Monday, January 22, 2007


Americans hate bones in their food, they like disposable toilet brushes, and they don't want to see pictures of what's happening in Iraq

Or in Darfur or in Guantanamo. We don't want to see anything unless it's clean, and we want no fuss. Meat and fish are sold under cellophane. You never see a bone or anything that might offend the squeamish. I'm sure that there are many people who never saw a fish bone and don't want to, either.

Similarly, as long as we have peace at home, to hell with the rest of the world. Europeans see scenes of war that American papers won't dare to print. We don't want to see or hear about the consequences of our actions, much less see news photos of dead and dying or hear about families, homes and villages destroyed by our troops.

We won't tolerate torture here, but we also won't stop our government from using it overseas. We want to have democracy at home but don't care what elected governments we overthrow elsewhere or how many innocent civilians we kill in the process.

This has everything to do with fish bones and toilet brushes. And with burning up the world's fossil fuel and spoiling it's climate. We are spoiled. Spoiled rotten.

Hey, folks--the world is beginning to notice. It used to be that others thought highly of Americans. They thought that just Bush and his henchmen were evil. But after Bush got elected in 2004 this got a bit shaky. After all, regardless of whether the elections in Ohio were rigged or not, it was close enough. We didn't kick the bums out then. And we didn't stop the illegal war or rebuild Iraq.

Ok, we are starting to rethink this. We put Democrats in control of Congress and there is a chance to show that we are not really lazy and spoiled and uncaring of the rest of the planet. This will depend on Congress doing what's right, of course. If they don't, it will depend on whether we chase after them and make them do the right thing.

If we don't take this opportunity to make our government act like America is a civilized nation, the rest of the world could easily begin to shun us or worse. It could stop buying our iPods, for example. It could begin to call in its loans to Uncle Sam. It could begin to buy oil in other currencies. It could begin to kidnap and torture Americans. It could cut off our oil next time we bomb someone to get more of it.

So now is our chance to redeem ourselves. Let's not relax because Democrats have Congress. Push on them, nag them, get them to take action. Debate whether to pull out of Iraq now or when and how to do it, but begin that debate now.

Oh more useful thing that could be done: Put Pelosi in the White House in 2007.


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