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Observations of 2004

By Roy D. Follendore III

Copyright (c) 2004 by RDFollendoreIII

It is now just a few hours before midnight on new years eve and in this my final article of 2004 I choose to write about 'American statements' that are wrong.  I write about these statements because I am dissatisfied with the questions that they imply, and through the act of writing about them attempt to make sense of the whole. So perhaps if you happen to be the typical dissatisfied American, as many of the rest of us seem to be in these troubling times, then maybe you need to read on. 

December 31, 2004

At the end of each year it is appropriate to consider some of the things that have been observed.  This year was a particularly important year to reflect upon the events and reach conclusions about what we were, are and are becoming. I have to admit that I have been more than a little disgusted.  

Perhaps when general public opinion finally reaches some intangible intellectual boiling point where grievous errors in political, scientific, and religious decisions are no longer tolerated, then perhaps some dramatic change in direction can and will take place within our nation.  Perhaps until then, we Americans should simply consider lowering our flag to half mast and take a much smaller dose of patriotic pride in what we have been and have become as a nation.

So with all of this in mind, these observations are some of the '2004 festering sores' that I humbly suspect will continue to cause larger afflictions within our country during the upcoming years. These observations have nothing to do with my personal belief system and hopefully they are not part of yours either. These are the cracks in our rational system which surrounds each of us; cracks that we all should all be aware of and be willing to correct. In that context please consider the implications of each of these twenty statements. 

  1. The truth surrounding the reasons why America initiated the invasion of Iraq make no difference to most Americans.
  2. Most Americans are more interested in 'supporting our troops' without regard to the creation of peace.
  3. Innocent deaths in other countries are not important to most Americans.
  4. Our economic losses in this nebulous 'war on terror' is of no interest to the majority of Americans.
  5. The soaring price of gasoline is not important to Americans.
  6. In the eyes of most Americans, a genuine Vietnam combat hero is less convincing than a genuine Vietnam combat dodger.
  7. Revenge is the primary political motive of American warfare.
  8. Most Americans care more about superstitious religious philosophies than they do about realities of the world.
  9. Oil rules the politics of America and our planet.
  10. The opinion of the United Nations means nothing to most Americans.
  11. Environmental problems and the ecological concern for nature and wildlife are not important to most Americans.
  12. A 'detainee' is not a 'Prisoner of War.' This means: It is honorable for America to build and run prisons outside of the boundaries of Constitutional laws. It isn't necessary for 'detainees' to be told why they are being indefinitely held in prison. It isn't necessary for 'detainees' to have access to a lawyer. A military tribunal can deliver better justice to a 'detainee' than a trial by jury. The use of torture is OK for 'detainees.'
  13. A 'democratic election' can take place through a biased occupying army who picks and supports the leading candidates.
  14. Because a mine can destroy a tank, our troops don't need armor in their regular vehicles.
  15. Americans do not understand the value of the images that we see from the Hubble space telescope.
  16. America is incapable of supplying the scientific vision and support to the International Space Station.
  17. Americans are so isolated from the rest of the world that we use our media to fabricate our reality.
  18. Americas initial announcement of thirty million dollars to aid to the scope of the tsunami disaster aid was an insult to all Asians.
  19. The staggering fall of the dollar to the euro is not an important indicator of the economic welfare of America.
  20. The security of America is increased by reducing our concern of human rights and restricting personal freedom.  
  21. The inhumanity of forcing prisoners to perform sexual acts is not torture, and torture is not defined as a terrorist act.

Once again, please keep in mind that these are the statements of perception that imply the problems that as Americans we must face and discuss together.  These 'statements' are not intended to necessarily be statements of fact but of perception. For me these are observations that best represent the indisputable cracks which seems to be appearing within the communicated consciousness of our American society.  Moreover, while some of these 'rifts' may be physically tangible, others may be misperceptions or miscommunication.  But each of these, when taken together and as a whole represent the fabric of what has become our unfortunate American reality. 

As the reader you are of course free to consider this list, or make your own list of statements, or completely ignore the existence of our American irrationality just like almost everyone else in America. But perhaps (just perhaps) more Americans do need to associate divergent issues like this and consider what these things mean to us when considered as a whole. Maybe it should be obvious to all of us that we have not doing well enough as a nation by considering these issues independently. Sometimes the whole of rational inequities is larger than the sum of the irregular parts.   

While others may see it differently, it is my personal opinion that 2004 was a disastrous year of irrationality and immorality of unprecedented scale.  I suspect that this year will be looked at by future generations as the quintessential year of horrific disasters. 2004 will be described in terms of the ignominious point in time when not only natural events conspired against humanity, but also the place where political propaganda, and religious delusions permeated the news media and further propagated by 'conservative' public opinion.  It can therefore only be an impossible future where future generations will see our conservatives as conservative. This has been the year where the image American leadership has been that of a angered and frightened snapping turtle on a freeway, spent and hidden within its shell while simultaneously attempting to both react to and silence the traffic of international opinion which surrounds it. 

The Pentagon has a word for what has been happening to our civilization and it is called 'transformation.'  In 2004, America has been 'transformed' into something that it need not have been. Perhaps with luck and the grace of God we Americans can transform ourselves into a more caring, honest, rational, reasonable, creative, scientific and civilized neighbor to the rest of our world.  Our wonderful and great nation did not need to become the imperialist tyrants that we have become in the hearts and minds of our family of man. In the last analysis of this year, all that I am saying is that it is time to make sense of what has so far been incomprehensive. In 2004, what many Americans seem to be hanging on to is the remains of a fragile fantasy.

All that we can do as the dawn breaks into a new year is begin by thinking about it. 



Copyright (c) 2001-2007 RDFollendoreIII All Rights Reserved