You've been avoiding this for a long time.
You prefer to remember the times he took you to the park, that amazing camping vacation a few summers back, the funny things he often says at the dinner table, that beautiful dog he gave you on your 12th birthday.
But you can't deny it any longer. The truth is painful. But ...
Dad is an alcoholic and he beats mom.
Do you hate him? Do you reject him as your father?
No ... but things have to drastically change and very soon.
This is not actually the story I wish to tell. I'm merely drawing a parallel. I'm talking about dealing with denial, facing reality, accepting responsibility, taking action.
There are many situations in life for which the above scenario is a metaphor.
The parallel I'm making is the relationship between a citizen and a government gone mad.
We've avoided it for a long time. We prefer to think of America as a beacon of hope in the world, the fountainhead of truth and justice, a purveyor of democratic values and human rights.
But we can't deny it any longer. The truth is painful. But . . .
"The greatest purveyor of violence in the world: My own government, I cannot be silent."
I won't go into the long history of American aggression. Whole books have been written which detail our gruesome heritage of merciless wars, the most notable being Howard Zinn's classics, A People's History of the United States and the more recent A People's History of American Empire.
Nor will I indict the U.S. foreign policy apparatus for its gross
deceptions and hypocrisies, elucidated with unparalleled clarity and
candor in William Blum's excellent work, America's Deadliest Export: Democracy.
I won't talk about the millions of human carcasses piled on top of more carcasses, the result of countless war crimes and merciless military strategies which place no value on human life, whether the victims are in uniform or innocent civilians. I've realized that the scale of the horror is such that its incomprehensible to most good decent citizens. I myself when confronted by figures like 3 million Vietnamese killed, 1.5 Iraqis killed, on and on, find my eyes glazing over in the deluge of zeroes. I literally cannot grasp these numbers and apply them meaningfully to the grief and physical suffering which they are supposed to somehow encapsulate.
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