even the conservative members of congress are fed up with our "losing in iraq? no, we're not. look at the shiny object i'm dangling in my other hand" policy our administration is handing out and being gulped up by the limbaughs, hannitys, o'reillys and coulters in our midst. the tide has turned. the public (that's us by and large) is waking up and smelling the carnage. there is almost no one who hasn't heard of or read about Plamegate; or about those 16 words delivered to congress on tv that promised death and destruction to us if we didn't let bushco. bomb and kill tens of thousands of iraqis; or the fact that not one WMD has been found in iraq; or that not one shred of evidence has been brought forth to connect iraq to al quaeda before we began our "liberation". who among us has witnessed coffins being brought back from iraq that contain a soldier at night so the media can't photograph it? who among us has not read almost continously that all abuse of "detainees" was commited only by low-ranking soldiers and that it was done without the consent or knowledge of their superiors? who among us has not read of our administration denying that it condones or uses torture, but will veto any bill that forbids it? who among us is not cognizant of the fact that alberto gonzalez rewrote US rules to allow torture? who among us thinks that withdrawing our troops signifies failure on the part of our country as a whole? other than that we allowed it to happen at all? coming to our senses and stopping this is not failure. finally understanding the depths of our administration's depravity is not failure. remembering that we as a nation come from and stand for something larger than a small cadre of "elected" officials who have managed to stamp out almost all oversight into their actions is not failure. to me, what defines failure is the inability or unwillingness of we as the people to watchdog our representatives. when we agree with an elected person on many things we tend to overlook the other less savory components of their actions. as an example, if a senator agrees that abortion is reprehensible and works to overturn laws that allow it, we turn a blind eye to his or her laundering of money. if a congressperson speaks out against the war, we turn away from and try not to acknowledge that they accept political donations from the very corporations that are reaping obscene profits from that war. "politics make for odd bedfellows" is as anachronistic a phrase as exists. we either stand for something as a people and a nation or we don't. do we believe that "democracy" should be spread militarily around the world? or do we believe that we should continue to lead by example? our administration believes that leading by example is coherent with the policy of military expansion. do you? 2,179 military deaths is but a drop in the bucket compared to any of our previous wars. and all of those were based on democracy. but only a few were actually started by us. we used to have an isolationist policy. so long as we were left alone we would leave everyone else alone. do what you will, just don't bring it here. but times have changed. now, we truly live in a global village. what happens in zimbabwe affects us here. a tsunami on the other side of the world affects us here. an earthquake in pakistan affects us here. a superflu in asia...you get the drift. so, planes flying into our "headquarters" is a serious thing. it requires retaliation. it demands revenge. it needs an answer written in blood. this is how we think on a primal level. we must have retribution. this is older than romeo and juliet. this is older than cain and abel. it is tribal, it is spec-ial, it is reptilian...except for the fact that those entities we consider animals don't ascribe to this. so, it is not older than us. it IS us. and when we talk about breaking the cycle of abuse or violence within generations, this is really what we speak to. this is the intrinsic conundrum. we break the cycle (if we can) of our parents or their parents and we consider ourselves healed. we don't ask the bigger question, which is: where did that person i consider to be the founder of my disfunction get it from? humans created emotional conflict, but we won't address it on an eonic level. we cure ourselves at $150 an hour and lay the wreath of our woes at the feet of those who came before us. we don't see this as a perfidy to the generations before us who tried just as hard in their own capacity to fix everything. we see only the reality given to us by those in power. and, in my eyes (and only as an american), that reality is "we are right, the world is wrong; we need more, the world needs less; we deserve it, the world should be punished for denying us our god given right as a great nation". in other words, haven't we been the shining beacon of hope for too long? haven't we given more to the world in terms of technology and humanitarianism and education and medicine and...everything? isn't it time for us to reap the whirlwind? the world should belong to us. we have spent 300+ years teaching ourselves and the world about freedom and democracy. 300+ years! isn't that eyeblink of a timespan enough? forget the notion that empires of ancient lasted much, much longer only to fall. forget that we stole all of our laws and "ethics" from them. we are for real. we count more than any who came before us. we are right. even if we've forgotten every "fix" we've tried to make to the world around us in the past. even if we've forgotten every "leader" we've put in place in a foreign country who turned into a homicidal manaic. even if we've forgotten every doctrine we've let our leaders pass that affected another country, but did nothing to improve the plight therein. does it mean we shouldn't continue to try? no. does it mean we need to take a close and nonending look at what we do and who we let administer all of these ideas? yes. and that's what we keep forgetting. "eternal vigilance is the price of freedom" is a motto that we tend to believe means always watch for enemies without. but much more often it is the enemies within (those who would prosper at the expense of others). if we cannot properly maintain ourselves, how can we honestly approach others about their behavior and expect them to receive us in more than a contemptuous manner? one more motto that comes to mind is "loose lips sink ships". and that is exactly what we are being told to adhere to right now. except that the people telling us to zip it are the ones flapping their gums and destroying anyone who disagrees with them. you and i walk through metal detectors, bomb detectors, shoe checkers. but we're instructed to keep our mouths shut when it comes to asking questions. anyone who questions the government and its behavior is deemed irresponsible and unamerican. and we let it go. it's all too big for us. the vastness is mindboggling. and we have kids to get to the soccer field. and bills to pay. and a festival to work on. and a career to concentrate on. just too much for one person. and that's what the very people we elect to represent us end up expecting. too much distraction, not enough focus. we are such good consumers. we'll buy almost anything if the ad is well done.
below is a paragraph from a speech given by a conservative congressperson. i included this quote here, because it is the one which makes me mad. the rest of the speech is eloquent and timely (in the sense that those we elected are now smelling the wilted roses). in particular, this guy says the war should be personalised. how much more personal can it get when upwards of over 100,000 iraqis have been killed? and how many sons and daughters of congresspeople have actually been sent to iraq or afghanistan? the answer is less than 10. that being said, the following and its link are very interesting:
"This war needs to be personalized. As I said before, I have visited with the severely wounded of this war. They are suffering. Because we in Congress are charged with sending our sons and daughters into battle, it is our responsibility, our obligation, to speak out for them. That's why I am speaking out."