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"Rome Wasn't Burned In A Day": Replacing Liberal Timidity With Leftist Passion

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Why is it that self-termed progressives are in full retreat (and have been for decades) from the witless army of angry clowns and hack illusionists of the U.S. rightwing?

One contributing factor involves the sterile cultivation of the persona of the "reasonable liberal," a type favored and rewarded by the status quo-protective power brokers of the Democratic Party and by corporate media organizations that find useful his trait of rendering himself feckless (e.g., the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue) by the passion-annihilating (but self-serving) device of his preening amiability?

But in so doing, the self-gelded liberal has sacrificed libido and discarded sacred vehemence for careerist privilege. Worse, the rest of us are advised to follow suit"that, in order to gain credibility, one must slouch towards center-hugging irrelevance.

We are counseled that in order to navigate this age of corporate dominance that one's irascible apprehensions and unruly aspirations must be suppressed, for such passions are deemed too radical for mainstream sensibilities, and are therefore regarded as impractical as they are untoward by the crackpot realists of the corporate bottom line whose dictates dominate the political discourse and economic arrangements of our time.

"Prune down [a human being's] extravagance, sober him, and you undo him."
--William James

Yet these self-termed "realists," by means of their ad hoc machinations and hidden-in-plain-sight schemes, are responsible for the creation, promotion and maintenance of a financial system (and its attendant economic, political and ecological consequences) that is as sound as the flight plan of Icarus.

When a nation displays this degree of a noxious mixture of mass ignorance and official mendacity, an age of peace and plenty becomes as possible as holding a tea dance in a tsunami.

Yet facing folly is difficult. Stunned by the implications of one's mistakes and misapprehensions, initially, one will reel in the direction of a familiar road--or be seized by an impulse to retreat from the casuistry-sundering fury of the larger world. Yet, as Thomas Paine averred, "A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong gives it a superficial appearance of being right." And as Albert Camus counseled, "Freedom is the right not to lie."

With this in mind, shall we blunder off-road into the landscape of unquestioned narratives?

For example, the following is a topic, when broached, that rarely fails to incur the manipulative rage of the perpetually adrenaline intoxicated right and causes liberals to drop to their knees in penance for sins never committed: The questioning of this culture's reverential, unflagging "support of our troops" blunderbuss and attendant comic book hero-level palaver, such as, "all good Americans stand firm in our support of our troops and our war against the forces of international terrorism."

A bit of personal perspective as to why I demur: Forty-eight years ago, this month, four young girls were murdered in the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham Ala. At the time of the tragedy, I was a child living in Birmingham. I remember the event to this day. My father, freelancing as a photojournalist at the time, arrived on the scene not long after the blast. I remember him coming home shaken and pale. The event is seared into my memory...how the blind hatred of the vicious can erupt into daily life and inflict irreparable harm and abiding sorrow.

Accordingly, this is why I can not abide U.S. wars of imperium e.g., its Shock and Awe bombing campaigns"the same modus operandi of those despicable, redneck bombers .

The dead of Iraq, Central Asia and Libya were no more responsible for committing acts of terrorism against the people of the U.S. than those little girls, readying for a choir performance in the basement of that church in Alabama, were guilty of any crime perpetrated against the "white race."

Moreover, the attacks staged on 9/11/2001 did not "change everything." The event merely sped up the trajectory of the national security state/military industrial complex towards the landfill of history.

For more than a century, whether the propagandists of U.S. Empire promulgate the subterfuge"of fighting "to make the world safe for democracy" or defending against "the evil empire," or waging a "war on terror"--the objective remains, to secure resources for the U.S. homeland. And that is what we, the populace of empire, can "thank a veteran" for providing.

From the Blue Coats at Wounded Knee to the baby-faced tools of imperium at My Lai and Fallujah to the predator drones scouring Central Asia, the U.S. is the single largest perpetrator of terrorism worldwide. As all the while, guilty by their complicity citizens of the U.S. sit on their sofas, oblivious or unmoved by any event transpiring beyond their self-circumscribed field of reference. There should be a monument erected to the tragic legacy wrought by the acts of terrorism at "Ground Zero" -- and it should be a statue representing a willfully ignorant fat-ass sitting on his couch, TV remote in hand, Cheetos crumbs stippled in the folds of his mouth.

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http://www.philrockstroh.com/

Phil Rockstroh is a poet, lyricist and philosopher bard living in New York City. He may be contacted at: phil@philrockstroh.com. Visit Phil's website: http://philrockstroh.com/ or at FaceBook: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000711907499

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I wrote about 200 but this one is better than mine... by Mark Sashine on Thursday, Sep 22, 2011 at 11:54:06 AM