Monday, November 08, 2004
( 7:46 AM )
I don't know why I keep reading the letters to the editor in our local paper - they just make me distraught at the depth of ignorance and bigotry that actually exists in Oregon. But I keep reading. I think it's because some small part of me wants to understand how someone could actually conclude :
"With President Bush again in the White House, I am reminded of the corner cop keeping the neighborhood safe.
"Corporate scandal that thrived in the 1990's was brought to account. North Korea, in its nuclear secrecy, was brought to account. Al-Qaida, with its murderous plans, was brought to account. Libya came clean.
"Eastern European countries are eager to show their new embrace of democracy and show us their friendship. Great Britain stands steadfastly with us. Pakistan is a better ally.
"France, Germany and russia have had to squelch their secret financial dealings with Saddam Hussein. Our honorable, courageous soldiers are fighting the terrorists in Iraq instead of in our homeland.
"The recession has been turned around. Most citizens are proud of our country and understand we need to believe in who we are, not bowing to what others think of us.
Thank you, Cop on the Corner." --Mary Fazio Rigert
Dear Ms. Rigert:
What country have you been living in the last four years? What news exactly have you been watching? Never mind, I know the answer to that second question. That people actually believe the above ideas, which are completely detached from reality, is what really worries me about the future of this country.
Corporate scandal has not in any way been brought to account. What changes have you seen made in how corporations must be accountable to their shareholders? In fact, Congress just passed the biggest corporate tax giveaway in history. The people who run the worst of these corporations are the closest friends and biggest donors to this administration, and have even had a hand in determining public policy. That is not "bringing them to account."
North Korea? Where have you been, Ms. Rigert? The Bush administration has completely screwed with North Korea. It pulled out of the talks started by the Clinton administration that put North Korea's missle production on hold. But because of Bush's hubris and unwillingness to work through diplomacy and realistic efforts, North Korea has built even MORE nuclear weapons since he took office. Is this bringing North Korea "to account"??
Al-Qaida? So who was that on that nicely taped video two Fridays ago? Excuse me if I'm wrong, but not only are Al-Qaida's main leaders still alive, well and in charge, more Al-Qaida attacks have occurred since Bush was elected than at any other time. Think you're safer? Why not check those container ships coming in to the Port of Portland every day to reassure yourself.
Libya? The Bush administration loves to take credit for this, but in fact, the Brits and other western countries had been working with and negotiating with Libya for years. The Bush administration had nothing to do with that except to take the credit.
That you take solace in the "friendship" of Eastern European countries (most of whom, if they had any, are now withdrawing their troops from Iraq), or the "steadfastness" of Britan (where Tony Blair is about to lose his job and 90% of the citizens of that country hate George Bush and are against the war in Iraq), or that Pakistan is a "better ally" (who has provided aid and comfort to the Taliban as its rebuilt its forces and has continued to foment its nuclear power in conflict with India) shows that you are clinging to straws that are not only based on falsity, but will provide you no real safety if you depend on them.
As for the recession, I'll be curious to see how you feel about it once China completely disinvests and the dollar crashes against the euro.
Ms. Rigert, you are indeed happy and comfortable in your safe little world where Fox News tells you how good things are going. I don't know how long people like you can live on a stack of lies, but one thing is for sure. Our country can't sustain them for long. No empire can sustain democracy, and no democracy can sustain a rickety foundation of lies. I'd rather you join us in the reality-based community than continue to believe these lies. But meanwhile, I will be redoubling my efforts to make sure the truth is out there somewhere, for those of us who prefer it.