Imagine that you live in a place where the presence of armed soldiers is so great that you no longer pay attention
to them as the pass on the streets. They wear uniforms that are vastly different
than the clothes that you wear. When they're in groups, some laugh as you walk
by. You know that they have more money than you.
That they live better than you do, in your own country.
Imagine that they serve
a foreign government. Their language is different than yours; while a few try
to learn your language, most don't. They know that they won't be there long,
they don't care about you or your country. They follow the government law, not
the social or moral codes, even the religious values, that form the soul of your nation.
You have relatives who were killed or disabled by soldiers of that government.
But, they are here now, in peacetime.
Imagine that the government
that these soldiers serve has restricted the goods that can be imported or exported from your country. It says that food and medicine will be ensured for your people, but you see little of either. The people of your nation are poor because the wealthy few in your country control the only commodity that
the foreign government wants.
Imagine that the foreign
government has helped your neighboring countries in the past, but only with military action.
When the fight was over, your neighbors were abandoned when they needed the most help.
When they were trying to rebuild their war-torn nation. From nothing.
Imagine how it would feel
to know that a foreign power dictates the way you live, without concern for anything more than your most basic human needs.
I could say that this is
Ireland, Palestine, Kashmir, Tibet, or any number of foreign nations that are controlled by foreign powers. Places that make the news at least weekly, but quickly forgotten.
However, to varying degrees,
that scenario is happening on every continent, driven by one empire. In Europe,
Asia, South America, Africa, and the Middle East, one nation commands a constant military presence, willfully ignorant of
the sovereignty of the individual nations, arrogant in its own self-righteousness, trying to impose its way of life on cultures
older than itself.
This is why America is
Through our wealth and
military power, weve come to believe that the White Anglo-Saxon Protestant, capitalistic values and way of life is the only
one. The rallying-cry against any affront to this attitude is, "We're America,
damn it. Love it or leave it." (My
reply is, "This nation was founded on certain principles, including the right to speak against the government." (And the theft and wholesale slaughter of the previous inhabitants.
But, thats being nit-picky.) "I still have the right to think, and speak
my mind. Until the Fabian Socialists take that away from me, Ill continue to
The most basic principles
that this nation is founded on, the freedom to speak out against the government, the freedom to worship as we choose, the
ideal of many cultures, belief systems, and lifestyles living together as a single People (E Pluribus Unum, "Out of many,
One") have become distorted by the majority culture, the tyranny of the masses. The
new patriotism and the Divine Right has blinded us to the fact that the WASP culture isn't the only way of life. Not everyone celebrates Easter or Christmas.
A few days before this
writing, I read an editorial cartoon ("Mallard Fillmore," I believe) that gave a back-to-school "prediction." That the teaching of "Western, Judeo-Christian values and morals" is obsolete in public schools is akin
to teaching "reading and writing without that pesky alphabet and rules of grammar."
Two things struck me about
that. One, that schools have become the place that children are sent to be raised
and taught the ethics and morals that their parents should instill in them. Which
has worked oh so well in the last couple of decades. Kids go to school, learn
the Western Judeo-Christian values and morals, then go home to spend hours of happy fun time in their basements building bombs
and hoarding automatic weapons to maximize the death of classmates and teachers, while their parents sit watching TV, confident
that God is guiding their children well through school. Not one parent asked
their child what they were doing in the basement for hours and hours in the weeks leading up to school shootings. They were blissfully unaware that parenting takes effort. (Sorry. Hit an exposed nerve.) Two, that children
are sent to school to be indoctrinated into the values, attitudes, and beliefs on one religious doctrine and one dominant
culture. Stripping them of any cultural identity.
What happened to the Freedom of Religion? The blending of many cultures
into one nation, rather than the eradication of all cultures in favor of one?
Anyway. While Bush is condemning three predominantly Islamic nations as an "Axis of Evil" and pushing for war in
Iraq, Saddam Hussein has declared that the US is an "Evil Empire." We say that
they're evil. They say that we're evil.
We say that God is on our side. They say that God is on their side. (At some point, God is going to get sick of being in the middle of that tug-of-war,
and smite everyone into oblivion.) The nations of the Middle-East (and most European
countries) are getting tired of the arrogance of the US, and the self-righteous attitude.
For decades, anti-American sentiment has been rising.
Now, in a stroke of pure
genius, the government has decided that an open and meaningful dialogue followed by diplomatic, economic, and military concessions
wont work to solve the problem of the image of the ugly American. Instead, an
army of PR agents armed with soundbites for radio and TV, promotional appearances by Hollywood actors and pop stars, are engaged
in a war to boost American popularity. It's the new American way. Throw money and catchy jingles at the problem and hope it goes away.
If it doesnt, blow stuff up, and remove citizens' rights.
Makes me want to break
out in a rousing chorus of "We Are the World."
I have the text of the
World Islamic Fronts statement against America posted on this site. It gives
insight into why a handful of people were willing to land passenger jets inside of office buildings. Just click "World
Islamic Front statement" below. (Easy, eh?)
Changing Americas image
wont keep this from happening again. Changing America's self-image, and the way
that this nation deals with others, will get us a step closer to not having to watch thousands of innocent people die for
someone else's cause.