- In my dream, I am looking out over the edge of a vast
cliff, searching the infinite distance for a word. How to describe the
great divide between these two warring factions of the American psyche?
- In the distance I seem to see two people standing back
to back, staring off in different directions. Their teeth are clenched
hard. Both are certain of their vision.
- One, wrapped righteously in his beloved flag, figments
fearscapes of terror, exploding skyscrapers, dead relatives ... and in
his anger, seethes for the chance to lash out, like some vampire vigilante,
at those he has been told did - or might do - these demon deeds.
- The other, wracked by an inner pain of fruitless frustration,
hears the screams, too, but they are the agonized death spasms of those
who are the targets of America's retributive rage. He mourns for those
who were nowhere near the scene of the crime, yet simply because of their
language and their appearance, they have been deemed guilty and consequently
are blown to pieces - bloody fragments of little children in the dust -
by high-tech weapons that we all paid for.
- This willing blindness that enables America to commit
serial mass murder with no second thoughts is not entirely caused by media
spin, although that plays a significant part. But there really are two
different kinds of American people. And right now there is no communication
- Those who see and those who won't? Those who care and
those who don't?
- No, that's too simplistic.
- Those who oppose America's grandiose slaughter in Iraq
are called naive by those who support it. After all, there are acts of
terror to be avenged, fair trials be damned!
- Those who applaud the widespread killing by Americans
in Third World countries are called heartless maniacs by those who oppose
it, and try desperately to make their brothers see the slick men on TV
are lying to everyone about practically everything.
- Two men, back to back, countrymen yet enemies. Two factions,
paralyzed by an enraged silence. One, bloodthirsty and implacable. The
other, witnessing, perhaps, the end of civilization as we know it.
- Those who think the world is a bank to be robbed, and
those who think it is a garden to be tended? Those who are in on the scam
and those who are victims of the heist?
- Again, tending toward too simple. More and more, the
weight that tilts the see-saw tends to be the media.
- People make their decisions based on what they hear.
What they hear tends to be from TV, or from those who still read, newspapers.
More and more, TV and newspapers are owned by large corporations who are
connected, by boards of directors of even larger corporations, to the companies
who make the weapons.
- Those who believe America is right to exterminate an
entire nation tend to get their information from television, which reinforces
their choice by showing nothing of the suffering of foreign peoples, ordinary
families who speak other languages, being burned to death by napalm, or
ravaged by flesh-piercing cluster bombs, heads blown apart like pumpkins
by special ammunition designed to do just that, all the while, American
boys, laughing at their high scores, in the time before they realize they
will kill themselves for what they've done, if they don't first perish
from the poisons their government told them it was safe to handle ...
- facing one way.
- And those who believe the American government is a criminal
corporation that fixes its own elections, kills its own citizens, and has
plans for billions of unfortunate souls that are simply too demonically
tragic for most to even contemplate, screaming into the icy silence of
the cadaverous heart the American political conscience has become ....
facing the other way.
- Those who believe, against all logic, that innocent people
in Afghanistan and Iraq were somehow a threat to the United States and
should be killed with inhuman impunity, and those people educated in excess
of the standard American public school brainwashing who realize that people
are the same everywhere, and that the worth of a person is not dependent
on the language they speak, the color of their skin, what they wear, or
what religion they prefer.
- Fact is, on a daily basis, Americans are killing innocent
people who never did anything bad to us, and some people think that's a
good thing, while others, including most of the rest of the world, consider
it an unforgivable abomination, a needless display of public insanity that
has suddenly and regrettably befallen all of America.
- How does one conduct a dialogue between two groups so
certain of their observations?
- Why this polarization is significant is that there seems
to be no basis for communication between the two factions. And that's a
very bad sign.
- Because when there is no talk, there is only war. And
when there is war, as the people of Afghanistan and Iraq know so well,
nobody wins, really.
- Or, the only winners are those who are not involved in
the fighting. Perverted billionaires who control the media and military
contractors may be wringing their sweaty hands in a kind of pederastic
glee, but everybody who's actually in the war, whether they are on the
winning side or not, they're all losers. Big time.
