Sunday, November 05, 2006

You Can Stop This

America is currently in the middle of a much-commented "War on Terror."

But terror, in its truest forms, will not be made a docile object of war. In fact, terror is winning, no matter if more of "them" have died than "us." Terror is easily the favorite for victory in this conflict, and will continue to be if we don't stem the tide against the very important advances it has made. These advances came not through the organized efforts of terrorist groups like Al-Qaeda and Hezbollah, but by the fear, arrogance, disinterest and self-righteousness of the American people, and the corruption, manipulation and abject idiocy of the leadership they have put into place.

Terror wins when Americans are forced to give up their civil liberties and the freedoms on which this country was founded in the name of government control. Habeas corpus is suspended. The rock-solid Constitution that protects our liberty and freedom is now a pliable, bending document.

This is a very dark time in America. Just ten days after the 9/11/2001 attacks, Amnesty International sent a letter to President Bush asking him to exercise "principled leadership" in the wake of that national tragedy. Their plea fell on deaf ears. The organization has determined that in the last five years, the United States government has engaged in major human rights violations, including secret, arbitrary, and prolonged incommunicado detention; enforced disappearance; denial and restriction of habeas corpus; indefinite detention without charge or trial; humiliating outrages upon personal dignity and unfair trial procedures, and torture.

It starts in Abu Ghraib. It may soon come to a neighborhood near you. The Military Commissions Act of 2006 turns bad policy into worse law, and makes it possible for the President, or any of his agents to have anyone-- including citizens of the United States-- declared "enemy combattants" and subject to the same treatments. So don't be surprised when they come to round up you or someone you love. We let it happen.

A madman is in control of the Department of Defense. A fascist sits as our Attorney General, and the President of the United States is a dim-witted bully.

Americans elected this team of bigoted, self-serving hypocrites to lead our nation, and now it is reaping the whirlwind. Even as our men and women in the military are dying by the scores in an unjust war, we have politicians campaigning on a platform of "Staying The Course" in Iraq. Our president thinks bandying about the notions of going to war with Iran, or Syria, or North Korea as old-boy, back-slapping fun in the Oval Office. I would say firmly to the President: "This is not a game, Mr. Bush. This is not Risk. This is human lives being lost in the vainglorious name of your legacy. This is hysteria that has cost the lives of thousands for your edification. This is the destruction of a country's very core values while you and your cronies ironically moralize and preach about the sanctity of those values. You, Mr. Bush, should feel the deepest shame for what you have done, and I will never forgive you, or your agents, for the irreparable harm you have done to America. I, for one, will neither forgive nor forget."

This administration is made up of the most intolerant, shortsighted and hateful people ever to be at the helm of an American government. Ronald Reagan's "shining city on a hill" is now a decrepit slum and the bane of the world neighborhood. And my friends, we have no one to blame but ourselves.

In November of 2000, improprieties in elections in Florida and other states awarded George W. Bush the White House. Since his installation as our leader, he has preached hatred against gays and lesbians. He has ignored the very real health care crisis in this country. He has involved us in an unjustified war by means of deceit and manipulation. He has frighteningly bungled a great natural disaster in the wakes of Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma. He has moved the United States economy from a record surplus to a staggering deficit with no end in sight. He has increased the scale and scope of government in our lives. He has driven political wedges between Americans while smiling and claiming to be a "uniter, not a divider." He is the worst kind of hypocrite, and we are paying the price for our disinterest and fear, literally, with human blood in Iraq, and human spirit back at home.

This Tuesday, November 7th, you can send a clear message to Washington: "We value the America we once knew, and we are not going to allow the Bush Administration to defile it any further." In the name of all that truly is sacred about America, we must vote in an opposition Congress. The Democrats have an opportunity to gain control the House and Senate, and thwart the Administration's efforts to wreak havoc on our nation's fundamental principles. We must, in the name of all that is good and decent in this world, allow them that chance.

The greatest terror, and the ultimate price America will pay, will be the destruction of what it is that made it great in the first place. Stop it. Vote Tuesday.


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