Tuesday, February 06, 2007


If there is one thing that's certain - certainty being such a rare commodity these days - it is this: what we as patriotic citizens of the good ol' U.S. of A. have done to the men, women and little children of Iraq, will haunt us until the very last surviving inhabitant of this miserable generation breathes his or her dying breath. The unprovoked, senseless and illegal invasion of Iraq has done to the United States what Afghanistan did to the late Soviet Union. The damage we have wrought will be palpable a century from now. Our "best of times" are well behind us; as is our justification for any kind of national pride. It will be said of us: "Their only pride is in their past". We will never be the same again. Who did this to us?

We did this to us.
It must never be forgotten or denied that when the half-witted man/child we foolishly elected as our leader seven years ago committed the most egregious war crime since Adolf Hitler invaded Poland almost seventy years ago, he had the overwhelming support of the American people behind him. Those of us who desperately tried to light a candle of reason in the dark night of mindless nationalism were marginalized as "unpatriotic". The "main stream media" which in another era might have exposed to the world the utter folly and criminality of this war had long ago been purchased by the very corporations who stood to profit the most from that war. Instead of providing much-needed information to a mind-numbingly ill-informed public, the corporate media has merely been spoon-feeding infotaining pornography to a trivialized nation of trivia-obsessed people.

That more of them voted for the American Idol than for the American President; that more of them were concerned with the affairs of Brittany and Paris and Brad and Angelina than affairs of state; that more of them were tuned into the latest reality show than in tune with the disgusting reality of their once-great country - that more of them were actually ignorant enough to believe that re-electing George W. Bush and Dick Cheney in 2004 was a good idea than not - speaks shelves upon shelves of volumes as to the depths of absurdity into which we've sunk.
America has been mortally wounded and - irony of ironies - that wound has turned out to be self-inflicted. We were lied to by our so-called "leaders" when they told us we could have guns and butter. We were lied to when they told us that a tax cut for the already obscenely wealthy would "trickle down" to the rest of us. We were lied to when they told us that squandering our national treasure on an out-of-control armaments industry was the best thing for "the peace and security of the free world". We were lied to when they said that health insurance for all people was not possible. We were lied to when they said that their mission was to bring "freedom and democracy" to the Iraqi people. We were lied to - and we stupidly swallowed their lies.

The beauty of America has never really been "what we are". To my way of thinking it has always been "what we can be" or "what we're capable of" based on the principles put forward in the Constitution by the men who founded this country two-hundred and thirty-one years ago. That our entire history has been a battle within to assure that the tenets of that document be observed, there can be no denying. From the war between the states in the nineteenth century to the civil rights struggle in the twentieth, our undying civil quest has been to "preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States".

Seven years ago, we placed our core values under assault - and we did it gleefully. We put America into the hands of a cabal of extremists who have come close to destroying it. What this country "might have been" will forever remain a mystery of the ages. We might very well have lived to see the day when we would truly be a color blind society. We might very well have come to the point where all working people could earn a living wage and own their own home. We might very well have come to a time when the goal of all of us would be a decent, publicly funded education for not only ourselves, but our children and grandchildren as well. We might very well have come to a golden era of progress and happiness for all men and women. We might very well, indeed, have come to be that "shining city on a hill". All of that has been forever squandered.

This generation of Americans inherited from their parents the most prosperous nation in the history of the world. And just what will our heirs inherit from us? A social and ideological cesspool.

Go shopping, America.

Tom Degan

Goshen, NY

For more recent postings on this site go to the link below:

"The Rant" by Tom Degan


At 7:51 AM, Blogger jeff said...

Gee, Tom, if the field were not already so crowded, I would say you should run for president and make this post your platform.

Give 'em hell!

At 8:12 AM, Anonymous wilma lamb said...

Dear Tom, When I watched the mindless slaughter and the destruction of the beautiful city of Sarajevo I wondered how the world could stand by and not lift a finger. Now we have deja vu all over again and this time it is my own country doing the atrocity.
Last week the slaughter was OVER ON HUNDRED PEOPLE PER DAY!!! God help us George Bush will wreak the same on Iran if we don't find some way to stop him.

At 9:57 AM, Blogger betmo said...

well said new yorker!!!!

At 11:08 AM, Anonymous Jo_Reside@yahoo.com said...