- Just ask the bereaved fiancee who just wrote me about
her true love's untimely death while attacking Fallujah, who begged me
to support the U.S. war effort. I had to tell her, hard as it was, that
her future husband died for nothing, nothing more than the ill-gotten gains
of Halliburton and Bush's other criminal friends.
- I asked her to imagine her own town being attacked by
high-tech savages who were lying about the reasons they were there, but
she just couldn't, understandably enough, buried in the rubble of own grief.
- In the same vein, much has been made about the religious
pretensions of President Bush as he orders the mass murders of innocent
people for reasons that have been long revealed to the public to be blatant
- So the character of the great divide in the American
psyche becomes a little clearer. And oddly, the religious perspective is
now identified with the side of evil. What justification could there be
for killing innocent people for reasons everyone knows are lies. Yet George
W. Bush says God told him to smite Afghanistan, and then Iraq.
- The philosopher A. C. Grayling of the University of London
noted exactly that a few weeks back.
- "Why are the churches given a privileged - almost,
indeed, an exclusive - position in the social debate about morality, when
they are arguably the least competent organisations to have it?" he
- " ... religious morality is not merely irrelevant,
it is anti-moral" Grayling argued.
- "The great moral questions of the present age are
those about human rights, war, poverty, the vast disparities between rich
and poor, the fact that somewhere in the third world a child dies every
two and a half seconds because of starvation or remediable disease. The
churches' obsessions over pre-marital sex and whether divorced couples
can remarry in church appears contemptible in the light of this mountain
of human suffering and need. By distracting attention from what really
counts, and focusing it on the minor and anyway futile attempt to get people
to have sex only when the church permits, harm is done to the cause of
good in the world."
- "Asking them to take an especially authoritative
line on moral matters is like asking the fox to set the rules for fox-hunting.
Churchmen are people with avowedly ancient supernatural beliefs who rely
on moral casuistry which is two thousand years out of date; it is extraordinary
that their views should be given any precedence over those that could be
drawn from the richness of thoughtful, educated, open-minded opinion otherwise
available in society."
- Could anything be clearer? Could there be any clearer
advertisement for religion than George W. Bush, who goes to war on the
basis of lies, commits genocide, kills his own citizens, fixes elections,
and lies about everything .... and says he takes orders from Jesus? Could
it be any clearer?
- This impenetrable divide that separates Americans who
say they are religious and yet violate every known teaching of Jesus by
cheering the mass murder of innocent people from those who see the higher
law of human compassion and honesty being violated on a daily basis by
the pious psychopaths who have hijacked the American republic may not be
crossed, except by bullets.
- The words necessary to close the gap and heal this grisly
wound that threatens the very life of America are lost - drowned out -
by the constant war chants of the corporate TV fools and the echoing, approving
chorus from the pulpits of most of the Christian churches and Jewish temples
in America. You can't talk sense to psychopaths and that it what religions
have become - a pathetic psychopathy that causes otherwise rational humans
to suspend their belief in honesty and justice and believe things that
are not true ....
- Number one, like Muslims had anything to do with 9/11.
That's the biggest lie of all right now, and it has caused hundreds of
thousands of deaths, all unnecessary. Those who are cheering these deaths
are American churchgoers. And their cheers, their hosannahs to mass death,
can be heard all over the world, in the stories of the bloodbath in Iraq.
- Listen, right now, in the silence of the canyon of your
heart - you can hear it. America's righteous religion. God tells George
W. Bush what to do. Kill all those who oppose you. Take what you want from
those who have what you want. Hey, it's in the Bible, which is also the
Torah. Leviticus. Deuteronomy. All over the place.
- Listen to the sound. The American sound of mass death.
It is evil, and it is religious. In the silence of the canyon of your heart,
it is all you can hear, and no words can blot it out.
- John Kaminski is a writer who lives on the Gulf Coast
of Florida whose Internet essays have been collected into two anthologies,
the latest of which is titled "The Perfect Enemy." For more information