The Tide… October 15, 2006
We’ve seen a lot of disturbing things happen in this country and on this planet in the last six years and most of the “freedoms” we thought we had have been long since swallowed by fear. Granted, the origins of most of these events have been in preparation and practice for considerably longer than that but none of us have seen such a concentration as this. For six years, we the citizens of the United States and the world have been under siege by forces determined to pit us against each other and ourselves through the most divisive and hateful language and tactics that I have ever seen as an American.
All of us in this country have to understand what the first casualty of this global war was and it certainly didn’t involve anyone else. The first casualty of this war was “American Unity.” From the moment the initial discussions of war began after the dubious circumstances of the “9-11 attack”, this country was instantly divided. “Patriotism” suddenly had only one acceptable form of expression and we were all (quite literally) expected to march lock-step in support of our president’s plan for “justice”. This division was not visible of course because early-on mainstream media was the only source of information and the only voices heard were the ones advocating war. For the most part, people were “convinced” that what we were being told was the “truth” and those of us who were not had no forum or “movement” to be part of.
I do not intend to delve into the details of 9-11 (innumerous resources are available on the net) but from the very first day there were more than enough oddities to raise questions about what actually occurred. The “official story” didn’t make sense then and doesn’t make sense now, but the drums of war were deafening and to raise such questions was simply not possible. Nevertheless, from the onset of this “global war on terror” there have been those of us in this country who have been actively questioning, and because of it we have (for all intents and purposes) been labeled “un-patriotic” at best, and “Al-Qaeda sympathizers” or “terrorists” ourselves at worst.
As a result, those of us who haven’t and do not believe everything we are told by this government have become the enemy in our own country. This is by no means an imaginary or exaggerated description of the situation as evidenced by the passing of HR6166 last month. This bill extends the presidents already internationally unlawful powers (to detain, render, interrogate, and imprison individuals without the opportunity to address the “charges”) to now apply to American citizens as well. Although the president has yet to sign this bill, we as American Citizens are now in exactly the same boat as the rest of the world. All of the horrors we have witnessed over the last six years from Abu Ghraib to Bagram to Guantanamo can now be equally visited upon us… “Legally.”
How can anyone possibly reconcile this with any concept of freedom? How can people who wish to have this kind of dark power possibly be believed to have anyone’s best interests at heart?
Even being from this country, it is difficult to comprehend what our priorities are. For six years we have done nothing but create death, destruction, and misery all over the world and there has been seemingly no way to call this simple fact to the attention of the American People. Lie upon lie has been exposed about the motivations for any of this country’s actions and nothing has had any real impact on the illusion of “American Righteousness”. For six years this country has been seemingly dead-locked in an imaginary 50/50 split over the direction of this country and the world.
A couple of weeks ago, all of that changed. The revelation that now former Congressman Mark Foley was involved in sexually explicit internet conversations with an under-age House Page elicited the first unified response I’ve seen in this country for a long time… One of utter disgust. Suddenly, there was commonality. Regardless of the community (gay, straight, democrat, republican, etc.) the reaction was basically the same.
Again, it’s not necessary to go into all of the detail of this drama except to say that what will come to light from this event is a clear and easily understandable example of the republican leadership’s inclination for cover-up, protecting themselves, and telling the American People something entirely different. Bit by bit, the American People will come to understand that for eleven years (since Mark Foley was a freshman senator) this man has been pursuing young men in the House Page program. Bit by bit the American People will come to know that the republican leadership was aware of this behavior and (quite obviously) did nothing of value to stop it.
This growing awareness is already plainly evident. Anyone reading this on-line can go to CSPAN.org and see for yourself. Choose any of the Washington Journal broadcasts from the last two weeks and you will see something fascinating. This daily morning call-in show divides (or attempts to divide) the callers equally among republicans, democrats, and independents. It is usually (as you might expect) quite predictable as to who is going to be in support of this country’s direction and who is not. As a result of these latest revelations however, a flood of people calling and identifying themselves as republicans are voicing the same disgust with the establishment that is usually reserved for the democrats and independents.
It’s quite obvious to me that the source of the internal struggle in this country is simply that some people know the truth, and some people believe the story. Unfortunately a one sentence slogan like “they hate our freedom” or “fighting them there so we don’t have to fight them here” is considerably easier than actually figuring out why there is war in the Middle East and Americans (to date) just don’t have that kind of time. That’s not meant as an insult, that’s just the reality. Americans are quite fully occupied in their own form of slavery trying to figure out how to keep their job, pay their mortgage, put their children through school, and still keep up with the Jones’.
This issue however, is also easily definable in single sentences. “He was trolling for boys” and “They covered it up for a decade” for instance do nicely and Americans can understand that while they are rushing to their next obligation without having to do any time consuming investigation or contemplation. In a fast-food society, this is exactly the kind of “meal” an American can ingest during his or her busy schedule and exactly the kind of thing that can put an end to the myth of moral superiority that we have been force-fed for so long.
This growing awareness is a huge leap in the evolution of this country and a truly positive development for the people of the planet. Granted, I would certainly be more pleased (as would the world) if we were as unified in the desire to end all war, but before those issues can be addressed, the people of this country have to at least unite in demanding not to be lied to. The misinformation, spin, and lies that govern American thought are only possible because of the large percentage of people in this country that (until now) had complete “faith” that our leaders were telling us the truth. This one example (by its conclusion) will demonstrate one clear case of a decade’s worth of dishonesty and disregard for the American children that they claim they are there to protect.
I suspect the congressional elections in a month will shock the world. The only reason I can’t guarantee it is not because I am questioning the collective will of this country, it’s because the powers that be are still the powers that be. Quite obviously we ( like the rest of the world ) have not had an actual “election” in quite some time. Concerted efforts to prevent certain groups from voting, tampering with voting machines, and a variety of other methods have been well known and well documented in our last several elections, and there’s no reason to expect them to not “try” again. All of us in this country, cannot allow that anymore. If it ever did exist in this world, it’s time to return to “one man, one vote”. Let those who wish to serve in this (or any) government achieve it on merit and purpose instead of trickery and deception.
So as I look to a brighter future, I will remind you of the dangerous present. Right now the U.S.S. Eisenhower battle group is in route to Iran, and North Korea’s recent nuclear test gives this administration another opportunity to speak the politics of fear. New estimates of Iraqis killed in this conflict were released by The Lancet putting the number at 655,000 with up to 500 more killed everyday. In no way shape or form can the death of 3000 Americans on 9-11 be used as justification for causing or contributing to the death of over a half a million people, and we cannot allow any other conflict to begin in their name. In one month, this tide must change, and none of us can afford any more problems than we already have.