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I've plowed through quite a bit of material recently here on Daily Kos and even a couple books, including "War and Peace" that has dominated my consciousness over the past month due to Tolstoy's writing of the absurdity of writing history from the perspective of the "leaders" or the "heroes."

Understanding what happens in a society, and why a nation turns out the way that it does - and ultimately, what brings men to kill their fellow creatures, is an extremely complex issue.

So why did America go to war? Surely... we can't just blame it all on Bush...

Or can we? I don't believe so.

In a way, this administration was in a position to do some serious misleading and fear mongering. They shamelessly took advantage of a moment of time where passions in this country were running high in order to push an agenda they'd wanted for years prior... then they told us to go back to what we were doing, not to think about it, and in that way we would "win" because we would not let "them" alter our way of life.

It was a unique idea - the less we gave up in regards to our commercial, superficial lifestyles the more we were winning. The more diamonds, nice cars, and trips to Disney World (as Bush recommended) the better. The cool part is that it was an easy way to WIN. And somehow the administration and their many supporters were able to convince the American people that this was the most logical solution to what happened on 9/11. And our profit-based media saw in it a safe way to continue making the big bucks... why possibly destabilize the situation when there is such a clear opportunity to make money in the way the administration set out for them, to just go along with it - America FIGHTS TERROR! So easy...

There is no simple way to explain what happened... to point out what the Bush Administration said or did as the "reason" is akin to my pointing to the wheels moving on the car as the reason it is in motion, or someone else pointing to hot gas coming from the exhaust as the reason, or even a small child who says God pushes the car (as Bush might say, God put him into his position as president... and GOD is the one orchestrating our history, all fitting in harmoniously with his divine plan.)

But we know the many parts of the machine acting together cause its motion. It is important that we not lose sight of this, that we not levy all the blame simply on certain figureheads rather than where it truly lies... in ourselves. It is the sum of all its parts that allow for the car to move, just as it is the sum of all people working to achieve their general ends that allowed for us to be put into the abhorrent situation that we now find ourselves. That has put this country in a very real and dangerous position on the world stage that could possibly have already tipped us over the edge.

So how did we not recognize that this man was shameless from the start? That he had no real principles, considering that by the end of his first term he had completely acted counter to everything he campaigned on? Through the slogan of "compassionate" conservative he made the pledge to help the poor and to improve education. We have seen that his policies towards the poor are a complete joke, and he and his ilk have set environmental standards back years. He said that the United States must not engage in Nation Building, although that is precisely what he is doing in Iraq. If Bush had claimed he wanted to go invade Iraq when he was initially running for president, he would have been seen as someone that just wanted to stir shit up and cause trouble and never would have had a chance of winning. Hell, he didn't didn't win the popular vote of the people of the United States the first time around regardless, and barely did the second time - with many reports of potential voter fraud throughout - plus a terribly run campaign by his opponent, John Kerry, that failed to point out the many morally depraved aspects of Bush's character.

The Bush Administration is just one small group of men. They could not have done what they did had it not been for the mindset of the people themselves. Views of the administration's top leaders on the middle east were very clearly stated... they were neo-cons, and their Project for the New American Century made very clear what they wanted to do in the middle east. And yet, everyone thought it was perfectly alright to let these men lead us into war in this region without questioning their motives. No one of significance seemed to point out this fact, and everyone trusted for no reason at all. Sure there were those of us who acted in opposition from the start, but to no avail - as the machine was already in motion.

I think it's important that we study this machine. The majority of American's do not like to take the road less traveled. We enjoy things to be easy and fast, not challenging. Or at least that sentiment seems to win in the struggle of opposing forces....

Why is it that we are more willing to give up our rights than we are willing to give up our "things?" Why did everyone say "okay" to the president when he said to just keep on shopping? Why didn't we say "woah, we were attacked - and you don't want us to do ANYTHING? To make NO SACRIFICES?" when our history makes it clear that when men truly fight for "freedom" it inherently means the sacrifice of that which makes us comfortable? World War II, the Civil Rights Movement, the struggle of Mahatma Ghandi...  there was nothing COMFORTABLE about these struggles.

And yet, we listened to George Bush and forgot our Martin Luther Kings, our FDR's, and our Mahatma Ghandi's.

We must do what is necessary now to instill in every American the principles of what Freedom truly does mean. The Patriot Act still is not being protested by every American in the country, as it should be. This problem STILL EXISTS.

It is at a very wrong time in our history. We have too much power, too much possibility for good, to allow ourselves to get so comfortable with our own lives that we don't pay any attention to what's going on around us. 9/11 supposedly changed things, made it clear to people that there was an outside world... but even though it did give us a glimpse into the reality of our situation, we had conveniently elected a man that wouldn't challenge us to take that other road... no, we started to veer off course and he pushed us right back into our old direction... back to Disney World.

