Sunday, January 8, 2012

Lies, lies, lies.

America lives by lies and self-deception.
People will repeat over and over that our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan were fighting to protect American freedoms. But Saddam Hussein did not attack us. We attacked him first in 1991 and again in 2003. What threat is Afghanistan to American freedomcompared to the authors of the USA Patriot Act, or the rabid right-wing groups that try to interfere with women's freedoms, with freedom of speech and expression?
The truth is that these two wars have never made any sense and people would rather believe a glaring falsehood than admit that.
What about Vietnam? Was Communist North Vietnam not a threat to our freedoms? Our Dr. Strangelove, Henry Kissinger, and his ilk wanted to persuade us of that. But history has proven him completely mistaken. Today the former Communist North runs all of Vietnam. But that has not affected your or my freedoms.
United we stand. “
That's another myth that we hold on to for dear life. In recent days we have had distressing evidence of how false that belief is.
Consider the Democrats and the Republicans in Congress who have not been able to agree on hardly anything for several years.
Consider the 20% of American women who, according to a recent government report, have been rapedhalf of them younger than 17. Or consider the 25% of American women who have been seriously assaulted by husbands, boyfriends, or other family members.
The day after the news got out of this massive and sustained assault on women, the NY Times reported a Justice Department probe into the to conduct of Joe Arpaio, Sheriff of Maricopa County in Arizona. It seems that Sheriff has been conducting a concerted campaign to stop Latino drivers for traffic violations. Latino inmates have been mistreated in jail when they did not speak English. The Sheriff had waged a definite war against Latinos.
At the same time, the Sheriff's Department was lax in pursuing complaints about sexual attacks and rapes, especially those involving Latina women.
Race and gender continue to divide us in fundamental ways. Wars are being fought for reasons that few of us can understand.
America is the richest country in the world.
People keep repeating that one too. But today the government revealed that 50% of all Americans are either below the poverty line or low income. That does not sound like a rich country to me.
Many Americans do not hesitate to say that ours is the greatest country in the world. But that is true only in a fantasy world. In the real world, we have lost control of our government that engages in wars no one understands. Our citizens are divided into groups that try their best to injure the members of other groups. We are living in the midst of a virtual civil war. We are rapidly sliding into poverty.
It is time that we faced the facts. As long as we deceive ourselves into thinking how great things are in America, we will not do anything to solve our problems. Every day that we live in that self deceived fantasy world brings us closer to the day when the myths and self-deceptions are no longer sustainable. But then the time will be long past for solving any of our problems.