Wednesday, March 08, 2006

I Aim to Misbehave

The America in which I grew up believing is supposed to include everyone. Yes, I realize that the America I grew up believing in never really existed, that it was an ideal that we never quite managed to achieve.

But in many ways the America That Never Was became a shining beacon of hope for the whole world. Behind the commercialism of Coca-Cola, Levi's jeans, and so many other American products that people across the world clamored for and fought to get, lies a belief in the dream that America used to represent.

America was the world's big sister, represented in iconic fashion by the lonely statue standing in New York Harbor, arm upraised. The big sister that didn't spy on its neighbors, but held the torch that lit the way to freedom and equality for all of mankind.

We've lost sight of that thanks to this administration and its flunkies. We turned a cynical eye on the rest of the world, the world that grew up looking at America and saying "we want to be like THEM when we grow up," and collectively spat in the faces of those who said out loud "that's not what America is supposed to be about."

On 9/11 we were struck a devastating blow and, as we reeled in shock, the rest of the world stood up and said "hey, you can't do that to our America!" People all over the world, even in those countries labeled by this administration as part of the "Axis of Evil," marched in protest at what was done to us.

When we went into Afghanistan after Osama Bin Laden, the will of the world went with us. "Catch that murdering bastard," they said. "Put him on trial and let us all show evil what we think of those who would do such a thing to our big sister."

They were our allies, our friends, and our little brothers and sisters.

But when we turned our attention from Bin Laden and went after Saddam and Iraq, the rest of the world paused a moment and looked at us, wondering what we were thinking. They knew that Saddam, though hateful himself, had not attacked us, was not the person who they wanted caught and punished.

In our arrogance, we turned our fury on our allies and friends, and said "if you're not with us, you're against us."

Though that was never true.

We slapped them down and turned our ponderous might against a tiny nation that never had the power to resist us.

Now the same meme echoes within the United States, pressed with ever increasing volume and force upon those who would question this administration and its policies.

We are told that we are traitors, and that only by supporting everything that they're doing can we hope to win the "War on Terror."

I disagree. You cannot fight against an idea, against a concept, with the power of military might. You can only fight an idea with another idea. The idea of the America That Never Was, the idea that was abandoned by this administration, is the best weapon we could have leveled against the threat we faced. That America believes in Truth, and Justice, and Hope for the world.

I stand by this assertion, and if people think it's wrong, if they think that by somehow not supporting this administration's wrong-headed policies of death, destruction, secrecy, and cynicism means that I do not support the soldiers that have been callously thrown in harm's way, I cannot change their minds.

But if you ask me to support this fiasco, this abandoning of America's ideals in the name of fear, hatred, and rage, I can only say with a resounding voice "NO!"I will not turn against the America I believe in. I will not accept an America in which only the powerful have a voice, and in an America that thinks that might makes right. I will not abandon America in its hour of need just because they think I must.

If they think that being a good American means going meekly along with the plan, I have news for them.

I aim to misbehave.


Blogger Missy W said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3:20 PM  
Blogger Missy W said...

Missy W said...
Nice post, Saje. I don't always agree with you, but you make a good argument.

Maybe if enough people speak up and vote whenever there is an election, we can bring America closer to the one we grew up believing in.

I've added a link to your blog on my blog site. Yours is one of the best blogs I've seen -- even if I don't always agree. LOL


3:20 PM

3:22 PM  

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