Today is the fourth of July, a day dedicated to patriotism, BBQ and beer. Does everybody have a gun ready to fire into the air? Look, there are fires everywhere. Let's blast some fireworks. Who-ever is drunkest can aim the rockets.
People are still arguing over what the founding fathers meant, when they formed this country over two centuries ago. Were they deists or faithful Christians? What did they mean by a nation of the people? Rich and poor, slave-owner and slave all fought to free us from the reign of a mad king. Farmers fought against the finest troops in the world and kicked their asses. Flags featured snakes, stepped on, ready to strike back. Freedom was a real issue, as was democracy. They were not brand names thrown about to further political goals.
We fought the British empire and vowed to be a republic, never an empire, but our vows were for nothing. We inherited much of the British empire and expanded elsewhere. Now, we are the mightiest empire the earth as ever known. Our military bases circle the globe, and gunboats enforce our will on people everywhere.
My god! What a cynical view! For the counterpoint, let us go to O'really pontificating about how our country is nobly based on the Judeo-Christian tradition. It was our duty to bring democracy to Iraq, and we did.
No thanks. Bill raises my blood pressure. Anyone who hasn't realized by now he gets paid plenty to spout the party line has been completely brainwashed. First of all, the Iraqis do not have democracy, nor do they have running water, electricity, health services or any guarantee of safety. One million civilians have been killed. Two million are homeless, living in ruins, tents, fields and caves. More than that have fled the country as refugees, to live in poverty-stricken ghettos in surrounding countries. Other countries now dread the possibility of our bringing democracy to them.
Iran is next on the neo-con hit list. We certainly have the weaponry to devastate another country. The lion's share of our resources have gone to building weapons and using them for many years. Time out to voice the administration's fear tactics: Oh, my god, China has greatly increased its military spending. Therefore, we must increase ours. Horse biscuits! We spend more than all other nations combined for our military. The pundits tell us war is not the issue, it's the economy. War has wrecked our economy. All services and maintenance, across the board, have been cut to finance our invasion and occupation of a foreign country.
The oil fields were the goal, and the latest news from Iraq, is the oil companies get no-bid contracts similar to Halliburton's. This war has made the rich richer and the poor poorer. Check how Cheney's stock portfolio has multiplied, since he helped lie us into this war. Look at the oil companies' profits setting new profit records every quarter. When they said the invasion would pay for itself, they meant it would pay them. "Let it be; its the free market. We need less regulation, not more!" Road apples! I've expressed my opinion of the trickle down theory before, and everyone understands just what is trickling down. We are literally pee-ons at this point.
This is not a party issue; this goes beyond Republican/Democrat. We are not only an empire, but a decadent one. Turning to the Oxford English Dictionary we find decadence defined as "luxurious self-indulgence." We in the United States are 5% of the world's population, and we devour 30% of the world's resources. That cannot continue.
Unfortunately, elections don't seem to make much difference. I've spoken against the Bush administration and Republicans, blaming them for this fine mess. However, Obama has already caved on the domestic spying issue and is courting the Christian Coalition. He'll be caving (I mean "compromising" on environmental issues next.) Does anyone really believe switching parties in the White House is going to end the corruption?
Our first priority cannot be to elect this bureaucrat or that one, but to end the war. Then we need to go beyond that, to dismantle the military-industrial complex. Ike warned us against it, but we didn't listen, and now it owns us lock-stock-and-barrel. During the Vietnam War, Walter Cronkite went over there and saw U.S. soldiers wounded and dying. He came home and put the images on television. The ensuing outcry forced the end of that war. Those in power corrected the problem, this time around, by banning those images from the media.
When O'really refers to the Judeo-Christian tradition, he must be looking at the Old-Testament Jehovah ordering the chosen people to slaughter every man, woman and child, and occupy the promised land. The promised land must not be confused with the garden of Eden, which we are currently blasting to pieces.
I probably upset some Christians with my observations, but consider how Jesus met his end. They came for him in the dark of night, took him to jail, tortured him, put him up in front of a kangaroo court and sentenced him to die. Josephus said it was the rich and powerful who arranged his execution. So it has been in empires since: those who bought their position, instead of earning it, disappear those who challenge their authority. Our government routinely practices the same atrocities. When caught, they merely change the laws.
Superman has encountered kryptonite and can no longer fight for "truth, justice and the American way." Everyone must take up the banner and march forward to bring back the ideals this country was founded on.