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    "change we can believe in!"..., 2008-03-28 15:15:02 | Main | now i'm going down to emmit's fix-it-shop, to fix emmit..., 2008-03-29 13:44:07

    "for revolting barbarity and shameless hypocrisy, America reigns without a rival":

    Frederick Douglass, why do you hate America?

    Or, to put it in a way that distinguishes between "the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today -- my own government" and an "America" that "can never be saved so long as it destroys the deepest hopes of men the world over":

    This business of [bombing] human beings ... of filling our nation's homes with orphans and widows, of injecting poisonous drugs of hate into the veins of peoples normally humane, of sending men home from dark and bloody battlefields physically handicapped and psychologically deranged, cannot be reconciled with wisdom, justice, and love. A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.

    I mean, I see the distinction, but I don't see the difference everybody else apparently sees. It's OK to bitch about the government, says the Grover Norquist and Newt Gingrich Dancing Chorus Line, but take not thy country's name in vain. I get it, really I do: the 1st Commandment supercedes the 1st Amendment. Fine.

    But, and the only reason I bring that particular speech up really, is this stuff about "our backyard", like the backyard we're neglecting is Latin America:

    The war is but a symptom of a far deeper malady within the American spirit, and if we ignore this sobering reality we will find ourselves organizing for the next generation. They will be concerned about Guatemala and Peru. They will be concerned about Thailand and Cambodia. They will be concerned about Mozambique and South Africa. We will be marching for these and a dozen other names and attending rallies without end, unless there is a significant and profound change in American life and policy.

    During the past ten years, we have seen emerge a pattern of suppression which has now justified the presence of U.S. military advisors in Venezuela. This need to maintain social stability for our investment accounts for the counterrevolutionary action of American forces in Guatemala. It tells why ... American ... forces have already been active against rebels in Peru.

    True "change we can believe in", you might say:

    will soon look uneasily on the glaring contrast of poverty and wealth. With righteous indignation, it will look across the seas and see individual capitalists of the West investing huge sums of money in Asia, Africa, and South America, only to take the profits out with no concern for the social betterment of the countries, and say, "This is not just." It will look at our alliance with the landed gentry of South America and say, "This is not just." The Western arrogance of feeling that it has everything to teach others and nothing to learn from them is not just.

    Yeah! I tell you what, that was a great speech. A mere 40 years old and still topical. I wish we had somebody around now who gave great speeches like that.


:: posted by buermann @ 2008-03-28 23:23:35 CST | link





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