Wednesday, January 16, 2008

American "Exceptualism"

Based on recent reports emanating from Middle Eastern cultures(I think "culture", if not "tribal", is a more accurate and realistic label than "country" for that part of the world) women have gained equal opportunity status when it comes to selecting candidates for the position of suicide bomber. In other words they have become acceptable equals in the life of their culture, so long as they have stated a desire and a plan to leave it, and take others with them.

Who and what impelled them to such a horrible place?

If male suicide bombers are motivated by the fantasy of being serviced by a large number of virgins in the after life, as we have been told, please tell me what motivates the female bomber.

Please do not respond to this question. It is rhetorical in nature and purpose and is only intended to get your attention to the insanity of what is going on.

This question has no reasonable, nor logical answer; and certainly is not a question decent, caring people wish to consider. I pose it only for its shock value, to focus attention on the chasm of ignorance between Middle Eastern and Western culture.

That chasm could be crossed if those we look to for leadership wished to cross it. But no, this administration is much more interested in and committed to telling us how "Exceptional" we are as a people, while doing things in our name that violate all decency, honesty and integrity.

Speaking as a US citizen, I believe that those we elected to lead us actually do not want to close that chasm. Those in power today hold the view that conflict is good for them and those who support them. President Eisenhower, as he left office in the mid 1950's, warned us about the threat of the military/industrial establishment.

That threat was real, and still is. In fact it has grown like a metastasized cancer ever since, and now threatens the life of the Constitutionally based United States. The US is not likely to be overrun by terrorists. It will continue as a living thing, as defined by existing, but without the life we have demonstrated since our inception, unless and until we elect people whose agendas are openly about doing things which are consistent with the Constitution. What we have had for the past seven years are people whose agendas are hidden, doing things to line the pockets of their supporters and themselves, while lying to the American people that they are doing things with America in mind. They are dishonest, deceitful, and without honor.

So long as this country is seen as an invader and occupier by other nations, those who live in those occupied countries will resort to such awful things as suicide bombing, out of desperation and loss of hope.

There is no escaping the laws of the Universe. Life is born, grows, and dies. That's the reality of the Universe, and it is no less applicable to societies, cultures and the structures created in the vain hope that they will be the exception that proves the rule. A re-reading of The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire is in order.

The irony of this is that we were brought up to believe in our essential goodness, fairness, and offer of hope to others; but what we are now being told is the importance and the power of our "Exceptionalism", the illusion that we stand above and apart from others by any standard, test or evaluation.

Who doesn't want to hear that he or she is exceptional. It can be a good thing when we hear it, and take it to heart, from our parents, teachers, employers and clients.

It's a bad thing when we hear it, believe it and take it to heart as a people from those who want us to believe such things, their own selfish purpose. It is arrogance, pure and simple.

It's important, even crucial, that a sufficient number of US citizens pick up on this, get it, and realize how much those we elected to power are using that power to snooker us.

Such is the fine line between healthy self esteem needed to make a positive contribution to life and society, and the neurosis, if not the psychosis, of Narcissism, which is all about how beautiful and wonderful we are, with expectations that all others agree.

Sorry to tell you that George W. Bush is our present day Narcissus, as Dick Cheney is our present day Machiavelli. In Nicolai Machiavelli's The Prince, he appealed to the great humanity of his prince when he asked for acceptance of the work he had sacrificed so much to produce. Like Machiavelli, Cheney's work is all for him and his cronies, worked on surreptitiously and maliciously.

One has only to tune into the Sunday morning talk shows to see and hear this same unpatriotic propaganda acted out on today's stage.

George W. Bush says he doesn't do nuance. In fact nuance is what differentiates cultures. Had he been even superficially exposed to Cultural Anthropology 101 at Yale, perhaps he might now get it. He says he doesn't read the newspapers, and relies on his advisers to keep him up to date.
That means he wants us to believe that his intimidated lackeys are telling it to him straight, assuming they really want to. That's doubtful in an administration in which it's been demonstrated repeatedly that loyalty is what gets you medals of freedom, and a good financial future.

Alas, Bush still doesn't get it; or perhaps he does and ignores it, which is scary. If that's true he really is subject to being considered a war criminal for crimes against humanity, the sacrifice of thousands in prosecuting an unnecessary war. Also he should be Impeached for violating his oath to defend and uphold the Constitution, specifically sacrificing privacy rights unnecessarily.
Both action should apply to Cheney as well.

Where have all the wise men gone? Long time passing. Where have all the statesmen gone? Long time ago. Where have all our passions gone? Gone to killing everyone. When will we ever learn; when will we ever learn?

Lighthouse Keeper

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