I am dropping out of SauceVoice for the duration of this entry, with profound apologies to all the radical one-way-or-no-way journalers on the planet.
For those of you who find discussions of War, Politics, Government, Secularity of Same or just generally see disagreements voiced by citizens with their president as upsetting? Please? Accept my apology and come back tomorrow. Understand that I grew up in Vermont. Those of us from the Green Mountain State have always seen town-meeting-style review of policy as a necessity. We’ll return you to the frolic of parenting and badly done boy introspection then. Because I am about to try to publicly discuss all of the above with far more calm and aplomb than I actually feel at this juncture.
For the five readers that hung around… know that this is partly about parenting…as I am the male ONLY parent of a three-months-from-age-six-young-man who is deeply loved. Being thoughtful enough to have considered the prospect of having brought a child onto this planet and all the various implications to that kid and the planet is largely the reason that my then-wife had to work to get me to agree to having a kid. But, I did. And love him I do. In spades. I didn’t go into becoming a parent on an “oops, the condom broke, or as a happy accident.” We practiced birth control as a near religious experience during our happily married time—even to the extent of my being responsible for the daily dealing of the pill. And as a completely silly person, I did laughingly treat it as communion (sometimes having her kneel while I placed the pill on her tongue and generally being goofy.) But then I was better at remembering such. And thankfully, in all the hundreds of times two-highly-charged-and-libido-driven humans might have made a mistake, the pill worked properly…as I am near certain that on the first try or first weekend of trying…along came my marvelous son. I couldn’t be luckier.
But part of having a son is the list of intangible fears that one can do nothing about. These could be random things that any attempts at being a good parent are meaningless against. My parenting, perhaps, could even be negated in toto by his being wiped off the planet by someone’s bent and incredibly-fucked perceptions of religious doctrine (ala the past and possible future terrorism that has hit the U.S. directly.)
Know that I have considered all of this. I am a thinking individual. I am a person who has exorcised/exercised his franchise in every possible way since having turned eighteen, and even worked for political campaigns before the age of majority.
Know that I have served the United States in various capacities and continue to do so in others. I have spent an enormous amount of time in Beirut and its harbor. I was on the first ship in at the time to protect that area and the Palestinians who were at risk from an Israeli incursion, and return a favor that had protected U S citizens some years earlier by the same. Beirut was the first place that I as a single individual got shot at…for no reason other than being an American and being there. I helped to get Arafat and his folks to North Yemen. I was one of the invaders of a little island called Grenada. In both cases I have seen and been part of doctrine that has undermined the autonomy of regions, and that I partially disagreed with…and yet, I had made a strong vow to our government/my government to honor its command, and thus was there and did my best. I was on the last ship out of Beirut after, just possibly, having assisted in the destabilization of the Eastern Med for the coming decades...
The fellow who is our president today is there through what could uncharitably be called a stolen election. He did not win the popular vote. The Electoral College’s swing vote that put him in office was in the hands of his brother. These were and are very troubling events for thinking Americans. He is at his very best, a person who has little to no grasp of the rest of the world. He was an embarrassment to a fair bit of the population of his former home state of Texas as part of the savings and loan debacle--and a rather long list of other mistake-ridden moments. He (in all likeliness through his handlers) has forwarded policies that (internally in the U.S.) are hinged upon the interests of some multinationals and not her people. Those that know him well are fairly certain he is not the smartest member of his family by a long shot.
During the tenure of his administration our country has been fomenting what at-best could be considered a single-minded set of postures that have consistently and (with apparent-minor-regard-for-world-opinion) visibly thumbed their nose at International Law.
In the aftermath of the terrible and unconscionable occurrences of nine-one-one his administration had the chance to actually use NATO as a group effort in war--for the first time in history against a rogue nation and the protectors of an organization of such hate that everyone was WITH US. Instead, we went it alone. The word God is now being used by a president as a method of gaining momentum, and continually intimates that HE is behind us in this...and from a secular nation this is an abomination. Jingoism is rampant. Terms like Homeland and New World Order are bandied about. I would have hoped that that kind of terminology had been killed/died with folks like Mussolini, Hitler, Stalin, and Tojo. But now they are coming from us, the U.S.
At the end of a time when the world was nearly overtaken by those who put their MIGHT forward as RIGHT…The League of Nations was formed. The League begat the United Nations. We in America offered to host this world body. We stood deeply behind her reasons for existence. We strove to be a voice and a leader in International Law.
Today we are at risk of becoming a rogue state ourselves; a nation/renegade OUTSIDE International Law; a country that could well be skirting the chance of being told it has committed War Crimes.
Sadly, we appear to be on a collision course with history today. To survive politically, George W. Bush has to go to war and do so decisively and quickly. To my intense dismay this appears to already be a fait accompli.
Probably 80 percent of my news reading is done in the world press. Getting an even-handed view of anything before making any form of major decision is always my number one priority. I am seeing some very troubling signs.
Past travel out of this country had me embarrassed for more social and insular reasons. We were exporting the most popular media on the planet, and Baywatch being such made me cringe. As a follow on, Jerry Springer standing for the only real view that outsiders saw of our country was sad, funny, and appalling. Today the same world that made those shows popular and watched them as representations of a nation I love has turned to watching The Shrub (as former governor of Texas, Anne Richards called the gentleman she also referred to as The Stupid Little Bush.)
The name George W. Bush is becoming an epithet that is spat out by the best/most knowledgeable and literate journals of world opinion with a depth of utter repugnance that has never been seen pointed at any American president before—and I hope never to see again.
All of this will have a massive impact on the future of the United States.
Had we indicted Saddam in the World Courts as a War Criminal, even his fiscal cronies the French would have had to stand up and note that YES… He gassed his own populace. Yes, he is a madman who hurts his own people on a level nearly unsurpassed since Stalin or Pol Pot. Yes. Even in absentia he is a pariah.
But, instead, we had to take this Unilateral Doctrine of Stupidity that seems to be a sad metaphor for who Dubya actually is…
Damn HIM And HIS Handlers for daring to take America down this path. We are going to pay with our reputation (as it was in the balance even before this considering Clinton’s laughable tenure and willingness to do similar with the bombing of Kosovo, and on.) We are probably going to pay with more hatred toward America and more (as I have said before, PLEASE NO?!?) terrorism targeted at the bull in the china shop of the world stage. And we are going to pay through the nose with deficit spending that this man is using to prop up his extranationally and internally failing administration in hopes of coming out looking decisive in a quick-strike-style war with Irag.
Perhaps worse, we are letting a Clear and Present Danger of planet shuddering proportions go along its merry/crazy way with the building of nuclear arms and their launch platforms, and if North Korea is not as big a propagator/seller of illicit weaponry to rogue groups as those dealt out by the Arms Markets of Belgium and China, I’ll eat my damned hat. If you think that North Korea's bent dictator would avoid accepting cash from the Bin Laden's of the world, you may be dangerously and radioactively wrong.
And you know what?
I don’t have any answers.
The ideals of freedom, liberty, and justice (including the justice dictated by law and order, and even the international laws that we helped to craft) are withering away. And the world is watching. And we are sucking harder than we have ever sucked. We have just passed hind tit and are headed for the position of asshole.