Originally posted to inspectorgadget on Sat Mar 24, 2007 at 03:59 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  For the Money (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    subtropolis, marykk

    No other reason at all, we need to remember what Ike said, in his farewell address to the Nation

    But now we can no longer risk emergency improvisation of national defense; we have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions. Added to this, three and a half million men and women are directly engaged in the defense establishment. We annually spend on military security more than the net income of all United States corporations.

    Beware the defense sector. Eisenhower's Farewell Address to the Nation

  •  Very thoughtful and thought-provoking diary (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    subtropolis

    It is important to consider how the collective "WE" have enabled our country to get under the control of 'Bush & Co.'  Firstly, it is important to remember that 50% of that "WE" has been very opposed for a very long time to what has been going on.  So what accounts for the 50% who have gone along with the Bush Regime?

    Amongst many other factors, on a psychological level, the rise of fundamentalism world-wide and certainly in this country, must be considered in contributing to the mind-set to allow this 'take-over' to happen.  Fundamentalism gives a psychological world view based on a parent-child relationship to authority, where the main virtue is blind obedience and groupthink.  (Excellent book on this is "Stages of Faith" by Fowler.) Obviously, this is the mindset of the religious right, and was cynically exploited by Bush & Co. (see David Kuo's book.)  It is exploited by the 'father' -religious/political figure, "telling" the "good child" how to vote and how to think about political issues and what is moral and what is not.

    Fundamentalists do not believe in diversity, since their basic approach is based on a black/white - good/evil world view and they believe in everyone thinking and doing the same thing.  They also have a messianic element in their belief system which encourages them to 'convert at the point of some sword or other.' Ergo, all the hate stuff.  People who depend on the 'parent/child' structure for their life feel very threatened and angry when anyone expresses a different opinion or even challenges their world view with facts.  It is more important to them to twist the facts than to doubt their world view.  

    We MUST find a way to talk to this part of the population that bypasses their defenses.

    For the rest of us, life is getting harder everyday.  Who has not had some struggles with healthcare, health, insurance, pensions, retirement funds, employment, hurricanes, layoffs, etc.?  Coupled with the feeling of helplessness in the face of the inaccessibility of power, people escape from those things with which they can't cope ...

    One big RX for this is to find support (such as in this group,) and to make one's point of view known to as many people as we can and to take action when possible.  

    The tide is turning; a new day is dawning.

  •  The administration took advantage of 9/11 (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    subtropolis

    and turned it into a world war rather than what it should have been. Afganistan plus a police action. Look at who has benefitted: the Whitehouse and Pentagon Neocons.

  •  50%, but what i found incomprehensible (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LeftOverAmerica, WayneNight

    were the huge positive polling numbers the puppet received after the attacks on NYC & DC. Surely, the nation was in a state of shock; that can explain some of it. But an overwhelming majority of US citizens supported that buffoon, with his pathetic soundbites ("keep shoppping!") and ridiculous, staged photo-ops. That this support continued into the build-up to the invasion of Iraq—calculated to take advantage of the rage against those other fundamentalists, the dark-skinned ones—was enough for me to show that the US psyche, as a whole, has become dangerously skewed, infantilised,  and is rooted in a fantasy world where any rational introspection is to be avoided at all costs.

    I cannot put into words the terrible, sinking feeling i had, immediately after those attacks, that the US was under the command of these dangerously incompetent, vile people. Circumstances since then have borne out my concern.

    When are you people going to march these fuckers out of office? Please tell me (and all of us, in the rest of the world) that it will be soon.

    "Here they come, marching into American sunlight." – Don Delillo, Mao II

    by subtropolis on Sat Mar 24, 2007 at 09:35:09 AM PDT

    •  I think the reaction most... (0+ / 0-)

      ...Americans tend to have when something like an attack occurs is to rally around their leaders.

      Also, while Bush's immediate response was bad and somewhat inchoherent, some of what he did later - such as giving a speech from Ground Zero - came off very well.

      Whatever the reasons, a better president could have used that popularity to make the country a better place.  Hell... not just the country, the entire world, as almost everyone was behind us.  If we had a leader who was committed to a wortwhile agenda, great things would have happened.

      Instead, we got stuck with this.

  •  "American Exceptionalism" (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jon Meltzer, maracucho, gatorcog

    Is an underlying problem. It's a disease that affects Conservatives and Liberals alike.

    Hence, the state of denial; I read it in comments here every time. Even Markos has an attitude Americans know what's best for America (and by extension, the world).

    Americans would like to believe they are somehow superior and immune to the laws of gravity, but this is mistaken. America is no longer the "City on the Hill", time to grow-up and face the truth. There is much to be gained in the process.

    "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results" - Albert Einstien

    by koNko on Sat Mar 24, 2007 at 09:52:21 PM PDT

  •  Is There a Tip Jar? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cottagerose

    Thanls for a good post.

    "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results" - Albert Einstien

    by koNko on Sat Mar 24, 2007 at 09:54:52 PM PDT

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