By Reggie, Contributing Editor, TvNewsLIES.org
Imagine being on the brink of adolescence in the year 2000, - only minimally aware of the world around you, and really not into the foibles of politics or politicians. Life was what it was, and you took it pretty much for granted. In fact, for you and other young teens in 2000; things seemed pretty good and getting better, because you were growing up in the richest and most powerful nation in the whole damn world.
It wasn’t a perfect place, for sure, but it had potential. There were wrongs to be righted, but there was real hope that things would only get better as the years went on. All in all, in the year 2000, being a kid in America was a good thing to be.
Now imagine that it is seven years later and you have just grown into adulthood, and you gradually realize that in a frighteningly short a time your entire world has become unraveled. In just seven years, everything good that once was there is gone, and your country has come apart at the seams before your very eyes.
Really think about these last seven years and recoil at what it actually means to have come of age in Bush’s America.
To assist your reality check, here’s a short list the mind-boggling transformations that have become standard operating procedure in the good old USA. Read them carefully:*
* The outcome of an a presidential election can be decided by a handful of Supreme Court Justices rather than the people.
* A President of the United States need not speak honestly, coherently or intelligibly when not reading from a prepared text. It is acceptable for the President to be reviled around the globe and to be unable to travel anywhere without extraordinary protection from huge protests against his visit and his policies.
* Where it was once highly respected, the United States of America is now the most feared nation on Earth. The US can murder more civilians than all the world’s terrorists combined and claim its actions are meant to liberate people.
* The major tools of executive governance are lies, secrecy and the abuse of executive privilege. These methods are implemented under the guise of national security in order to thwart any and all departmental oversight.
* Voting machines can be privately owned by members of one political party, and need not have paper trails for verifying results. It is irrelevant to the election process that voting machines have been shown to be easily hacked, and that voting irregularities have prevented many thousands of people from voting or having their votes counted.
* Elected leaders and their cohorts can lie with impunity to the American people, to the Congress, to the UN and to the world. There is no oversight; there are no checks and balances, and no mainstream media to act as watchdogs for the people.
* The President can quietly override the will of the people by the use of signing statements. He can claim the authority to disobey hundreds of laws enacted by Congress, thereby asserting the power to set aside any statute when it conflicts with his personal interpretation of the Constitution.
* The 2001 attack on American soil need not be fully investigated, and the causes of the attacks as explained by the President must be believed without question.
* Any questions raised about that attack, and all the evidence exposing the anomalies of the official story of what happened are nothing more than ˜conspiracy theories” raised by deranged people or those who sympathize with terrorists.
* Pre-emptive and preventive attacks on other nations that include use of nuclear weapons are legal tools of American foreign policy.
* Wars can be waged against benign nations that have never harmed the US or posed any threat whatever to Americans or their allies.
* The reasons for invading and occupying non-threatening nations must not be challenged, even if they change dozens of times throughout the years of waging such a war.
* Soldiers can be sent into an immoral and unjust war with little planning and inadequate armor, and unending redeployment. At the same time, veterans’ health care is unimportant and can be shamefully administered.
* Terror threats can be fabricated at will to keep the public in a state of constant fear. Creating an illusory ˜war on terror’ can be used to gain public support for a costly and failing war that reaps huge profits for private contractors.
* Americans and others living in the US can be spied upon without probable cause and without the acquisition of warrants in defiance of existing FISA laws.
* Anyone can be declared an enemy combatant at the whim of the administration and can be confined indefinitely without being charged or having access to counsel.
* Torturing detainees in violation of the Geneva Convention is acceptable, and if in doubt, rendition to countries that will do the torturing is a viable alternative.
* There need be no accountability for anyone in or connected to the White House for inept performance, for disastrous decisions, or for criminal acts such as lying under oath, obstructing justice or revealing the identity of a covert CIA operative.
* Martial law can be declared at the discretion of the White House, should it deem any emergency situation to exist. By official directive, in such an emergency, all powers can be taken from the legislative and judicial branches and transferred to the President.
* Anyone who participates in or supports actions that are determined to interfere with the waging of war in Iraq can have all personal assets confiscated without due process. It is not necessary for the person involved to know which organization or group is considered such interference.
* The use of a stem cell from a discarded embryo in a Petri dish for medical research is immoral. The death of hundreds of thousands of people in a senseless war of choice is moral.
* Family values translate into rejecting a woman’s the right to privacy and opposing marriage between people of the same sex.
* Empirical science can be invalidated by biblical precepts.. Global warming and evolution are junk science.
…and on and on and on and on.
Do you really need more examples to ponder? I think not.
The distinction is clear: coming of age in Bush’s America means living with a new set of principles and practices that are diametrically opposed to those upon which this nation was founded.
What is even worse is that anyone who was a child in this country before 2000 will probably not recall or understand how great a nation we were before the Bush/PNAC takeover. It is not unreasonable for that person to believe that the government in power today is carrying on business as usual, and that this is how it should be.
Even sadder is the notion that it will take generations to undo the damage, and these same young Americans may never, ever experience life in a country of laws and Constitutional integrity.
For all of these reasons, a great responsibility falls on the shoulders of those of us who, as adults, witnessed the coup that took place and understand the devastation that followed. It is up to us to educate and inform those who came of age in Bush’s America of the desperate and immediate need to reclaim the nation we once knew.
Each day that passes brings new revelations of how far this administration will go to usurp more and more power at the expense of its people. Each day that passes reveals more lies, more disdain for the rule of law, more contempt for Constitutional checks and balances and more plans to enrich the military industrial complex that has joined forces with the White House.
But mainstream media coverage of these travesties is all but non-existent, save for the forceful commentary of Keith Olbermann and the scathing satire of Jon Stewart. That simply will not do.
One of these days the people in power will reach a point of no return. On that day there will be no way remaining to restore the republic to its former self and we the people will have no legal recourse for change. And that time is not far off.
A generation ago, the young people of America brought their government to its knees after ten bloody years in Vietnam. They had come of age as another senseless war was being waged, and as their precious blood was being sought to continue to the carnage.
This time around, they are far too silent, and far too removed from immediate consequence. That also will not do.
What will do, however, has got start with the dissemination of truth about a government that has suppressed so much of it. It has to continue with a rejection of the mainstream media for their unabashed complicity in everything that has happened. And it has to be followed up by information networking among the millions of young people for whom the Internet has become a standard means of communication.
The real news is out there for the asking: TvNewsLIES.org, Whatreallyhappened.com, Buzzflash.com, Truthout.com, Huffingtonpost.com, Thinkprogress.org, Commondreams.org and other web sites post important stories that seriously affect the lives of so many people every single day. Mike Malloy broadcasts every weekday evening via NovaMRadio.com. Bring these vital news sources to the attention of those who still are oblivious to what is going on.
Knowledge is power; ignorance is no longer an option. It is the only legal weapon we have at our disposal. Without it, millions upon millions of young men and women will remain frighteningly unaware of the dictatorship that is being created step by step all around them because there is no open opposition to its progress.
Without information in the hands of the public, those in power get a free ride. The young men and women of America must wake up. They have to play an active and visible role in resisting the creeping death of democracy in their own country.
If not, they will pay a very painful and irreversible price for coming of age in Bush’s America.