"We bombed Hiroshima, we bombed Nagasaki, and we nuked far more than the thousands in New York and the Pentagon, and we never batted an eye. We have supported state terrorism against the Palestinians and black South Africans, and now we are indignant because the stuff we have done overseas is now brought right back to our own front yards. America's chickens are coming home to roost."
Reverend Jeremiah Wright; Sept. 16th 2001
White America refuses to study, reflect, and learn a lesson from history...
Malcom X in "Chickens Coming Home to Roost"
Malcolm X's story is familiar to many people here in America. Denzel Washington played him brilliantly in the eponymous movie. Malcolm X never backed down from a challenge or from the truth. In his speech after the horrible assassination of Pres. John Kennedy, he rightly said that, "White America refuses to study, reflect and learn lessons from history." Apparently, some people in black America aren't so good at learning from the past, either.
Senator Barack Obama is being credited by many with being the candidate of "change and hope." For the life of me, I would love to believe this. I would love to believe that anyone who is still involved in the race for the White House (that is rarely won by the most honest, sharpest, or best candidate) will bring hope and healing to our broken nation that desperately needs it. After almost eight years of ruinous BushCo, and really since April 30, 1789 when George Washington took his first oath of office, our country has been ruled by white men who have been several cuts above our third president named George, but who more often than not have been disastrous, also.
Barack Obama has denounced the above remarks of his mentor and pastor, Rev. Wright saying: "I categorically denounce any statement that disparages our great country or serves to divide us from our allies." Let's parse the Rev's statement.
"We bombed Hiroshima, we bombed Nagasaki, and we nuked far more than the thousands in New York and the Pentagon, and we never batted an eye."
Yes, on December 7th, 1941 (another day that will live in infamy), a US Naval base in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii was attacked by Japan. On that day, 2338 American service personnel were tragically killed, but there was little of what our Pentagon calls "collateral damage," civilians killed. As a matter of fact, during WWII, Japan killed very few American civilians. However, the US military command in the Pacific killed hundreds of thousands of Japanese civilians in aerial bombings and with the use of the new WMD; H-bombs. General Curtis LeMay informed future Secretary of Defense, Robert McNamara (who was under LeMay during WWII), that if the US had lost they would have been tried as "war criminals." The loss of innocent life in Japan was numbered in the hundred of thousands and I don't hear Senator Obama denouncing those acts of cowardice.
We have supported state terrorism against the Palestinians and black South Africans,
I think there is little dispute that Israel (which I assume is what Obama refers to when he says "allies") receives approximately three billion dollars in aid from the U.S. each year and have brutally oppressed and occupied Palestinian lands for decades. In a one week's period this month, Israel killed over 300 Palestinians and was "shocked" when 8 Jewish seminary students were killed in return. I hate and reject all loss of innocent life no matter what is the color, religion or nation of origin. I think Senator Obama may buy into the neocon lie that somehow Israeli or American lives are more precious than Arab lives or black lives. Not only has the US supported state-sanctioned terrorism in such places as Palestine and South Africa, but we are committing some more of our own in Iraq and Afghanistan.
...and now we are indignant because the stuff we have done overseas is now brought right back to our own front yards. America's chickens are coming home to roost.
Yes, with arrogant American exceptionalism, we were indignant when almost 3000 of our brothers and sisters were killed on 9-11. We were indignant and we were stunned, shocked and sorrowed. But instead of searching our collective souls and reflecting about why they "hate us" so much, our insane president (backed by a bloodthirsty gang of racist opportunists) set off on a mission to send more chickens out into the world that will be a helluva b*tch when they come home to roost.
Senator Obama also denounced any remarks that "disparaged our great country." Hmm...does he denounce remarks that his own wife made about being proud to be an American for the first time in her "adult life?" I wish I could be proud of a nation that tortures people and imprisons them without basic legal rights. I wish I could be proud of a nation that has a sitting president that has been responsible for killing almost a million innocent Iraqi people in a misadventure that was based on lies and is for profit. I wish I could be proud of a nation that rapes its poor people to feed the already rich in a demented reverse Robin Hood affect. I wish I could be proud of a country where over a million children are homeless and hungry every night. I wish I could be proud of a nation that left our black brothers and sisters hanging off of their roofs after Katrina. The list can go on and on. Senator Obama needs to denounce me, because the policies of our government do not make me proud and oftentimes endlessly disgust me.
As a nation, we need to pull together and denounce the policies of our government, which were the cause of 9/11. We need to apologize for the gory excesses of BushCo and we must learn how to conserve and cut-back on our own consumeristic orgies to give the rest of the world some creature comforts that are basic human rights. We need to call our "chickens" back home to peacefully roost before they roost again in violence.
I sit here behind my computer screen in solidarity with Rev. Wright. Not only do I not denounce him, but I support him in telling the truth. I wish Senator Obama would recall how he once stood for truth. A desk in the oval office that has been corrupted by years of calumny is not worth selling ones soul for.
We need to "study, reflect and learn" from our history that has been violent, but where elected officials mostly fed the carnage for imperial conquest and corporate profit. The next step is "change." True change; not more of nationalistic "same old, same old." with a different name.
Cindy Sheehan is the mother of Spc. Casey Austin Sheehan, who was KIA in Iraq on 04/04/04. She is a co-founder and President of Gold Star Families for Peace and the author of two books: Not One More Mother's Child and Dear President Bush.