I’m not a flag-waver. Surprised? No I didn’t think so. I don’t believe in exceptionalism. I don’t believe that this country is any better or worse mostly than most others. I could probably happily live in any of a dozen other places and be as happy. As free surely.
So yesterday is a strange day for me. I admit to a morbid? fascination with the day in some respects. The National Broadcasting Company always plays the tape of the Today Show. I still listen with awe at the confusion and tentative explanations offered as the events unfolded. Katie Couric puzzled questions are reassuring still.
One does what one does on such a day. Mostly one remembers how quickly fourteen years has gone by. Then we focus on where we were, what we were doing, as the tragedy focused on planes down, buildings down, people reacting.
Some suggested that they get angry all over again. At Muslims presumably. I’m sure most don’t discriminate much as to “which” Muslims. Fox has used the day as a means of scaring the shit out of people once again, comparing our impending Iran deal with some sort of shameful response to the horror of 9/11.
I get angry. But not at Muslims.
I get angry because all of this crap was so entirely foreseeable to anyone who bothered to pay attention. See the neo-Cons didn’t see it coming because they live in a bubbly world where Merika is God’s favorite child and they are the elders appointed by themselves to guard this teenager against the vicissitudes of a global body politic.
In the mind of a neo-Con on September 11 at 7:30 a.m. EST, nobody would have the guts, nerve, or death wish to attack America in it’s heart. Striking both it’s financial and military might at the same time. Actually the presumed third target was Congress, which would have made it a perfect trifecta of middle fingers.
But neo-Cons don’t live in the real world. To listen to Dick “the Dick” Cheney today is to know that. He still has no clue. Among the myriad of peoples across the globe who have reason to thrill to the chant of “death to America”, the Saudi’s and a few others were not the least bit cowed by Merika’s might.
Oddly, I’ve been reading an older book these last couple of weeks. It’s by my political mentor of sorts, Noam Chomsky. In Hegemony or Survival: America’s Quest for Global Dominance, Chomsky sets out in detail some of the major assaults Merika has lodged against other parts of the world in the quest for market domination and political control.
It ain’t pretty as they say.
We have consistently, around the globe, supported repressive regimes, demagogues, fascists, and in some cases, plain old everyday psychopaths who promised and did deliver markets to the American economic machine, and the promise of military bases to house the swelling military complex. We have supported them in opposition to the people and democratic yearnings.
We watched as native populations were in some cases descimated, and in others simply exploited so that American interests could gain wealth along with the thieving “leaders” of each country. The poor remained poor, often got poorer, and the US puppets lived lives of privilege.
We can discuss any part of Latin and South America and find the deadly results, whether it be Guatamala, Nicaragua, Columbia or El Salvador. We can easily move to Kosovo and of course Iran. We could go on forever probably.
There is no wonder why so many across the world hate us. I should say, hates our government. Most know the difference. Is it any wonder that radical extremists found purchase in such fertile soil?
You say you are mostly unaware of all this? Yes, I assume you are. Because guess what?
This shit isn’t being offered to you on the nightly news each evening. No. The powers that be have too much control for that.
The average American has almost no idea how hideously evil our behavior around the world has been.
And that rises to the point of criminality at this point.
We live in a bubble in the US. Most of us were born here, raised here, built our lives here. We raise kids, pets, and ourselves. We travel, we work hard, we love entertainment. We give lip-service to God when called upon to do so, and wave our flags at appropriate “national” holidays.
And we don’t know how vile our leaders have been and continue to be. We don’t know of the awful but simple truth that when polled, the REST OF THE WORLD VOTES THE US AS THE BIGGEST PURVEYOR OF TERRORISM ON THE PLANET.
And it’s all because we live in the bubble of American greatness, that REQUIRES we believe all the rest of the world should bow to us as superior to them, and as their parent. If you don’t believe me, sift through state department and military archives and see the references to other peoples in other places as “children” and “those who have no experience with freedom” and must be “led” and “controlled” lest they botch it all up.
Guess what? This pisses the hell out of those people.
And we are not aware because we are too busy discussing the relative merits of the latest addition to the hotdog offerings at the local supermarket. Is Nathan’s better tan Koegels?
We are unaware, and we explain that we can’t be held responsible. For after all, we are busy forging lives, raising families and preparing for retirement. We are BUSY, and being Americans that’s all the excuse we need.
Except 9/11 happened, and other shit happens around the world as bad. And we caused it. And we can pretend it’s not our fault because we weren’t aware, but failure to act when one should is as awful a crime as acting when one shouldn’t.
I hear it from all those prissy and oh-so-nice folks we all know. You know the ones I mean. The ones who are always the first to volunteer, never speak unkindly of anyone, always have something baked for a friend in need. You know, the nice folks.
Most of you are that. And all the nice folks say, “It’s not polite to discuss politics or religion in polite company.” What the hell does that mean? Do you walk in and ask, is this polite company? What horse manure.
Here’s a little message.
You don’t get a democracy because a handful of folks who do happen to care sets it up for you and it just goes merrily along it’s way. We have ample evidence that economic systems don’t run well unregulated and left to the damning greed of the corporate warlords.
Democracy is messy and it’s hard work.
It demands and requires the attention of the better share of the population affected or it will deteriorate into what we have today: an oligarchy of corporate 1%’ers who operate only from greed and are more than willing to see the “work force” of America reduced to little more than slave labor.
Think America sort sucks now? Well?
Look around. Get off your rear end and read and study and learn what the fuck is going on in the world. THIS IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY AS A CITIZEN. You don’t have the luxury of suggesting that that sort of thing bores you, or is too hard to figure out. Nuts.
While you’re explaining why you can’t be bothered, others are organizing to take away even more from you until you are nothing more than a propaganda receptor for those who are controlling your every act.
So don’t tell me, you don’t “discuss politics or religion”. You damn well better because only the power of the numbers will turn this ship of state back on course. And it’s YOUR responsibility as much as any others.
Just stop telling me you aren’t paying any attention because you are bored, irritated, at a loss for time, or any of a hundred other excuses. Because I’m gonna tell you that you are not pulling your weight. And I’m gonna suggest that if you don’t want to be part of the solution, well keep your damn mouth shut, and don’t vote.
At least leave the governance to us if you can’t be bothered. They say opinions are like ass holes, everyone has one. Well, yes, I suppose. But are you ready to be told that your opinion is that of an asshole?
Oh, well then learn something of what you attempt to speak then. And LEARN, for heaven’s sake, WHAT THE HELL YOUR GOVERNMENT HAS DONE, AND IS DOING.
And then fight for democracy.
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