Sunday, April 17, 2005

Stepford citizens ‘R’ us

Someone I know just received orders calling him to active duty in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. But “Iraq? Haven’t we moved on?” seems to be the American consensus. For all the attention it’s been given lately, it seems so...oh...last year. We’re all too busy with Pope matters, and Congressional tantrums, and the feeding tube police, and trying to earn a living in our outsourced economy, to keep counting the bodies - could I have a double latte, please? 600 civilians in Faluja in April? Oh, but in Rwanda and Sudan.....

Learned helplessness. Learned hopelessness. Learned despair. Forgotten rage. Forgotten humanity. Forgotten honor.

It is as if the populace is drugged, as if we’ve all been lobotomized, as if we’ve lost our moral bearings: look at the before and after photos of Baghdad. Read the accounts of people there. Imagine your own life tossed akimbo in such a manner, with no more water coming out of the faucet, no more faucet, no more home, just rubble everywhere you look, and bombs going off at random. Look and see what WE have done to their country. Saddam didn’t do it; WE did it. All because of one little man’s vendetta and us giving him the power to carry it out.

Yes Saddam was a bad man, a despot, a murderer of his own people. But he was contained, and it was the task of his people to remove his regime, not for us to dictate. Under the thinnest of ruses - pretend WMDs, fictional ties to WTC - we removed him from power at great cost to us and even greater cost to Iraqis, and as the ruses fade, we’re told Iraq is better off without him. I suggest you ask any Iraqi: “are you better off now than you were in 2002?” and listen to the answer. Not that we can put any of it back together again, but could we at least lose the hubris? Could we at least take responsibility for our actions?

Oh but no, what could I possibly be thinking? Truth is no longer an American value. Our leaders don’t care to provide it, and we don’t care to pursue it. Livin’ in a dream world, we are, but dreams like these are what nightmares are made of.

I wish you well on your journey to Iraq, Eric B., and I wish all of us would wake up to the dishonor being brought upon all of us by those we’ve selected to represent us. And I wish I knew an antidote to profound despair.

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