Thursday


The United States has squandered the opportunity that presented itself at the end of world war II. That was the opportunity to transform the world in a positive way. To serve as an enlightened role model. Instead, we sought and continue to seek to dominate the world economically, politically and militarily and we have done so with callous disregard for the destruction visited upon dozens of countries and millions of lives.

The bitter irony is that the same cultural milieu that brought into being an unprecedented corporate and military syndicate capable of defeating the axis armies, also made it possible for this new elite to deftly recast the U.S. as the world's policeman in the service of newly emerged and powerful corporations at home and abroad.

There were so many possibilities. We could have become the world's democratic role model, nurturing and encouraging democratic principles and participation in the civic life of communities here and around the world in order to foster a growing connectedness and a spirit of cooperation. But we decided, instead, to interfere with the internal affairs of other countries so that we can more easily gain control over their natural resources.

We could have transformed the United Nations into a legitimate and effective world council devoted to the spread of democracy, organically, bringing each country into the fold at a pace suited to their needs and capacities. Instead we have chosen to undermine the organization by cynically ignoring any resolution we find inconvenient because, as Noam Chomsky has been saying for fifty years, The U.S. government has been aggressively and lethally undermining or attempting to undermine democracy wherever it has a perceived strategic interest, which because of our long economic and military reach, is virtually everywhere.

We could have fashioned an educational system capable of fostering a self governing society infused with the intellectual tradition of three thousand years of western culture enhanced by contributions from the rest of the world. Instead, we have abandoned our children to television and allowed schools to decay while ignoring the corporate takeover of congress and the presidency, an intense assault on the judiciary and the neutering of mainstream media.

We could have evolved a rich and diverse electorate able to consolidate and extend the hard won progressive gains of the last two hundred years so that each succeeding generation can experience a lessening of class disparity and a heightened sense of inclusion in the important issues that demand our attention. But we chose to hand our laws over to corporate lawyers and political opportunists in a spirit of hypnogogic fatalism and as we thrash about wildly in an attempt to save ourselves we succeed only in hurting each other.

If we still wish to realize the noble elements of our potential we must wake up and have the courage to fully recognize and acknowledge what we have become. Our leaders are at worst craven and at best confused. There are many ,still, in government who wish to elevate the discourse and challenge the arrogance of power and there are many more in private life, including within our corporations, who would defy the rapacious demands of unchecked greed and privilege.

But the indecision that has paralyzed congressional liberals and moderates and the recent hard sycophantic drift of professionally trained and educated main stream journalists have combined to reinforce our increasing malaise. No one is going to save us. As usual, it is we who will save ourselves and since congress and the press are on hiatus and the president is pouring gasoline on the fire, we will have to work with the courts to rein in the renegade extremists who have kidnapped the government and are holding it hostage.

The courts exist explicitly as a remedy to the abuses of power and are accessible to the fourth branch of government, the citizens. It is still possible to redeem ourselves but it will require taking our government back from the people who bought it. George Bush is a petty tyrant. The host of conservative supporters of Bush's political philosophy of plunder and privilege are, themselves, guilty of the willful and capricious destruction of the rule of law.

That Neoconservatives view the bill of rights and large portions of the constitution as disposable, is not new, but their brazen displays of contempt for any law that is an inconvenience to them is new and must be aggressively challenged from every quarter. In order to redeem ourselves and our principles we must vigorously prosecute and punish, to the fullest extent of the law, Bush and his entire coterie of handlers and henchman.

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