I note a hint of despair in your words today. You usually offer us a little light at the end of the tunnel, but it is missing today. I, too, dislike the level of conformity and gross materialism that has consumed our country. I endeavor to discuss world events, the environment or social issues with my co-workers and neighbors, and they more or less don't care. They are both ignorant and/or apathetic of most matters. Sometimes I envy them. I wish I did not read the daily newspaper and Alternet and great bloggers like you. I wish I could be consumed by Survivor and American Idol, and what "bling" I will purchase next with my tax refunds. Alas, I am what I am: a compassionate, concerned citizen of this great country. As the late Molly Ivins repeated many times, all we can do is make a lot of noise, try to be heard and never stop trying. Keep praying for peace, Tom.

At 11:39 AM, Anonymous Charles Moore said...

Hi Tom,

How can the Iraqis ever forgive us for what we have done to them? We literally went in there and destroyed a country, and in the process of doing so, we are also destroying our own country.

Two points I would gently remind you of is that first of all we were lied to as to the reasons for invading Iraq. We were given such powerful and persuasive arguments that no one doubted them until it was too late. However, as you say, because of our obsession with Brittany, Paris, Brad and Angelina, we refused to see and acknowledge that we had been lied to when the scales should have fallen from our eyes.

Secondly, I will never acknowledge that Bush was "elected". Both elections were stolen by voter manipulation. If a true and accurate count had come from either election this half witted little fool would be back in Texas chopping brush on his ranch.

The sad thing is where do we go from here? Already the Republican minority is showing that they have learned nothing from the last election and they continue to hold out against an honest debate and simply want to continue the status quo.

I truly fear for what will happen to this country. We are already at a point of being lost and unfortunately we have not only Bush and Co fiddling away like Nero while Rome burned, but half of our elected officials doing the same and the majority of Americans choosing to do nothing but go along with them.

We are no longer a world leader and we have already lost the war.

At 12:40 PM, Anonymous Charles Moore said...

And thanks, Tom, for a beautifully written article. It should be picked up and published by every major paper in the country.

At 1:39 PM, Anonymous fearless flower said...

I admit I've been guilty of avoiding images like the photo above because it is just too heart wrenching.

It grieves me that my tax dollars are funding this slaughter of innocent people and children. Across my check to the IRS this year I will write: "PAID UNDER PROTEST AGAINST FUNDING ILLEGAL WARS". Those who work for an employer can write this right on their W-2 forms. And keep copies! This is not a refusal to pay which can get anyone in big touble, but a statement of protest. It can be used as evidence in a lawsuit for 6 years. I know it can cause panic in a local city hall because it is an announcement of intent to sue. Maybe if enough people do this it will send a strong message to this administration and congress that we want the flow of money to this illegal war stopped!

At 11:52 PM, Anonymous Saudra Green said...

Dear Tom,

I guess I was one of those 8 people who knew this war was a lie. I almost got a divorce over it, my husband would not listen and now he is sorry. We all knew in our hearts what would happen when we attacked a sovereign nation. Our whole country had committed a big Hitler like act. Without 9/11 and fear mongering, this would never have happen.

As we watch the Senate GOP deny debate on the Iraq resolution, thus stopping it cold; it seems like business as usual. Mitch Mcconnell lied that it was all the other sides fault with a straight face. It was scary to watch. MSM is suppressing the real news as usual. The Iraq investigations are just a waste of time they told us today, as it is old news and does not deal with our problems today. When did our problems today ever matter to them?

It is hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel and to have hope. They are killing our hope for any future good. Good piece of writing as usual. Thanks

At 2:57 AM, Blogger larkrise said...

Beautifully written, Tom. You are an Internet Presence, and we are lucky to have your Blog.
I was against the war from its inception, and so was my husband. It was so obvious that Bush/Cheney were lying and manipulating. But, the MSM fanned the flames and pimped the lies. There was a form of mass hysteria, howling with bloodlust. It was straight out of a re-run from Nazi Germany. The Bush Administration has destroyed Iraq. With this next budget, the Bush Administration will destroy this country. Already, social ills are on the rise in every State, from murder to child abuse, from illiteracy to homelessness. Yet, George W. Bush, to finance his quest for death and destruction, is cutting healthcare assistance for impoverished children, for the elderly on fixed incomes, for the poor and disabled. Compassionate Conservatism is the ugliest, most disgusting and nauseating oxymoron ever invented. Bush and his Republican supporters would not recognize compassion if Mother Theresa came back to give them a personal example. Even now, these thugs and charlatans play petty, partisan politics, while our servicemen and women die; and blood flows in the streets of Baghdad. Bush is a thief. He stole two elections. He robs from the poor to give to the rich. He has robbed our country of humanity, of dignity, of economic stability. He has destroyed our image abroad; and forsaken those in need here at home. In his arrogance and elitism, he did not bother to mention the thousands who still suffer the aftermath of Katrina. How can the people of this nation sweep under the carpet the fact that a major American city has been devastated and left to rot? God help those who are so hardened to the continued suffering of their fellow man and woman! This administration has no redeeming qualities. We must continue to answer Action Alerts, to post comments, to write letters-to-the editor; and never, never remain silent or indifferent.

