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Let me say right at the beginning that I believe in equal opportunity regime change — depose Saddam, and impeach Bush. The world would then be a better place.
One thing is clear: after all these thousands of years, the Golden Rule still hasn’t caught on very well. In the latest installment of our ongoing human tragedy, we have millions of Iraqis — half of them under the age of 15 — being held hostage by a ruthless dictator.
This dictator is confronted by the most powerful empire the world has ever seen — an empire that has been taken over by a well-organized group of militant, fundamentalist hard-liners. These hard-liners are none other than the military-industrial complex — which has finally taken over, just as Dwight Eisenhower warned in 1961. The hard-liners have geopolitical ambitions that include keeping America and the rest of the world dependent on the oil they control.
The hard-liners’ plan for Iraq involves murdering thousands of innocent Iraqis while destroying what’s left of their infrastructure. Somehow, this doesn’t resonate with a lot of people. We would prefer to rescue the Iraqi people from Saddam without annihilating them, and without empowering Bush’s world domination agenda.
Thanks in large measure to the Internet, the Bush regime has encountered an overwhelming amount of worldwide resistance in recent months. Even in the United States, where public discourse — especially on TV — is tightly controlled by pro-Bush corporations, a substantial number of Americans are adamantly opposed to the Bush agenda. We oppose not only Bush’s war, but the entire direction in which he is taking our country.
The millions of anti-war protestors who have taken to the streets are but the tip of an anti-Bush iceberg. There are many millions of rock-solid, patriotic, mainstream Americans who have never protested, but who don’t appreciate being marginalized and steamrollered by the Bush administration’s corrupt and dangerous policies. It’s amazing how much fear and loathing George W. Bush has created in only two years.
Most Americans long ago internalized Teddy Roosevelt’s advice, “speak softly and carry a big stick.” We are weary of an administration that struts and swaggers and alienates the entire world. We are embarrassed and outraged to be represented by such people.
We are weary of having our country cold-bloodedly divided and manipulated by fear, which the Bush administration quite consciously uses as a management tool. This is not the kind of country we want to live in.
We are weary of being called “traitors” by the poisonous Limbaugh-type hate jocks of the far right. We love our country as least as much as anybody else does.
We are deeply concerned by the erosion of our Constitutional rights, and by future plans — such as Patriot Act II — to continue this process. Terrorism can be effectively combated without abridging our Constitutional rights.
We are weary of American troops being used as pawns in Bush’s geopolitical chess game. Bush expects us to say, “We support our troops, therefore we support the war.” This is false logic. How about: SUPPORT OUR TROOPS, BRING THEM HOME.
We are weary of the money-changers and warmongers running our country. It is time to cast them out — Democrats as well as Republicans, local and state as well as federal. The looting has gone on long enough.
Americans are hungry for a positive vision. We want to leave a habitable planet for our children and grandchildren. We want renewable energy, so that we can finally be free from the curse of oil. We want to have fair and honest elections for a change. We want a country with a level playing field for rich and poor alike. A country where we aren’t manipulated to hate and fear each other.
Things can go either way. Do we follow the path of fear, death, and planetary destruction that is presently being imposed on us? Or do we change directions to a path in which “liberty and justice for all” actually means something? Will a critical mass of Americans see fit to bestir themselves about this? It’s up to you. Speak out — loudly and constantly. Never back down, and never shut up. The time is now.
GORDON SOLBERG is a beekeeper who lives near Radium Springs, NM. A onetime planetary astronomer, Carl Sagan was his editor. You can e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His website is www/zianet.com/earth