Has our need to exact revenge and punish terrorists trumped our desire for a democratic America? http://www.opednews.com/articles/NSA-s-Stellar-Wind-Viola-by-Gustav-Wynn-121008-511.html Have we made a (possibly unconscious) collective decision to put democracy and the Constitution at risk for what we have been propagandized and sold as our own protection? Why are we so patriotically and cavalierly ready to sacrifice our soldiers for democracy, but not our citizens? We sing songs and make pledges as citizens; however we, citizens, evidently, are not in any way responsible for the maintenance of this democracy. We don't have to make sacrifices or take risks?
Yes, it is the responsibility of the President and the government to keep us safe. But, is it the responsibility of the President and the government to define what this means and how to do it? Absolutely not. That is our job.
We allowed President Bush, Dick Cheney, Condoleezza Rice, Donald Rumsfeld, et.al., after 9/11, to define the incident, the threat and the response, and American's ate it up like candy because we are a good people -- we are empathetic: the terrorists had murdered our family members, our friends, our neighbors. Unfortunately, in our collective rage and mourning, we gave the keys to the kingdom to Bush and the secret government surveillance and counter-terrorism mechanisms that have purposely set out to undermine our democracy in our name, much of this possibly with ill-conceived good intentions, using our fears, prejudices and righteous xenophobia as justification.
President Bush, speaking at Ground Zero three days after the attacks:
President Bush : Thank you all. I want you all to know -- it [bullhorn] can't go any louder -- I want you all to know that American today, American today is on bended knee, in prayer for the people whose lives were lost here, for the workers who work here, for the families who mourn. The nation stands with the good people of New York City and New Jersey and Connecticut as we mourn the loss of thousands of our citizens
Rescue Worker : I can't hear you!
President Bush : I can hear you! I can hear you! The rest of the world hears you! And the people -- and the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon!
Rescue Workers : [Chanting] U.S.A.! U.S.A.! U.S.A.! U.S.A.! U.S.A.! U.S.A.! U.S.A.! U.S.A.!
President Bush : The nation -- The nation sends its love and compassion --
Rescue Worker : God bless America!
This was the call for a new Crusade. We were headed to Jerusalem again. Were the rescue workers at Ground Zero jingoistic warmongers? Of course not. However were they and us played like the mourning, shocked, caring fish that we were -- absolutely. Naturally President Bush, as any good Christian "FatherKing" would do, in essence, mixed his well-scripted metaphors like the Crusading Christian Kings before him and off we went to the slaughter.
What if the President would have stopped with "The nation stands with the good people of New York City and New Jersey and Connecticut as we mourn the loss of thousands of our citizens" and not continued with, "I can hear you! I can hear you! The rest of the world hears you! And the people -- and the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon," and paused and reflected -- let us all pause and reflect?
Would it have been possible to have seen the dead of 9/11 as heroes and not victims? Could we, in the state we were in, have been able to perceive them as heroes of Democracy, in that moment, through our tears of rage and grief? Possibly not, but that should be the job of our "FatherKing" (Vice President and Congressmen also) who has sworn an oath,"...do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States", to be our elected proxy. It was incumbent on President Bush and his administration to allow us the necessary interval to grieve and ponder and, most importantly, to advise us of the risks to our democracy and freedoms inherent in any actions they were purposing to take on our behalf. Instead they obfuscated and lied. They consequently shredded the Constitution in our name. Instead of enshrining the dead of the 9/11 attacks as heroes, they made them permanent victims and scapegoats for American death-making around the world and the American security apparatus' ant-democratic, non-Constitutional activities here and abroad.
The present administration is now at the helm of the ship and the ship is definitely off course. But it must be remembered that this ship was fully rigged and inherited by the new guys. The Obama administration is not without culpability. However, I am not politically astute enough and certainly not privy to information that would definitively give me authority or a special understanding to say this; I am certain that if Mitt Romney is elected President of this country we will slide further and irreparably into a state of incremental, ever-threatening, domestic and global, quasi-benign despotism. The present Republican party is predicated on fear and fear is what made heroes into scapegoats.
Vote and demand accountability.