Monday, May 19, 2008

Help Thou My Unbelief

I recall reading that 350 (or more) of the rescue workers who responded to 9/11 have died from lung ailments and other cancers of internal organs as a result of ingesting toxic dust from ground zero. Who knows how many have suffered bad health as a result of their assistance on 9/11?

Scientists two miles from ground zero took air samples and determined that even at that distance, it was unsafe without proper equipment. Yet, the Bush Administration pressured the EPA and overrode their scientists (as the Bush Administration often did to science) to get the EPA to determine that ground zero air was safe.

We can speculate at some later date why this anti-science decision was made and what it helped achieve.

What is important to recognize is that this politically motivated EPA decision is a distinct case of our US government leaders deliberately harming our own citizens, Good Samaritans at that.

Aside from the 4000+ who have died in combat in Iraq, we have 31,948 wounded, 10,180 injured, and 28,451 ill, all to the extend that they were evacuated. Eighteen American war veterans kill themselves every day. One thousand former soldiers receiving care from the Department of Veterans Affairs attempt suicide every month. More veterans are committing suicide than are dying in combat overseas. Scandals still exist regarding soldier body armor and vehicle armor.

The Iraqi war and its treatment of veterans are another case of the US government leaders deliberately harming its own citizens, patriotic ones at that.

In fact, if we go back to the final days before the war, our frontline troops were training wearing chemical gear, because they were told and our administration (supposedly) knew that the Iraqi's had chemical WMDs.

Stop here for a moment and ponder that.

If we take the Bush Administration's word at face value, they were willing to march thousands upon thousands of US troops into the face of these chemical weapons, where certainly the casualty count would have been high despite their protective gear, even though other options were available to confront Iraq. War critics argued that Saddam was contained, sanctions were working, and weapons inspections were working, particularly after pressure built up and Saddam let them back in. (The inspections were not finding much because in truth there wasn't much.)

What is important to recognize is the level of sacrifice of our own US citizens that the Bush Administration was willing to make, assuming what they told us was true.

For those who still harbor the belief that US leaders never deliberately do anything to harm US citizens, we have all of the above examples acting as counter-point.

Ergo, 9/11 itself needs to be viewed with the same measuring stick. Our US leaders have demonstrated the (im)moral capacity to harm US citizens. Inflicting a 9/11 on US citizens would not be out of the range of their reasoning, particularly considering that without 9/11, none of the Project for a New American Century (PNAC) goals which became Bush Administration objectives could be achieved easily.

The Iraqi war was on the Bush Administration's agenda from before their first day in office as per PNAC. The leaked Downing Street Memos clearly show that the American government was going to fix the intelligence to match their policy. The WMD argument has been exposed as a fraud.

For their justification and handling of the Iraqi war (and many other bait-and-switch foreign and domestic polices), the integrity of the Bush Administration is called into question.

The defining moment of the Bush Administration -- namely 9/11 -- should not be left unexamined for the Bush Administration to continue to put its own spin on. Truly patriotic Americans must unwind the lies and connect the dots.

Only then can we redeem ourselves to ourselves and the world. Only then can we approach the ideals of America and its Constitution to which we pledge allegiance. Only then can we fix what we've broke both here and abroad.

Feed my sheep.

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