Every morning I wake up and read about children dying in bomb attacks, hospitals being bombed and machine gunned, “moderate” rebels handing over US provided arms to the militants we are supposedly fighting against, drone strikes, torture, pedophiles in our own government getting away with raping children, blackmail, bribery, and massive corporations and greedy people profiting from it all. Every single morning. I’m not reading fiction, America. And I’m sick of it. So, its time we have a talk.
Here we are, approaching another Veteran’s day, still at war all over the world, and I start receiving junk emails about Veteran’s Day sales (shop! spend! come see the savings! because lots of people have died and you don’t want to think about that!). How is it that a day set aside to remember those killed in “the war to end all wars” has become just another day to shop for useless things? Why aren’t we talking about peace anymore?
I remember a time when we talked openly about the odd ways those buildings fell down, and just how did those 19 guys pull that off with no help? And what was up with those suspicious activities in the markets before 9/11? We asked publicly how our intelligence agencies, military, and leaders failed to protect us. I remember a time when we talked openly about the mysteries surrounding the anthrax attacks that followed 9/11 that seemed so strangely timed with the passing of the Patriot Act. I remember when we talked openly about the claims that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and huge numbers of people rallied to protest the invasion of Iraq. I remember when we rallied for peace. And I remember the time when we were subsequently derailed by slick promises of hope and change. I am as guilty of it as anyone, casting my vote with eager anticipation of our military coming home, peace and prosperity settling over the world, and no longer having to go into debt just to see a doctor. I was wrong and naive. And if you think McCain would have been a better solution, or Romney in 2012, then you are wrong and naive too. You don’t understand the problem.
Somewhere along the line we the people of this nation have allowed our system to become corrupted (maybe it always was?) while we have retreated from our morals, our values, from our communities and neighbors. Isolating ourselves with endless entertainment. We have turned blind eyes to the misbehavior of our leaders and those with money who control them, thereby implying our permission for the misbehavior to continue, even to increase alarmingly. We have allowed ourselves to be distracted while they plunder our world. We’ve made it too easy to simply say “what can I possibly do to change anything?” We bicker over who will fix the problem, the Republican or Democrat, and complain when they don’t. It has become too easy to believe we must support the troops no matter what and let that be our excuse for not addressing the wars of aggression our nation is waging. We have accepted that patriotism outranks compassion and empathy. We have grasped onto the idea of American exceptionalism as if it is our national religion, to which any dissent is immediately branded as crazy conspiracy theories and banished to the land of internet alternative media. Safely out of our direct line of sight, shielded for our comfort by censoring search engine algorithms, easily dismissed and forgotten. We sigh with relief and return to our sporting events to salute the flag and honor war crimes with propaganda paid for with our tax dollars. Because America would never do the wrong thing. We are the good guys, and you must love it or leave it! Well, America, we are wrong.
It is time we own up to our mistakes as a nation, admit we have a serious problem, begin the process of making amends, and start healing. It is time we bring our troops home and stop this tyrannical, empire-seeking freight train of war and destruction. It is time that we realize that we have become exactly what the founding fathers of this nation feared, the very power they designed the Constitution to protect us from becoming. It is time to admit that we are failing ourselves, our children, and the people of the world. Let’s bring back Armistice Day, a true Armistice Day where we can remember with sadness, and horror, all the people whose lives have been lost to war and greed, a day when we can celebrate putting an end to war, a day when we can move forward together in peace. Let’s take away the power of the greedy few to continue dividing the world, and us. Let’s stop the bickering over all the distractions our media feeds us and concentrate on the real problem. Because, America, we are running out of time.