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Are Americans Their Own Worst Enemy?
By Horace Coleman
"Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, that his justice cannot sleep forever." Thomas Jefferson, Notes on the State of Virginia.
"My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right." Carl Schurz, Union Army General (Civil War), US Senator [from a speech given in the Senate].
According to our national branding we're "the land of the free and the home of the brave." And "We're #1" except for little things like life span, infant mortality rate and per capita income. We do quite well at calorie consumption, however.
When each of my children was still in the primary grades of their education I told them a condensed version of US history. This country was founded on three things—Indian land, black chattel slavery and white indentured servitude. Yeah, I know; that leaves out the hard work, ingenuity and sacrifices of the settling and founding fathers (women and certain ethnicities didn't do anything of significance, evidently—which is why some people call history his story). I knew they were going to be taught the traditional, conventional myths, glossed over facts and be indoctrinated in school, they were going to have to sort through and figure out things for themselves, which they were quite capable of doing while realizing they had rights and responsibilities.
We've always been a fearful nation. Either it was Indians, the French (or both of them) or the British. Haitians were a bad example, passing on unsettling ideas to our slaves. Labor unions are bad; owners and bosses always do right. We are fearful of various ethnic groups from Europe, Asia or south of the border, and threatened by anyone who's non-Christian and socialist, communist, democrat, liberal, etc. Communist Cuba is an outrage, and wouldn't fail on its own soon enough so we tried an invasion, sabotage and various boycotts and sanctions.
We don't consider ourselves terrorists even though we've interfered with nations in this hemisphere with politics, economics and military force since the Monroe Doctrine. We used our experience in World War I to get our feet muddy and bloody in European and global affairs. We went deeper into European and global affairs during and after World War II and have kept at it ever since.
Now it's illegal aliens (we like cheap labor but not the laborers) and terrorists. We ignore the shenanigans of manipulating Wall Street smoothies, rapacious banks and mortgage firms and the many conniving con artist politicians. We don't really mind that few politicians go to jail and none of the recent financial fraud meisters have been indicted let alone arrested.
We're the planet's most well armed country and its largest arms dealer. We invented new terms and treatments for the international criminals we call terrorists and are so afraid of them that we lock them up indefinitely, offshore of course, after sending them to foreign countries to be tortured so we can keep our hands clean. We kill Americans overseas we identify as terrorists and kidnap anyone we think might be a terrorist but won't try them in the US.
We do all this while knowing God loves us best, because Christian theocracy is superior to Muslim theocracy. And, the entire USA is a shining city on a hill where we'd all be safe if almost every man, woman and child here had a permit to carry a concealed gun.
Too often we don't go to war because we have to. We do it because we're imperialistic and frightened. We tend not to go to war with any nation that's close to being in our weight class, though. We just bully them. The fans in the stands can really get behind our current wars, especially since there are no war taxes to pay for them or a draft to staff them. We know God loves us best and we're still #1!
The only relevant questions are: 1) When will we have an open, full out, class civil war instead of the current charade and 2) Will we grow up before we ruin ourselves into the ground?
Horace Coleman was an Air Force air traffic controller/intercept director in Vietnam (1967-68).