Before it may be too late… if not already. My dear friend and fellow activist Ed Dunphy always likes to use that term ‘Moral compass ‘ when discussing our occupations of Iraq & Afghanistan and the current bombing campaigns in Libya. Sadly, we allow our leaders (and media) to chart a path for the continuance of empire, at the disregard for any sense of morality. The result is that we all have become lost, separated from the very reasons why we even became a nation. All the rhetoric and rah rah about our ‘Founding Fathers ‘and ‘Give me liberty or … ‘ is now nothing more than hype.
When the Bush gang decided to lie, misinform and outright mislead us, the die was cast, as it was during the Vietnam War era. Then too, for reasons of empire and the ‘business of empire ‘LBJ and his crew perpetrated the same betrayal of our trust. Many Americans, early on, saw through the scam and spoke out. They were branded as ‘commie lovers, un-American ‘…. Traitors! ‘Finally, after seven or eight years of death and destruction, the real Silent Majority (not Nixon and Agnew’s) found their moral compass and followed it. It wasn’t just the young students and returning veterans who were speaking out. No, middle aged loyal Republican and Democratic voters began to turn away from the false rhetoric and histrionics fed to them for so many years.
Now we face a much more deliberate and deceitful government and media. They throw a beer commercial at us with the returning soldier (in camouflage uniform for affect) hugging dear old dad as they each finish off a bottle of Bud. We are inundated with military salutes before all of our sporting events. After all, we are the good guys out there protecting democracy (‘we fight them there so they can’t come here ‘ ) and rescuing the A-Rabs from their dictators. Oh, forgot to mention that their dictators were usually our guys for years. We even helped place most of them in power, or trained their brutal police- ever hear of the ‘ School of the Americas ‘ in Georgia AKA ‘ School of the Assassins ‘ ? The late British MP Robin Cook, member of Tony Blair’s Labor government, gave the most powerful resignation speech a few years back. In it, Cook explained how it was the U.S and Britain, among others, that sold Saddam Hussein his biological and chemical components for those dastardly weapons… ‘We even built the factories for him ‘ Cook lamented. When our bombs and missiles devastated Baghdad, and our soldiers mounted the invasion of Iraq, I immediately thought back to 1939. Germany used lies and half truths to legalize their invasion of Poland, a sovereign nation. Bush and his crew did even worse than the Nazis- they conducted a pre-emptive and illegal attack and invasion of Iraq! When the German troops came home from Poland, many greeted them (not all Germans, by the way) as heroes. You know how many here in America treated our troops in 2003. You don’t need to drink Bud beer to see how nothing has changed since then. Our soldiers should not have been treated as heroes or as goats, for they were being used, as Hitler used his young men in 1939, as pawns! The fault was and is not in them so much (but they should start asking the tough questions and refuse to go), rather it is within each one of ….YOU!
It should not just be about the financial loss that we suffer for the things we do militarily, such as the budgeting of war and unnecessary destruction. Obviously, that is such an important component to it all. No, the first and foremost factor should be found within the moral compass that dwells inside of each one of us. To stay silent as your nation conducts such heinous acts of immorality and injustice is to give license to it. During the Vietnam debacle, this writer was a young man. I never took the time to care about what was going on there… until I came of draft age. Oh, I did not care to see any of my friends and neighbors go overseas to that place. Yet, it mattered not to me or my dad until it became apparent that I could go next. Sad, but true. Perhaps if more of my neighbors and the media at the time presented a moral compass to me, I may have been more aware. My fault… and theirs.
If we continue on this course, in a strictly spiritual manner, we are doomed as a culture, and as a nation. This is not the time for compromise on principles. No, this is the time for more of us to find that moral compass and follow it… all the way!
Philip A. Farruggio is son and grandson of Brooklyn NYC longshoremen. A graduate of Brooklyn College, class of ’74, Philip has been an anti war activist since the Vietnam War. Philip is now Volusia Cty spokesperson for the nationwide 25% Solution to cut military spending. Since the 2000 elections, he has written over 250 columns posted on various sites, including, most recently, Dandelion Salad, dissidentvoice.org and progressivepatriots.net, or at his own blog at http://www.opensalon.com. Philip can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.