boardwalk next to Johnnie Walker's Restaurant was on the docks from which a Galveston arms supplier was shipping weapons to the 'Operation Zapata' soldiers. Nor did I realize that becuause it was an election year....the most bitterly contested Presidential election in U.S. history, that he was walking into a political mine field....especially when he made a new friend who had been involved with the Iran-Contra scandal which as I now know was as much the brain child of George Herbert Walker Bush as was 'Operation Zapata'. My son wasn't nine years old. He was twenty-three, but whether nine or twenty-three, I knew something of what the Greene's were feeling and so did Obama. So did Obama. And he drilled it! He came back to little Miss Greene. He came back to our future and to the cowardly assault on innocense and he drilled it!" said Juan Carlos.

For more on "Operation Zapata" see

For more on Zapata Petroleum...http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p0U_aMKcH6I&feature=related

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