Sunday, January 3, 2010

Why Won't Those Terrorists Just Leave Us Alone?!

Glenn Greenwald in Salon, citing both David Brooks (in what is indeed one of his better columns) and John Adams (an unlikely pair, that), pens an excellent essay on how the mainstream media (in cahoots with the Cheneyesque element in the Homeland Security crowd) have created a
citizenry planted in front of the television, petrified by endless imagery of scary Muslim monsters, who then collectively crawl to Government and demand that they take more power and control in order to keep them Protected and Safe.  A citizenry drowning in fear and fixated on Safety to the exclusion of other competing values . . . .

And according to a recent poll,
Fifty-eight percent (58%) of U.S. voters say waterboarding and other aggressive interrogation techniques should be used to gain information from the terrorist who attempted to bomb an airliner on Christmas Day. . . . Seventy-one percent (71%) of all voters think the attempt by the Nigerian Muslim to blow up the airliner as it landed in Detroit should be investigated by military authorities as a terrorist act. Only 22% say it should be handled by civilian authorities as a criminal act, as is currently the case.

So, like bleating sheep being herded by an all-powerful shepherd, Americans have gone along with their government in a misguided war in Iraq, and now with a misguided war in "Af-Pak"  (and perhaps Yemen's on the horizon?) because the government tells them that only the might of the US military can protect them from the big bad Muslims.   And Mr. Bush told them, "Go out and buy what you want.  Meanwhile, we'll spend whatever we need to.  But we won't dare tax you or ask you to sacrifice one iota of your American way of life!  After all, we're the great Christian nation that saved the world from Hitler, and Tojo, and the Commies, and Saddam's WMDs.  We're entitled to live as large as we want!  So, build yourself that Mcmansion!  Buy yourself that SUV!"

So, wanting to remain safe, secure, and obese in our bubble,  we've amassed a huge debt to China and have thrown mega-billions of bucks at a military that is nonetheless overstretched and exhausted, but always ready to accept our tax dollars.

Whatever the cost . . .  party on, dude. 

But when the government tries to take the actions - and spend the money - needed to protect their health or their jobs, our clueless public raises a terrified hue and cry.  "Obama's turning us into a Communist country!"  or "Obama's going to set up death panels to decide which of us lives or dies!" or  "Obama's taking away our freedoms!"

(Hey, aren't there some big games in the NFL today?  And what time does that bowl game start tomorrow? Let's drive over to Bill's house.  He just bought a 60-inch screen!")

 (Yemen? Where the hell is Yemen anyhow?  And isn't Gaza somewhere in Iraq?  Ah, who gives a shit.)

Face it, people.  We didn't ante up before.  But now, we're going to need to pay up,  pay for our mistakes,  pay for our ignorance. . . . and if we're lucky, we just may have a future.

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