This nation was built on basic principles that seem to have been forgotten. That
the people have the right to speak out against what they feel is unjust, the right to worship without fear of oppression,
the right to be secure in their homes and properties, the right to live without fear.
What has happened in the last hundred fifty years contradicts these rights, these freedoms.
what is happening now with the pre-emptive "war" with Iraq, the Homeland inSecurity Act, the Patriot Act, and the republicans'
answer to "Mein Kampf," "Rebuilding America's Defenses." The war is unjust, but
it is unpatriotic to speak out against it, decry the fact that it is unconstitutional, against international law, and un-American
in and of itself; the Homeland inSecurity Act and the Patriot Act remove the rights of privacy and security from the government,
and invite the tyrannical powers within the government into our most private places because of some perceived threat from
"terrorists"; and the Republican manifesto explaining why the United States is better than everyone else, and why we, as a
nation, must strive to control the world's opinion of us (through force, if necessary).
little history lesson is in order here. The Civil War was started because the
Southern states wished to form their own government. Industrialization was on
the rise in the North, and those states were pushing for the "modernization" (the abolition of agriculture) in the South. Interesting piece of trivia: there were slave owners fighting on both sides of the
war, there were slave owners in the North. "But the war was about slavery," you
say, aghast. Sort of. Slavery was
the issue that Lincoln used to rally support among the people who were opposed to it in the North. States Rights and the Right of Secession were the issues that the anti-slave, pro-freedom members of the
Confederacy were fighting for. But States Rights weren't a big issue for the
people of the North. They were more interested in the smaller issue of slavery
(which would have quietly gone away without the war-- machines were cheaper and more efficient than human beings, and didn't
have the nasty habit of running away). The thing that should have had the nation
calling for Lincoln's head on a platter, the Constitution, was not only ignored, but also amended to strip States of their
rights. The people were happy that slavery was gone (along with a few hundred
of their friends and family members), and that the nation was whole and safe.
ahead a few years. Think about the issues in the headlines that you're passionate
about. (A few examples: abortion, school shootings, drugs, and (just because
it's in our face every day) war.) Think about what issues are at stake that are
being concealed by the more emotionally-charged issues. Think about who is being
punished for the "crimes" that are committed, think about the fact that this nation is based on the ideal of E Pluribus Unum,
Out of Many, One. Think about the voices that aren't being heard because you
hear only your own voice shouting your own Truth. Take something as mundane and
everyday as Christmas. The only things that are open on that day are 7-11s and
the Super Wal-Marts. (Most gentleman's clubs even shut down on Christmas.) What is that saying to the people who see December 25th as just another
day, with the exception that everything is closed? What does that tell the Buddhists,
the Taoists, the Janists, Muslims, Hindus, Pagans, Shintoists, Jews, existentialists, solipsists, atheists, or other "ists"
that worship (or not)? That is going the opposite of what E Pluribus Unum was
meant to mean. It doesn't mean, "Out of Many, One shall prevail and have Absolute
Control over the way that All live." It means that "Out of many languages, cultures,
traditions, religions, and nations, we become One nation." No single culture
has cornered the market on rightness or righteousness. The multicultural base
of the United States is what makes it strong, but is also its greatest weakness.
I'm going way off-track here. But I'm making a good point. I think.)
