Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Responding to the responders

What follows is a comment that was posted in response to my post on September 11. As is my policy, if someone is going to take the time to register or to sign their name to a comment, I will run it - provided it isn't spam. The author of this comment apparently didn't believe me and submitted it three times over the course of the day. I'm terribly sorry I didn't approve it sooner, but I was with my wife's family which was still mourning the loss of her father.
Using today of all days to (accurately) describe the choking out of our civil liberties is like picking the moment before climax to hand your husband a breath mint or to ask your wife how long it has been since she shaved her legs. Bad timing. Very bad timing. 
And why is it "bad timing?" The tragedy on 9/11 was used by those in power as a justification for their assault on the Bill of Rights. If I'm such a bad person for pointing that out, what does that say about George W. Bush and his cronies who launched their war on freedom on the backs of those who died in New York, Washington, DC and Pennsylvania?

"Patriotic hoo-hah?" Why is today more significant?
It was the moment in modern American history when the nation began to understand what the world is like for many other people. It was the moment when we lost our global sense of safety. We couldn't ward off this danger by not going out at night or carrying pepper spray or a firearm. It was always the reality, but it was when the perception "bubble" burst.
Ever since the first Persian Gulf war we have been subjected to propaganda that we must "support our troops" regardless of our feelings about their mission. I've never bought into that. The entire movement to "support our troops" was nothing more than a political ploy to brainwash the public into buying into the government's illegal war.
All of the contrived patriotic fervor associated with 9/11 is a tool to paint those that oppose the government's assault on our freedom as being anti-American. It is designed to foster a culture of blind acceptance of the sound bites spewed by politicians and those waging war on the Bill of Rights.
There were hours of unanswered calls to loved ones, not knowing if they were okay, incinerated, or gasping for breath as they were crushed to death under tons of rubble. We watched people jump to their death on television. 
No one deserves that. To say that the hundreds of first responders and civilians that died got their "comeuppance" in the same post that you say to pray for them is the same hypocritical double talk in which the government engages. More importantly, it is cruel.
I never said the police officers and firemen who rushed into the towers got their comeuppance. What I said was that a nation whose government had thrown its power around without regard to the consequences got a taste of the wanton destruction it had rained down on other parts of the world.
You do not know who has and who hasn't shed tears for the tragic loss of human life in other parts of the world. To state that no one has is a sad and inaccurate portrayal of the American people.
It might be a sad portrayal - but it is far from inaccurate. Just this past week we got to see the spectacle of people cheering the fact that under Rick Perry's watch, the State of Texas has murdered over 240 men and women -- and we know that at least one of them, Cameron Willingham, was innocent.
Not everyone has a law degree, the technical savvy to know how to blog, or even an understanding of today's technology. It is hard to understand the complexities of the socio-political status. Just because people are not as educated and well-read as you are does not mean their hearts do not ache for tragedies all over the world, even if they do not understand the role the U.S. has played in them.
Many of those same people have begun to understand the philosophy of "Live free or die" and are trying to figure out how to put it into action.
If that were true we wouldn't have people cheering on the government as it has emasculated the Fourth Amendment. If that were true the public never would have accepted what goes on in airports across this country. If that were true the citizens of the United States would have stood up and called for the release of the detainees in Guantanamo who were held for years without being charged with a crime. If that were true the people would be up in arms at the notion that those accused of being responsible for the attacks would be tried in military courts behind closed doors rather than in a public courtroom.
You and your family will not be pulled from your home tonight and tortured and killed for your anti-government post. (In other parts of the world you may be.) If you were, people would revolt. It is not as sophisticated as you wish people were--but it is in the American psyche that civil liberties are paramount.
How I wish that were so, but too many of our fellow Americans have decided that they would rather sacrifice their civil liberties, and the civil liberties of those around them, in exchange for an empty promise of security from the government.
Tomorrow, I will return to my typical criticism of my government and their policies. I will promote the importance of keeping government in check and fighting on every front to restore and preserve the unique liberties that Americans have. 
Today, I will remember and honor. I will remember the people on United 93 who facing their own deaths, diverted the plane away from the intended target. I will remember those that were lost and the survivors that were left behind. I will honor the men and women that selflessly ran into a crumbling nightmare.
Let us never forget that a young man is more likely to be beaten or killed by the police that he is to die in a terrorist attack. Let us not forget that the police have stood by and watched as people fighting for civil rights were murdered across the South. Don't forget that in Alabama, firefighters turned their hoses on women and children who were protesting peacefully.
The police have long been used as a tool of aggression against those seeking to challenge the "order" of society. 9/11 doesn't change that.
Look on the bright side. People who have/are dealing with the pain of that day, regardless of what it is for them, will be drinking today. They will get in their cars to drive home. They will be arrested.
It's good for business.
I will remain vigilant against all assaults on our civil liberties and freedom - regardless of what day it is.

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