Somewhere, lost in time, and everyday life, America has lost its values.
We spoke of give us your tired and your poor, who longed to be free. I believe that the values were once there but I have no idea when things changed to way we are now.
We are a nation that is poised with the hammer raised of a war machine that has absolutely no comparison in the annals of time and history. We are the last Rome of the world.
As a young boy, I saw movies in school depicting the American Shield of Righteousness that ended the Nazi Juggernaut and the Japanese forces that enslaved thousands on island names I could never pronounce.
It was Macarthur, the American Caesar, who stopped the communists at the 38th parallel. The man who made good his promise to the Philippines when he said: “I will return”.
I read books of the American Civil War, which cost Abraham Lincoln his life. And of a George Washington, shivering somewhere in Delaware, praying for strength to defeat the British invader that had come to crush a young nation so dedicated to peace.
I heard of American values, to be brave and strong, always willing to lend a helping hand to those in need, of truth and justice, defending those who could not defend themselves. And echoing were the words of Teddy Roosevelt: “walk softly”.
It was a wonderful childhood; to walk in the fields knowing that we stood for all that was right and proper. Only to have all those fanciful idealisms torn and shredded bloody against the barbed wall of history.
We, are not who we think we are, nor are we who we say we are.
I am a writer for Pravda.ru, and I have been covering the prisoner abuse in Iraq.
The words of General Robert E. Lee are buried in the death shroud of decency for he wrote: “It is good that war is so horrible lest we become so fond of it”. I hear those words somewhere inside me when I write. I realize in muffled disgust that this country preaches one thing and does according to another.
Counting backwards we find that America has been militarily involved on this planet three times more than Germany, a perceived aggressive country, has in the last 1500 hundred years. But America has something Germany never has had – the economical incentives for war. America has of course the spoils of war, but behind that, and buried lower, is the word profitability. Investors, CEO’s, daughter companies, congressional soft money concerns, etc. because war is good for the reaping of blood soaked gold.
When was the last moral American military involvement – 1812 when Britain launched an attack on this soil is the closest I can come. The Civil War was a war on which money was made – it never really was about slavery, despite what my critics may say, those who read the books about a slain Lincoln walking the capitol grounds weeping.
Peel back the layers of a military conflict; strip it down to its most fundamental layers. What do you find? A dictator put in to power by us no less, armed with American weapons, and one who got too big for his britches. Never mind that the arms industry has already made profit by arming them and their antagonists. We, in our battle cries of “Remember the Alamo”, rush head long in the escalating carnage like some deranged Joan of Arc, armed and ready. Again, whose policy is the escalation for without continuing sales how can the arms industry afford to continue? Now, we fight and are supplied with more arms.
When the smoke clears and the dead are buried, who, in reality really won? The shareholders, the CEO’s, and those who receive honorariums from the masters of death are the real winners.
On Memorial Day, we pay homage to our war dead. Of their sacrifice and of their honor and their memory – or so we think. Memorial Day is a much more silent salute to a hand-in-hand love relationship between the arms industry and our government.
America is being pumped up with new and more elusive enemies, even as I speak. The criminal element we are told is here to ravage our women and take our possessions. By the grace of God, there is a gun store only blocks from our house. We must arm; we must arm completely because we are going to become statistics if we don’t. The same shadows that whisper in the ears of government are now whispering in our ears. This is war.
Just as the serpent in the Garden of Eden, we are told that if we do not taste of this fruit, we will be damned. We are told that if we just take a bite, we will be like the Gods of War to bring death to those enemies, real or imaginary. For this is war.
The serpent winds its malevolent path through the halls of government and clouds the once sane minds into thinking: This is War. The serpent grabs the reigns of the votes and delivers them with the venom of twisted depravity that now sends swirls of black shadows towards our next foe, be it another country or be it our neighbor – for this is War.
Iraq is our latest focus, and when Bush walked onto the job from the first day, we could hear the whispers already starting to happen. We knew war was coming. In September 2001, the man who would be king now became the man who knew too much and did too little on the behalf of the serpent. The coils tightened and the serpent screamed this is war. This is war. To the civilian population and to the industries of death – This is war. To congress its fangs struck deep and they too screamed - This is War.
Iraq, though, was a little different. In our bloated and self deceptive minds we thought we, no matter what we did, could do no wrong. We conducted ourselves in that manner and became as our enemy was – we stooped to their level on the handling of civilians and POWs.
Never mind that there were more subtle ways to remove the Iraq despot and his two psychopathic sons. I get a kick out of the Marine Sniper who says: “one bullet, one kill” – I like that. A .308 round only costs $1.50. But this had to be a full, total, and complete carnage measured in billions.
There was a small crack in the righteous shield this time around – one lone man stood up and said we have sinned. The Iraq Prisoner abuse became a journalist feeding frenzy – truly, our cups overflowed. It became so wide spread that it could not be contained, and now on the sacrificial altar of world opinion the cadavers of what we said we were vs. what we really are, exposed for all to see.
The serpent withdraws again, blameless and innocent as usual. Leaving an embarrassed and cover my tracks administration trying to find someway out of the incriminations, and a military starting the blood letting called court martial. And a congress that refuses to answer the simple question: “Why”.
The one man who said we have sinned is now the most hated man in the far right regions of the American mindset. The one man, who kept a small candle of true American values lit, is on a death watch against those who would extinguish that lone candle.
863 American service men and women are dead. They died after complete victory was claimed.
And, God said: “Thou Shalt Not Kill”.