take a peek at the last "free empire," the "Empire where the sun never sets." England. You remember-- the guys who we fought against to secure our freedom? (Not the Native Americans-- we fought against them in order to secure more land under "Manifest Destiny." Had the Native American nations banded together, they could have slaughtered the pioneers,
instead of being slaughtered. Sort of like the Celtic nations, when the Germanic
tribes booted us off of the continent, or when the Romans tried to invade the British Isles, or when the English decided that
there were too many of us on the British Isles, and decided to slowly commit genocide on the Celtic nations.) The English have no culture of their own. They stole what
they have from the nations that they conquered. The English language itself is
a mongrel tongue, an amalgamation of several European languages. It doesn't have
a discernable grammar or sentence structure, because those were stolen from vastly different languages. However, back to the point. The English once controlled a
large part of the surface of the planet. They conquered China by getting the
Chinese people hooked on opium. They invaded India, and Africa, and attempted
to strip those nations of their identities, because the English found them to be "uncivilized" and "barbaric." They taught them King's English, and educated them in English schools and universities. (The indigenous peoples of the British Isles fared worse-- they were punished for speaking one of the Gaelic
dialects, and for participating in the Celtic culture. They were stripped of
their identity, much like the African slaves who were brought to America. The
exception is that the slaves had no record of their homelands.) They believed
in the first meaning of E Pluribus Unum: Out of Many, One shall prevail and have
Absolute Control over the way that All live. They were the conquerors, the writers
of history, the culture of tyranny.
anyone see the parallel that I'm about to draw? There is one religion, one language,
one way of life that has become exalted in America. Those who do not belong to
that culture are exiled to the fringe of society, at best. Law enforcement agents
are not supposed to profile people. They are supposed to treat every citizen
equally, from the ghetto to the White House. It doesn't work that way. The law works in favor of the rich, and against the poor. The
recent scandals should prove that. The executives of Enron might be spending
the rest of their lives in jail (a Club-Med style penitentiary), but the investors and the workers now have nothing to retire
on. There were average people who had worked all their lives to build a retirement
fund that would secure their golden years, and ease the burdens on their children, who will now have to spend the rest of
their lives working so that they can eat food and sleep indoors after retirement. There
are people who have to endure the constant reminder that they are the unwelcome minority in a Christian ("Family of Man" anyone?)
society during religious holidays. There are kids who have to have the reasons
explained to them why a cross was set on fire in their yard, or a swastika spray-painted on their door, because they are not
like the majority of the people.
there are children starving in Iraq because the United States demanded that there should be sanctions against that nation
because Saddam Hussein is a bad man. Thousands of parents don't explain to their
children that they don't get to eat ever again because the President of the United States is mad at the president of Iraq. They give them the only reasonable explanation.
(Which is why the rest of the world isn't too crazy about the US.)
gets me close enough to the point that I was making. Maybe.)
little history lesson. The United States used to be an ally of Iraq. We gave military support to Saddam Hussein while he was busy fighting the evil Iranians. Now that we're fighting the Iraqis, the Iranians arent that evil anymore.
The US supplied the raw materials for Iraq's nuclear program, and we also sent a bunch of biochemical agents to them. Like anthrax. And small pox. (Just in case you haven't been reading the paper, the US government is preparing for a small pox outbreak.) Looking to their neighbor, Afghanistan, we can find that the Central Intelligence
Agency (CIA) put the Taliban in power, and the US built Tora Bora. Because we
didn't want the Soviet Union there. We trained bin Laden, and President Reagan
praised him for his courage. We created the mess that we got into in Afghanistan. Another little factoid is that we put Manuel Noriega in power. Remember him? The guy who is now sitting in the federal maximum
security prison? The United States spent money, resources, and human lives to
take away the power that we gave him.
many other puppet regimes have we put into power that seemed like such a good idea at the time (read: "that would keep their people in place while we exploited the hell out of them")? How many more are we willing to prop up and bring down, at the expense of innocent human lives and in the
name of freedom? When will we learn that the United States is not the voice of
do the American people continue to turn a blind eye to this? America is not the
only way of life, our culture is not the best. It might be the best for some,
but not all.
are we so willing to give up our freedoms in exchange for perceived security? That
is saying that those who flew airplanes filled with perfectly good human beings in them into office buildings filled with
other perfectly good human beings have won. (I'm not sure anymore that the attack
came from an enemy without) When the people of the nations of the world learn
to live side by side, the governments must follow. Until that happens, there
will be no real freedom.