YOUR TAX DOLLARS AT WORK
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.
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