Up on Craggy Pinnacle. Art by Helen Nagan.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Dethroning a King and His Court

It's been five years since the start of the campaign to "free Iraq." In order to keep the charade going, massive brainwashing keeps many thinking we're in the right. Slogans are hammered into people's minds. "Better to fight them over there than here." "We help the little guys around the world." "They hate our freedoms." "War on terrorism." "The liberal media." As I am driving down the road I encounter huge billboard ads that entice young boys and girls into putting on a uniform and taking up guns in order to protect our people and liberate foreign lands. Even movie theaters have become venues where military recruitment commercials are aired.

How often do you really hear how many Iraqis have died? How often do we hear that Saddam was hanged for crimes he committed while a dear friend of ours? How many realize that American companies such as Haliburton have deeply entrenched interests in Washington and have the biggest contracts to rebuild Iraq? How many know that Iraqis had nothing to do with 9-11? How many know what it's costing us financially to maintain our war machine? How many know that by financing this war we are borrowing massive amounts from foreign governments?

I say Homeland Security ought to start with our own home. We need to clean out our own closet. Our National Guard should remain in the US to protect our country's mainland. Our overseas troops ought to be pulled out of Iraq and the country be given back to the Iraqi people. Fair reparations should be made to Iraq and those responsible for engineering this war should be held legally and criminally accountable. Our military spending, which is already bigger than the next ten countries combined, should be cut significantly and the money should be used to pay off our massive debts and shore up our "people" infrastructure. For example, a sizable number of qualified young people should receive funding to go overseas and study and get to know other countries. Another way to invest in people is to pump money into areas of science and math. And, more effort should be given to examining our own violent culture. When Americans kill one another, which we do with fine precision, it should be as troublesome as anything.

Ironically, we no longer have the fighting spirit to stand up for ourselves. Like the wild elephants that have been beaten into submission in order to perform circus acts, we too have become ultra-passive. We are enslaved and we don't even know it. We have forgotten just how powerful "we the people" are. Sadly, even if we were set free, many would choose the "security" of shackles and a dark dungeon over liberation and meadows of lush grass. Just remember, that our soldiers, whom we claim to support, actually, more than any, need a citizenry to be vigilant on behalf of them. You think it's hard speaking out as a citizen? Imagine the courage it would take for a soldier to express dissent. We American citizens must also take this into account when contemplating whether or not to question wars. Our soldiers need us to.

Let's use today to start with ourselves, individually. If we don't truly know much about about this war, today is a good day to start. Read some books. Gain some knowledge. Build some confidence. Talk with others. The spirit of Jefferson, Franklin, King, Lincoln, Brown and Paine may inspire you. And, who knows?, with the great ingenuity and adventurous spirit that helped build this land, perhaps we can salvage what's been lost and take this country in a spectacular new direction.

1 comment:

Jeffrey said...

heavy stuff...good words...an excellent summary of things as far as i'm concerned. gotta get back to the circus for more elephant tricks!