If we look at the health of the country from an economic perspective, we can plainly see that America is probably as strong as it has ever been. Even though she is currently experiencing a recession, nevertheless the unemployment rate is relatively low, inflation has been kept in check, and the strength of the dollar, though weakened due to the current economic downturn, has held the top spot in the world for over a half-century. Indeed, economically speaking, the US can still be considered the darling economy of the world. It still has the world's largest economy in terms of GDP, and boasts the biggest military by far.
But are economic and militaristic standards the only barometer by which one judges a nation? What about its bellicose usage of that same military? What about its moral content? What about the general welfare of the people and their quality of life? What about the many freedoms that are now denied its people? Unfortunately, here is where the US woefully breaks apart and uncovers a nation with festering, open wounds in need of dire attention.
When one exposes the true quality of life in the US today, the moral fiber and the liberties reserved for the people, comparisons with other countries begin to show that the US is far from the model state it tries desperately to think it is. For instance, the recent events in Iraq such as in Haditha, at Abu Ghraib, as well as the detention center at Gitmo and elsewhere demonstrate a military that is morally bankrupt. Torture and Mafioso-style killings along with the wanton detention of people for years without charges against them are all acts deemed hors-la-loi by the Geneva Convention and other international agreements. While claiming to take the moral high road, and indeed complaining about a few pictures of prisoners shown by Aljazeera back at the beginning of the illegal invasion of Iraq and the severe condemnation of Russia for its recent intervention of the semi-autonomous region of South Ossetia, this really shows that the US is more hypocritical than moral.
The troops on the ground in both Afghanistan and Iraq have been given carte blanche to be as ruthless as they wish, while claiming to the world that the US, "Doesn't commit these types of heinous acts in either theater of war." The only group of people they are fooling with their propaganda is the American public. The rest of the world clearly sees the lies and falsities for what they really are. But it goes beyond this level of corruption. By merely taking a step back from these illegal and immoral acts, one can plainly see a much greater level of evil, the illegal and immoral wars themselves. We invaded Afghanistan for one purpose, and one purpose only; TO GET OSAMA BIN LADEN. Has he been captured?? Are we even still looking? We invaded Iraq for one, and only one purpose. To seize the WMDs which posed an "imminent threat to the US and her allies." DID WE GET THEM?
Both wars were illegal and immoral. Though the world was sympathetic towards the invasion of Afghanistan, they were not fooled by the time Iraq came around. The only support for the latter war came from Americans and Brits. Today, no country on Earth has a majority of its citizens supporting either war. But it goes beyond this. Even without the illegal and immoral treatment of prisoners and citizens from other countries, even without the illegal and immoral wars in which we are engaged, the US is falling apart. Our health care system ranks among the worst in the world. We have a higher percentage of people who have inadequate or no health coverage than nearly any other industrialized nation. The current generation going through our schools will be the first one in history to see a SHORTER life expectancy than their parents. The educational system in the US is consistently ranked as one of the worst ones of any industrialized nation. There are more people incarcerated in the US than any other nation on Earth, even though China has four times the population and is considered an "evil" regime.
Rather than building more fuel efficient vehicles and equipment over the past few years to manage the growing cost of oil, the US went on a drunken binge of SUV decadence that created a country of yacht-drivers with the worst average gas mileage of any nation. As the elderly increasingly have to choose between medicine and groceries, the poor have to scrounge for slave wages and squalor living conditions. But it goes beyond this. Any nation with so many internal and external problems would surely be protesting en masse against the corrupt regime that created them, right?
When France recently tried to enact a bill that would promote an American style of employment, an "at will" style, for a small minority of its citizens, the people rose up in the millions to protest it. And they won. The people in France often rise up in protest of those "proposed" laws they deem unworthy of their respect. Surely the American people are doing the same, right?? Unfortunately, besides a few protests of a few hundred thousand people and a handful of antiwar sites, there have been no uprisings on the scale necessary to stop this pillage of the American ideal by the current junta in charge. When the immigration issue reared its ugly head with the ridiculous attempt at deporting over eleven million undocumented workers, millions of people took to the streets in near impromptu marches across America. Unfortunately, these protests were about NONAMERICANS and their right to live in this country. It appears that Americans have become ostrich-like, preferring to keep their heads in the sand and ignoring the grim reality of the world today, rather than ending the horrific atrocities already committed by the current administration. This is a sure sign of guilt that lays heavy across the land and eats at the heart of our ideals like some cancerous growth impervious to any medicine.
The future appears bleak for America. She has already compromised her ideals, she has committed torture, usurped the rights of others indefinitely, killed innocent people, and illegally invaded other countries. She has driven a stake through the heart of her own Constitution and Bill of Rights with new laws such as the Patriot Act. She has shamelessly set abroad to fight the battles of other nations in THEIR name, freely allowing her citizens to die for THEIR cause. She has set about searching abroad for monsters to destroy. The America that was, is no more.