Looking for America

IT WASN’T UNTIL I spent a year abroad that I realized how American I am – that I understood the subtle yet ingrained connection to land of my birth. But, like many Americans in recent years, the absurd political and moral situation of our country has torn me open and forced me to question, Where the hell is this nation going?

The International Herald Tribune writes an insightful and readworthy opinion piece on this note today, “Looking for an America we can recognize again”:

There are too many moments these days when we cannot recognize our country. Like when we read about how men in some of the most trusted positions plotted to cover up the torture of prisoners by CIA interrogators by destroying videotapes of their sickening behavior. It was impossible to see the founding principles of the greatest democracy in the contempt these men and their bosses showed for the Constitution, the rule of law and human decency.

It was not the first time in recent years we’ve felt this horror, this sorrowful sense of estrangement. Not nearly. This sort of lawless behavior has become standard practice since Sept. 11, 2001.

The country and much of the world were rightly and profoundly frightened by the hatred and ingenuity displayed by this new enemy. But there is no excuse for how President George W. Bush and his advisers panicked – how they forgot that it is their responsibility to protect American lives and American ideals, that there really is no safety for Americans or their country when those ideals are sacrificed.

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1 Response to “Looking for America”

  1. 1 So Cal Kango Beach Bum January 13, 2008 at 1:13 pm

    I think it’s a good thing that people are beginning to overcome their haze of fear that came from September 11th and start to (7 years later) question where running around in that haze has left us as a nation. We need to, as a nation, become less addicted to the culture of fear. For example, is ‘yellow alert’ a good level for us always to be at whenever we enter an airport? I just don’t think that living in that sort of induced fear all the time is healthy. We need to re-gain our sense of security, however political elections, which are basically sales campaigns these days, are not readily won when there is no sense of urgency. Unfortunately it has become all to easy to create that sense of urgency by playing to an over-hyped sense of fear.

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