"We are at War." It is a simple enough phrase; but one with a wealth of connotation and meaning.
I have made no secrete of the fact I do not believe we are at war; given that our invasion of Iraq has caused the death of 600,000 innocent Iraqis, most certainly we are not involved in a war on terror – we are the cause of death for all those Iraqis who would, if not for our actions, otherwise be alive.
Now that’s a hell of a guilt trip. As we all know, there are many among us who would rather await Judgment Day – and suffer the consequences – than admit they must atone now for their support of the Bush invasion of Iraq, and the subsequent "martyrs" death of Saddam Hussein.
OK. WE don’t see Saddam Hussein as a martyr; but who – when, in 1958, we were supporting Fidel Castro against Fulgencio Batiste – was asserting that the middle class would select to abandon their homes, assets or heritage, and exit the Cuban Nation rather than live under the man who removed a dictator?
Isn’t it funny how, when we place ourselves above the natural order of civilization – when we interfere in the internal nature of nations, and the right of the subject people to express themselves, either through ballot or civil war – we get results that our leaders deny could occur.
In the case Cuba, the problems with Batiste would have passed with his death on August 6th 1973 – instead, 35 years later, the Castro family remains in charge; the Cuban which was favorable to American economic interests has been subject to an economic boycott for more than 45 years; and, we narrowly averted a nuclear Third World War when, on October 14, 1962, we learned that the Soviet Union had followed our European example, and was moving nuclear missiles within striking distance of its perceived enemy – US!
Now we find ourselves two generations removed from that past era. The children of those who were born after those dark "Duck and Cover" days, when nuclear war was seen as assured universal destruction, are now being asked to fight and die. They are being shown that, if they are merely wounded, if they suffer mental or physical trauma, as the natural result of being placed in harms way, for no real reason, these who chose to make them that way will deny any real responsibility.
Our political structure only cares about placating the wealthy donors and big business interests. It has no interest in voters, or their children. It has no interest in the common folk who provide the cannon fodder for their "wars" of choice. But as I said, this is not a "WAR". It is not even a police action, or quest for justice, or even revenge.
On 9/11 a terrorist, a criminal, destroyed the World Trade Center and damaged the Pentagon. As a result, thousands of Americans died on our soils at the hands of 19 Saudi Islamist renegade terrorists following the orders of a man our Government recruited and trained to be a terrorist for us.
In response, we brought down a government in Afghanistan, freed their farmers to produce bumper crops of opium to be sold to our children, or those of our European allies. As they closed in on the billionaire Saudi who had caused the destruction on our soil, we called off our soldiers – sending them, instead, to invade the nation of a ruler who had served our interest against a nation which had destroyed our Embassy and held our people hostage for 440 days.
What, like Cuban under the Batiste dictatorship, had been a nation friendly to our interests – a nation with a thriving middle class and highly educated population – was thrown into Sectarian Civil War. And the nation which held our people hostages in the 1970's was now free to take British hostages a few weeks ago.
By declaring we were at WAR with terrorists, we raised the acts of terror from those of a criminal to those of a patriot – and so strengthened the organization, Al Qaeda. Those who were common murders on 9/11 are now held to be military operative, soldiers at war, exempt from civil law.
On April 2, 1917, President Woodrow Wilson declared, "The world must be made safe for democracy." Ninety years later, the United States is elevating murders to the status of patriotic warriors and destroying nations which are noted for their educated middle class – in favor of backward, ignorant, theocracies.
Words notwithstanding, America has demonstrated that its politics is built on the creation of enemies and threads; it is build on the conversion of criminals into nationalist leaders; it is built on a desire to impose theocratic rules to all who wish peace, justice and freedom – those who believe they not only have the right to pursue happiness, they have the absolute right to have what will bring them personal happiness.
We are abandoning our Constitutional objectives. For two generations, we have been abandoning our interests in
Democracy – the right of a subject people to determine for themselves the laws and authorities to under which they would live, and to whom they would answer.
With an approaching Presidential Election, a paraphrase of an old public service TV ad comes to mind: "You know what you are doing to their Nation, their rights, their freedoms, their lives; are you aware of what you are ultimately doing to yours?"