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Web Letters | The Nation

Web Letter

Some observations garnered by watching our government at work. It seems to me that our government is growing more and more adept at taking the facts that are disturbing and the issues that are unavoidable and trimming off the parts that might be offensive and packaging it in a way they thinks the American public will readily consume. Frankly, I find it appalling that our elected officials think their constituents are so simple and emotionally fragile that they feel the need to dilute and dismember their missteps and then turn around and reconstitute them into something else. Maybe they are just trying out pork-barreling the truth to the American people the same way they do with the self-serving legislation they craft outside the public eye. Maybe they are trying to shield us from those things they think we would never advocate for the actions we could never understand.

But what I do understand is that whatever conflict that is going on in the Middle East, we will be immersed in it, and it is not because we want to bring democracy to an oppressed nation. Face it, all we want to do is beat whatever opposition there is into submission, install a weak government that we make beholden to us. They will be our puppets and we will use them to secure their resources and gain control over the region. For some reason the government feels that that reality must be shielded from our sensitive eyes lest the truth blind us.

But I see it all too well, and the fighting and killing is not just happening in some far-off land, out of our field of vision. There are war zones all over this country where young men are battling it out over territory so that they can put in their own lucrative ventures by tapping into the resources all around them. As our government dumps trillions of dollars into rebuilding a country we demolished and upping the incentives for young men to lay down their lives. This allows us to drive around in our Hummers with not a care in the world or a thought of the sacrifices made or the tally we can’t pay.

I am not up here on my eco-friendly, rainbow flag-draped soap box given to me by my pro-choice buddies. In fact I am someone who witnesses the carnage in the streets, the children dazed and wandering neighborhoods with no one to care enough about them to see that they eat and get a good education. It’s as if the government only wants to focus on the resources they have already secured, keeping the pipeline of favors flowing back and forth between the corporations and the politicians that protect them. Meanwhile there are millions of people, the majority children, whom the government placates with monthly cash advances while they continue to run up their credit lines that some day these same kids will be responsible for paying off. This "spend now, contemplate the consequences later" attitude gives no thought to the future of our nations and leaves little hope for cultivating tomorrow’s leaders. When the government is the model for this behavior, is it any wonder that it spreads and is blindly duplicated by most Americans? When we live on borrowed time and borrowed money, what does that leave for our children and what kind of example are we trying to set? Children also mimic what they see and mirror the behavior of those around them. And if all they see are people preying on one another and caring only about themselves, then that is what they will become. There is so much hopelessness in our own communities, when all that is around them are empty store fronts and dilapidated schools, that it translates into learned helplessness and condemned lives. Our nation is in need of schools, strong leadership and personal accountability. But when the white House and the government are not held accountable it filters down with a devastating effect. Are we so obsessed with winning and being right, that we cannot admit our own needs as a nation and attend to them? Can we get to a place where we can stop trying to remove the speck in our middle eastern brother’s eye and first attend to the plank in our own eye?

What about the banner of family values now that the interest-peddling and spin doctors have been exposed? The Bush Administration can no longer cloak the lies, unnecessary deaths, or the unspeakable avarice and mad need for power under the shield of bringing democracy and promoting family values. Forcing our way of life and a system of government is not instilling freedom. It is more like tyranny, as history has shown with all of our past failures when we invaded a country, set up a weak government and call it democracy. All that we are really doing is setting up something we know will implode and result in another nation whose people are now against us (see Haiti, South Vietnam, Cuba, Somalia etc.). This is what is breeding terrorists around the world that were born out of the remains of their homeland after we came in, got what we wanted and then left them to clean up the mess we made. But our government either does not see it that way or doesn’t care as Bush plays his freedom song on his lute outside of Baghdad as the city crumbles.

Cat Deemer

Jackson, MS

Sep 6 2007 - 10:44am

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