At 4:44 AM, Blogger Tom Degan's Daily Rant said...

Beautiful words, Larkrise and thank you for the compliment! What you have to say with regards to this nightmare of an administration really hits home. You really ought to write more on your blog, CommonSense. Your words are eye opening, indeed.
Tom Degan

At 7:28 PM, Blogger betmo said...

tom- i linked to this post at my place. i am not sure that there is hope for america. at least not the america we hold nostalgically in our minds. gone is the time when we don't have to care about the world as a whole. gone is the time when we can cavalierly use water and resources like they will never run out. gone is the time when we didn't have to pay attention to our 'leaders' because we felt that they held our best interest in their hands. we are in a new century and in 'a brave new world.' it is up to us what we do with it.

At 8:56 PM, Blogger Avram Mirsky said...

Beautifully said. I, too, was one who watched the progression of this imperial horrowshow from day one with anger and hate -- yes, hate -- for the craven men and women of this appointed presidency who would lead America into its decline and fall, stained with the blood of innocents. We march, we rant, we blog, we scream - and the cowards just continue to look into the cyclopean eye of the camera and lie. Where do we go from here? What do we do to bring a day of reckoning upon these bastards?

The evil that has been accomplished, the destruction of Iraq, New Orleans, the future of my children, reminds me of song written by Tom Rapp many years ago about a different war:

"Fourth Day Of July"
By Tom Rapp

And it came to pass on the first day of July
The last man home from Vietnam was going to arrive
The ship came in so silently, its bow a ghostly white
And when they looked upon the decks, there was not a man inside

Then the sea began to roll and from the ship a moaning
A line of broken children, all from the ship a-coming
The light of death was in their eyes
The broken children of Vietnam
On the first day of July

Like a war beyond control, to Washington at dawn
A line of ghostly children upon the White House lawn
Grown men did turn away, not to see it anymore
To see the burning child running to the White House door
No one found a place to hide
The burning children of Vietnam
On the second of July

All across America a line ten miles long
The dead children all coming home
From the land of Vietnam
To men who got too far away
From what was done in their name
Someday must all have to pay
Who never saw a child die
The dead children all coming home
Four days in July

On every door and window across this sad gray land
A mark that would never go away of a thousand thousand hands
A voice like voices in a dream
A voice like somebody else's scream
Or not somebody else's scream
A voice within a fire
The burning children of Vietnam
On the third day of July

Then they came upon the sea, it did open up before them
A line of children all with wounds, upon the ocean walking
Then the sky began to rain
And beat the land with tears of rage
And every year upon that day if a hundred years go by
It rains upon America
On the fourth day of July

At 7:06 PM, Blogger stoney13 said...

My computer's been down for most of the past month. This is one of the first things I opened up when I got back on line. There is nothing I can say except that we weren't all taken in by the lies.

Some of us raged vehemently before this abcene travesty ever began. You, Cyclone Bornxeyed, Cyclone, and many more like us spoke with eloquence and profanity at what was about to be done in our name. Now even the most jaded among us could have never known then just how far The Bush Administration had gone to stifle disent, and hide the truth.

To the People Of Iraq:

For what my country has done to you, I am truly, deeply, and profoundly sorry.

To the Lousy Assholes Whose Lies Caused This:

Do not tell me that I'm "comforting the terrorists" by saying what I just did. I know who the terrorists are. I've seen them clearly by their works and by their words. You can too. JUST LOOK IN THE FUCKING MIRROR!!!

To Gerge W. Bush:

You and Frakenstien are very much alike! You have made your monster! You have brought it into being, and filled it with purpose. Now what?

Tomorrow my 22-year-old cousin goes to Iraq. He will join my 2 nephews. My family and I are paying for your war with much more than our tax dollars. We are paying with the lives and well-being of our children.

Do NOT tell me what to say about this obcene travesty that YOU and the Big Money has created! I am paying for it! And I will call it as I see it!!! I've earned the fucking right!!!!!


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