Yesterday I was browsing /. and read, upon returning to the homepage the fateful words "Strike on Iraq" as the title of the most recent post. I knew it was going to happen, but somehow it didn't become real until the bombs started falling. I don't know why not, I mean Saddam Hussein could have got down on his knees, begged forgiveness, given the keys to the god-damn country to GwB and exiled himself to Antarctica and GwB would have only made a terse speech on how the fact that Saddam was complying with every single thing he demanded only served to prove that he was intent on thwarting the disarmament efforts. But I digress. I read the short post, zap to CNN, and hit respond. My response: "And today I am ashamed to be an American".
Well, that went down well. Responses within the first 15 minutes ranged from "Then Leave" to "I'm embarrassed that you're an American.". I suppose it just goes to prove a point, but that wasn't the point I was trying to make. I'm not against war. Nor am I for it for that matter. The point I was trying to make is that, since september 11th of 2001, our nation has rapidly become more and more like a totalitarian state. As we give up personal liberties with barely a sigh of protest because, hey it's called the "patriot act", it must be good, our leaders decide unilaterally, for the first time in our history, to wage war on a country not even directly involved with the events leading us into our malaise. And why? Does this country have mighty weapons of war? Sure. Is its leader evil and contempuous of our wealth and beliefs? Absolutely! Is he oppressive? Does he treat his populace as serfs? Sure does. Does his rhetoric jangle our nerves and demean everything the US stands for. Damn straight! But that's not why we are at war.
We are at war because our president holds a grudge.
Maybe, and I deeply hope so, the result of this war will be positive, but the reason is inexcusable. Our president is the elected representative of the American people, but our culture, our apathy and lack of consciousness have finally cumulated in the non-election of a man so thoroughly incompetent it doesn't bear discussing into a position that, with its propaganda machine and incessant fud, is as close to god as one can be without actually being omnipotent. And war is the result. Only it's not really war. To wage war you need an opponent. It's more bullying than it is war. It's as if wrestlemania has inched its way into the highest echelons of our country's goverment and we can now only think in terms of jingoistic catchphrases. The alliance of the willing versus the axis of evil in a tag team death match.
The responses to my little bit of flamebait were deeply divided, the moderation on the post itself bounced from -1 to +5 and back three times. The global community is obviously deeply divided on this issue. Sadness, anger, barely disguised glee. All there. As it should be. Because at least here we can still speak freely.