"Our politics are broken" Senator Barack Obama told the thousands crammed into Washington Square Park. A fact that most of us already knew. Unfortunately, that's not all that's broken. Students are being tased for asking questions of their leaders. Our Country arrogantly insults adversarial world leaders. In Congress, the US House voted against free speech/press and the Senate voted for a possible backdoor into another war. It's getting easier and easier to see just how broken things are.
Neither john kerry nor anyone else in the auditorium moved to help a student while he screamed as "security" man handled and then tased him for asking about 2004 voter suppression, kerry's membership in the Skull and Bones Society at Yale and the IMPEACHment of george bush. Not even a "STOP!" from the Senator who once stood up to His leaders in an attempt to end an unjust war. Just a barely audible "i'd like to answer the question." Why expect anything more from one of the many toothless elected officials who sit in Our Halls of Congress? A vote against MoveOn.org?!?!?!?! Never mind free speech, freedom of the press, and the fact that NY Times, Inc. can put whatever ad in their paper they want. Let's talk about faux news insulting the generals who are speaking out against the little tyrant in the White House. How about the inaction of Congress on the infamous "swiftboaters"? Better yet let's have a vote condemning blackwater for mowing down civilians in Iraq (the pentagon just gave them a new contract) . Or condemning Halliburton and the countless other companies moving their corporations, and the little taxes they pay, to foreign countries. How about a vote on reducing the troops in Iraq? Oh wait...
Last week Congress had three votes that damn near sent me through the roof. One was the anti-moveon.org legislation. The second was on the amendment proposed by Senator Levin (one of the few with balls in Our legislature) "To provide for a reduction and transition of United States forces in Iraq". It received a vote of 47 to 47. That's right. Six Senators didn't vote. I've written them all and await their form letters. The democrats won in 2006, because We the People wanted a Change in policy in Iraq, not more political eggshell walking. US soldier and Iraqi civilian deaths are down in September to a level not seen since... last year. This is a good thing. But after 4 and a half years, the lives of 4,800+ soldiers, and $450,000,000,000.00, it's too little, too late. As Senator Joe Biden (another with huevos) recently put it, "We shouldn't be there".
Now for the next war We shouldn't Start. Iran says they have started a nuclear program (no missiles yet). Reason for sanctions? Surgical missile strikes? War? Sure, as soon as the United States lets the UN inspectors into all of Our military and weapon production facilities, and We get rid of Our 10,000 nuclear warheads. But then people argue that "Iran's brand has been found on weapons in Iraq". Well, I bet Russia's brand can be found too, and saudi arabia's and, that's right, Ours. Remember we were backing saddam against Iran, back when he was using chemical weapons on them. I wonder where he got those? Iran's president ahmadinejad came to the US recently to speak at the UN. I guess it used to make sense that the world peace keeping organization was in Our country. The world leader wasn't allowed to travel more than 25 miles from the UN, was not allowed to pay his respects at "ground zero" (Remember the candle light vigils in Tehran after 9/11 ?), and was refused a meeting with bush. Our failure in chief gave a speech with barely a mention of the war he started in Iraq or the the one he, and his, want to start in Iran. At least he didn't mispronounce anything. The phonetically spelled out speech turned out to be a good idea after all. Even crazy border wall builder pat buchanan asks "Does this generation possess the gravitas to lead the world?" in his piece "Infantile Nation".
There was a time when leaders had the courage to meet with and talk to Our adversaries, as well as Our allies. Nixon went to Russia as they were arming Vietnam. He met with mass murdering mao. Eisenhower met with kruschev. And these adversaries had committed actual documented atrocities. Einstein once said "Force attracts men of low morality". It takes courage and principle to use diplomacy with adversaries. Think of the school yard. It's what comes to my mind with all the name calling going on. What does a bully do when frustrated by an argument he is either not winning or is over his head? Does he think? Does he discuss? Take pause? No, he punches his way to victory. Argument ended, but of course not resolved. The jackals that have run this Country for the last six are dying for a reason to throw the first punch.
"Change does not happen from the top down. It happens from the bottom up." Senator and hopeful presidential hopeful Barack Obama in Washington Square Park last week.
"Childrens do learn" president and former Yale cheerleader george bush junior speaking about his no child left behind program.
A quick Follow up:
It's nice to see people are reading these things from time to time. A few friends have responded to Monday's "Broken (Where have all the balls gone?)" and I would like to just clear a couple things up. It was not my intention to "compare" the US to Iran. I was just calling some attention to the hypocrisy of having the largest nuclear arsenal in the world, and saying other countries can't have a nuclear weapon. We are obviously a freer nation. I'm an example of that freedom. We are not a nation lead by religious zealots who believe that their god is the only god and all non-believers should be smited, or is it smote? God Bless America! I am also no fan of the Iranian President (I'm not really a fan of any foreign leader), and it was not my intention to defend him. My critique was with the lack of respect towards a world leader with whom we should be diplomatically trying to avoid war. I can't help it, I think war should be the last resort. Not to mention how good diplomacy seems to be working in ridding North Korea of their nuclear facitilties. That being said I did a little research.
Did you know that the words "wipe Israel off the map" never came out of his mouth and is just an interesting/propagandic translation of something he was quoting? I did find a convincing page on his involvement in the taking of US hostages in 1979 (I don't really see the resemblance past the beard and hair, but it is pretty damn compelling). I wonder if that means reagan negotiated with him for their release.