The September 11, 2001 tragedy is a two fold wake up call. We've all heard about the first item and our government seems hell bent on killing a lot of people in the hopes they kill some of the bad ones. To kill innocent people you can not think of the second item. To prepare for blood lust you must have your mind set right and that is what our government is doing, painting us a black and white picture of "freedom verses fear".
1. there are bad people in the world that do bad things and we have to try and protect ourselves from them.
2. we should take responsibility for the bad things we do and begin to correct them if we are to maintain high moral ground in our words and deeds.
The majority of Americans get their reality from mainstream media, which is based on stereotypes, sex and violence to sell products to consumers. The reality is manufactured and we are expected to consume it and thus follows the consumption of the products and life is wonderful because we've bought the stuff that makes us a happy somebody. This is the challenge social progressives have been confronting for years. We don't want to hear about the wrongs that our multi-national corporations do to other people and their countries. We deny factual information in deference to the corporate public relations line of "we're the best thing to happen to these undeveloped people, we're bringing them freedom... ". Trouble is, most of the time, our brand of freedom means we're free to exploit them and their resources for corporate profits and cheap products.
Losing control of your government and land doesn't sound like such a good deal... but that is what happens when multi-national corporations get to override laws that impede their method of doing business. That is what happens every time the United States government chooses, corrupts and supports government officials in foreign lands so that our corporations can get the most for the least cost, therefore maximizing profits for the next fiscal quarter.
If the shoe were on the other foot, what would we do. If the country of Ladeda were to control the leaders of our country, and if those leaders always agreed with what the companies of Ladeda wanted to do (which is pay workers the least possible for their work, pollute the air, water and ground, and beat, imprison or kill anyone that resisted or tried to form groups to protest)... how would we feel.
The current globalization effort via NAFTA, GATT, WTO, IMF, FTAA, etc. cause this to happen constantly. We deny it even though we can't get health care or education. We deny it when both parents have to work and babies are put in day care warehouses without the intimacy of parents during much of their developmental years. We deny it when middle class jobs disappear to countries that don't have the working standards that were fought so hard for in our labor struggles.
We are like children in a house of abuse. We live in fear and denial. We fear being struck for speaking up and asking questions. We fear being cut off from the crumbs that drop from the table. We deny that fear, so that we won't be afraid... but we are afraid and we slowly die mentally, physically and spiritually.
Everyone wants to be in control of their life and be strong enough to meet challenges to their self determinism. It seems in this state of denial that the ones that wrap themselves in the symbols of nationalism, beat their chest the hardest and yell the loudest are the ones that are the most afraid... they are afraid of the hollowness within them and have to put on a strong front so they aren't found out by others, and most of all themselves. They are the ones that perpetuate the abuse through selling the lie to the youth, about how the world is and how they should act. It's like the older child counseling the younger on how to avoid a beating and survive.
I don't blame people for being afraid. I'm sad that courage is so misunderstood. Many times instinct is mistaken for courage in immediate threat situations. It's when you have time to think about something and realize you may be alone in standing up to something that is wrong... that's when real courage comes in to play. It doesn't take courage to be a member of a mob and to go along with the mob hysteria and lust for revenge. To understand the situation ahead of time and still do what is right... to risk being alone and not being a hero... that takes courage, and it is very hard to do.
The only example of that type of courage from the United States Congress to date, has been Congressional Representative Barbara Lee (D-CA). She deserves our respect because in spite of the danger of being struck by the abuser, she points us toward true freedom and through her example counsels us to walk our talk of freedom and justice.
STATEMENT OF REPRESENTATIVE BARBARA LEE (D-CA) IN OPPOSITION TO S.J.RES. 23, AUTHORIZING THE USE OF MILITARY FORCE
I rise today with a heavy heart, one that is filled with sorrow for the families and loved ones who were killed and injured this week. Only the most foolish or the most callous would not understand the grief that has gripped our people and millions across the world.
This unspeakable attack on the United States has forced me to rely on my moral compass, my conscience, and my God for direction.
September 11 changed the world. Our deepest fears now haunt us. Yet I am convinced that military action will not prevent further acts of international terrorism against the United States.
This resolution will pass although we all know that the President can wage a war even without it. However difficult this vote may be, some of us must urge the use of restraint. Our country is in a state of mourning. Some of us must say, let's step back for a moment and think through the implications of our action today so that it does not spiral out of control.
I have agonized over this vote. But I came to grips with opposing this resolution during the very painful memorial service today. As a member of the clergy so eloquently said, "As we act, let us not become the evil that we deplore."