What Kind of Nation Are We Becoming?

There is so much compelling and thoughtful stuff about our national crisis being written out there! For example:
This from a NY Times article by Bob Herbert
President Bush has learned how to deliver a moving speech. But Tuesday night’s State of the Union Message did not address the most important question facing the American people: What kind of nation are we becoming?
The president spoke passionately about bringing “food and medicines and supplies and freedom” to the Iraqi people. But he is leading a hard-right administration here at home that is seriously eroding the economic security, the access to health care, the civil rights and civil liberties and the environmental protections of the American people….
The Bush administration is changing the nation in fundamental ways. However one feels about a U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, over the long term a bullying, go-it-alone foreign policy wedded to a military doctrine of pre-emption is a recipe for destabilization and paranoia around the world.

This, by Gunter Grass in The Guardian: (this was sent to me in an email from a poetry therapy list; I haven’t found a link yet, but I’m trying.)
This looming war is a wanted war. It is already going on in the heads of the planners, in the world’s stock exchanges, and in what seem to be forward-dated TV programmes. The enemy target is in the sights. He has been named and – along with other enemies on the stocks who will be targeted and named next – he fits the bill for those who want to conjure a danger so grim that it undermines careful reflection.
We know how people create enemies where none exists. We know, and have plenty of pictures to illustrate it, what happens in war when the target is not quite hit. We are familiar with the words for damage and casualties which we are told to accept as inevitable. We are used to the relatively small number of its own dead that the world’s number one ruling power has to count and mourn while the mass of enemy dead, including women and children, go uncounted and are not worth mourning.
So now we wait for the new war and the old repetitions. This time new missile systems will be even more accurate. We can be confident about the choice of pictures from this looming war. The flow of images will be sanitised of every detail of horror. Familiar TV channels will be there to give us a new installment of war as soap opera, interrupted only by ads for consumers who are living happily in peace.

I need to fix a skirt for my mother. I really need to go out and walk in the sun. I need to see and cuddle my grandson. I need to start doing exercises for my bad back. At the least, I need to do the dishes in the sink since yesterday. Instead, I read what others are writing about my country’s slide into darkness, and I want to go back to bed.

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