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America The Not-So-Beautiful

By       Message Hal O'Leary     Permalink
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"To begin at the beginning" (if I may borrow a phrase from Dylan Thomas) with the birth of a nation founded on the principles stated so elegantly by Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence:

 

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--

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All men are created equal?. . .life, LIBERTY?. . .This amid an accommodation of slavery so necessary for economic growth and an accommodation of genocide so necessary for territorial growth? With apologies to and for Jefferson, a slave-holder himself, but one I admire for many reasons, we can't help but admit that it smacks of hypocrisy.

 

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Connect the dots.

 

However, there was no hypocrisy in the secession of Texas from Mexico and its annexation by the United States; it was a blatant and admitted desire for coast-to-coast territorial expansion by the United States to be accomplished by a boastful, brazen, and blatant force of arms. Unfortunately, this greedy desire for expansion made necessary   genocide of Native Americans.

 

Connect the dots.

 

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At the close of the 19th century, the battleship USS Maine sank in Havana harbor under very suspicious circumstances, which gave American forces an excuse to invade Cuba and drive out the Spanish. While great historical emphasis is given to the war in Cuba, little attention is given to the shameful and simultaneous acquisition of the Philippines, another Spanish colony, taking place in the Far East. It was shameful in that after the Spanish were driven out, the Philippines sought independence, but that was not to be. War between America and the Philippines broke out and lasted for more than three years with estimated Filipino casualties placed at between 34,000 and 1,000,000.   It ended with American annexation. American expansion had suddenly gone global.

 

Connect the dots.

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Hal O'Leary is an 88 year old veteran of WWII who, having spent his life in theatre, and as a Secular Humanist, believes that it is only through the arts that we are afforded an occasional glimpse into the otherwise incomprehensible. As an 'atheist (more...)
 

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