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Our Arrogance Will be the End of Us


Published on Sunday, August 28, 2005 by CommonDreams.org
by Christine Rose

“At first, I thought ‘How dare you say that about my America,’ she said looking at me through squinted eyes, “but then I saw it, our arrogance will be the end of us.

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HELP WANTED:

Title: President of USA

Position Available: ASAP

Education Qualities Needed: Educated in FOREIGN Policy; Educated in USA and WORLD ECONOMICS; Educated in being a Negotiator; Educated in FOREIGN RELIGIONS; Educated on Relationships; Educated in Military Manpower planning; Strong GRAMMAR skills required.

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Office Space and Living Quarters with ALL MOD CONS provided.

"They offered me the office, offered me the shop
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Do you wanna make tea at the BBC?
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peace.

I'm not sure that's exactly the right word to describe America's willful disregard for any and all values and societies that do not exactly mirror its own -- and even some that do very closely. Contemptuous disdain might be more accurate.

If ordinary consumers of the "American way of life" (TM) are capable of closing their eyes to any truth that lies beyond their own borders, the same cannot be said for all of those they send abroad to advance their "supply side" corporate interests.

The obvious military casualties are not the only ones, and perhaps not even the worst. Some soldiers "lucky" enough to survive the bullets and bombs face a deep and intractible sense of guilt as their lifelong "reward" for serving those interests.

Quoting J.D. Engelhardt, (former) Specialist, 1st Infantry Division, US Army: "There is nothing that I feel can alleviate the guilt for being directly involved with our illegal and immoral occupation of Iraq. I ask myself from time to time, 'Why was I so afraid to resist the order to go to war? Why didn’t I object to the whole damned thing?' I have been told many times not to be ashamed for my service to this country, but I can’t help a genuine intuition that this war is not designed to promote freedom and our beautiful American way of life, but instead only carried out to proliferate Western imperialism and corporate profits every time a bullet is fired. My guilt is synonymous with the sentiment that I was indeed on the wrong side of the wire."

I think if we became more educated about the world outside our borders we would be less likely to accept the behaviors of our corporations and the behaviors of this administration.

That would certainly be helpful, but even a little less laziness in informing ourselves about our own situation would be good start.

Counterpunch published an excellent commentary on the subject today entitled Nation of Fools. Here's a brief extract.

My entire family is being played for fools by the power brokers in Washington; and they don't even have a clue about how they are being manipulated. I am embarrassed for them. The truth is out there; but no one is bringing it to our door step. You have to look hard. You have to want to know the facts. You have to care about social justice; and that requires effort; it requires living with a troubled conscience and trying to set things right. It requires that you inform yourself and make an effort to change things. The trouble is that most Americans don't want to know the truth because it would make them uncomfortable. So they turn their heads the other way and allow themselves to be distracted from their civic and patriotic duties. It is easier to display the flag and plaster their cars with 'Support our troops' stickers. This mode of being requires no real effort; nor accountability.

Their government is murdering millions of innocent people all around the planet, torturing people and toppling both democratic and progressive governments; it is committing acts of terror against the world's working poor; it is plundering their homelands and stealing their wealth. How can any person of conscience remain indifferent toward these acts? How can we wave our flags and support our troops when this is what they are doing? Is this their idea of liberation? Is this their perception of Democracy? Is this the kind of nation we want to be?

While this is going on they are concerned only about shopping, mindless consumption, and watching American Idol. As citizens, they have been rendered totally useless. Fascism flourishes where citizens are inactive and uninformed. Where there is apathy there is fascism.

When will the people learn that the interests of big business and multinational corporations; the interest of the ruling class-are not our interests? When an American president-it doesn't matter which one-talks about protecting American interests, whose interest do they mean? They mean the interest of the ruling class-the Rockefellers, Carnegies, Murdochs, the Cheneys and the Bushes. They mean the interest of General Electric, Halliburton, Bechtel, Boeing, Wal-mart, Northrup-Grumman; Raytheon, Exxon-Mobil; Shell Oil and Texaco. These are not my interests. Nor are they the interests of ninety-nine percent of the populace. And they certainly are not noble causes to fight and die for.

I have seen the blood-shot, hate-filled eyes of the enemy, and the enemy is not the Islamic terrorist. The enemy is the liberal living next door to me.

Blood-shot, hate-filled eyes? I certainly don't envy you living next door to such a devil incarnate, especially if he feels the same as you about who his enemy is.

We need to bring back a policy of Isolationism!! No more foreign trade! No more outsourcing! No more illegal immigration!! Tourists only, no more immigrants! We should have no political or economic ties with anybody outside our boarders, including Israel and England.

A comforting dream, perhaps. But almost impossible to realize in today's world, don't you think?

All we need is a president that wants to make it happen, and it shall be so. Bush has proven that a president can do whatever they put their mind to.

I think you're gonna have a very hard time finding anyone amongst the U.S. political duopoly to run for office on your "isolationist ticket", except, perhaps, as one ploy amongst many. But good luck in pursuing your dream.

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