in America - One Year Later
August 20, 2002
By W. David Jenkins III
Well, here we are. Our neighborhoods have quieted down. You
don't see as many American flags out anymore. In fact, you
can see some of those cheap, cheesy plastic flags lying in
the gutter now. They've fallen off the SUVs and rusty old
pickup trucks that once bore them. The ones that still wave
do so with faded colors and frayed edges.
They seem to represent a metaphor for what has happened in
the last year to what that flag used to represent. The freedoms
we used to take for granted, the freedoms we used to celebrate
now peer fearfully back at us, frayed and faded. Wondering
what happened. It's as if those discarded red, white and blue
remnants call to the so-called founding fathers in search
of an everlasting testament to the values that were once held
Life has settled down. We have, once again, become complacent
for the most part. We still go to work, raise our families,
and for those of us, who haven't been laid off in the last
year, still go shopping. Some of us still get scared when
we see a plane pass overhead. Some of us are still allowing
ourselves to be unwilling victims of the pathetic and transparent
scare tactics of an unelected body. Some of us wonder what
life will be like when our young children grow up. Many of
us wonder what will be left when our children grow up. Then
there are those of us who recognize the last year's "Planned
The workers have stopped digging. The unfound dead will remain
unfound. People continue to debate what will become of that
hallowed ground. And we have questions which demand an answer.
The surviving family and friends of those taken on that day
will file suit against the secretive Bushies to demand answers
which this shameless administration fears. We are still in
mourning. And we are angry. And we don't know where our anger
should go. But the events and the information from outside
sources have given us a pretty good idea. The problem is,
it hurts us as a people. It hurts to think that we've been
lied to. And we are frustrated that so many others are willing
to accept blindly anything they are told. And it hurts to
think that the majority of Americans are still, to this day,
not being heard from.
I can hear the career Clinton Haters now. Majority? What
about all the polls that show that the majority of Americans
still think Bush Inc. was sent from Heaven? I have three words
for that argument.
Screw the polls.
We've all spent time voting on these ridiculous things. You
can go on and on and vote as many times as you want. They're
as accurate as a nearsighted sniper. We all know that the
shallow end of the gene pool known as "Freepers" have nothing
better to do than to suck down a cheap six-pack and hit the
"Bush is Best" button on these polls. We all know that the
Zogby gang has taken to picking and choosing registered participants
due to too many people voting Bush as a repulsive excuse for
a leader. And worse yet, now they want to charge folks to
get the results of the polls they voted in.
But that's not what's important.
What is important is what has happened, in such a short time,
to the basic principles which this country has stood for over
two centuries. I have to wonder how those who tragically perished
almost a year ago would feel about how their deaths were being
used by those without shame. How would they feel about Bush
Jr's "Trifecta" joke? How would they feel about John Ashcroft
arresting and holding people indefinitely without charge or
access to a lawyer in their name? How would they feel if they
knew Bush Jr. just sat there in an elementary classroom for
around 25 crucial minutes between the first and second strike
of the WTC - and did nothing!! How would they feel if they
could know they are pointed to as a reason for dismantling
many of the freedoms we still hold dear?
And, knowing that NYC is by no means a conservative stronghold,
how would a group of people, tragically lost and who most
likely didn't even vote for this criminal, feel about their
lost souls being used as an excuse for furthering an agenda
that most Americans never wanted? I know that had I been one
of them, I'd be slipping St. Peter a bribe to allow me to
entertain these people with a nightly dose of Charles Dickens-type
visits every night for as long as they live.
I keep hearing how America has changed this last year. I
would have to agree, but not the way the media or Bush Inc.
would have us think. But, oh yeah, we've changed all right.
Intolerance for multiculturalism has increased. I've noticed
in the little conservative, job-challenged pothole I live
in, that the people who supported Bush-Lite before 9/11 are
even more comfortable and sanctimonious in their ignorance
of what's really happening.
Believe it or not, there are really people out there who
think Bush was a leader before 9/11! I see it portrayed on
a local web site and the Letters to the Editor section in
my hometown newspaper. Absolutely mindless, really. They are
a true testament to the effects of the audial pollution that
is AM Talk Radio. But the people to the right-of-center in
my little burg represent nothing more than a hollow and inane
representation of grassroots conservatism. They are inconsequential
and in no way represent decent Americans. They are hopelessly
clueless and have nothing better to do than post their ignorant
sentiments against liberals, minorities, gays and others.
Clinton is to blame for everything, or hadn't you heard yet?
Their ridiculous rantings would be humorous if it weren't
for the fact that there are people out there so intellectually
challenged they actually believe it to be fact. Compassionate
conservatism, my backside.
Another way America's changed is that the Democrats in Congress
have acted even more spineless than they did prior to September.
Oh, sure, there have been glimmers of hope in the Pickering
decision and the totally out-of-left-field vote for an independent
investigation into 9/11 in the House of Representatives (thanks
mostly to the widows of the victims). But for the most part,
they've felt they had to wait until things got so bad for
Little Bush in the public's eye before they would "stick their
toe in the water."
If it hadn't been for Enron, campaign finance reform never
would've come up. And if it hadn't been for World Com, we
never would've seen any reform on the Wall Street front -
which Bush immediately proceeded to dismantle after reluctantly
Even Dan Rather acknowledged that members of the media were
afraid to question this illegal administration for fear of
being labeled "unpatriotic." Excuse me, but what a bunch of
garbage. Being a patriot has nothing to do with dropping one's
brain off at the nearest rest stop and buying the Brooklyn
And then there's the farce that has become national security.
Never before, in the history of this once great nation, has
there been such a lame excuse to cover up the obvious dismantling
of the very values this country was founded on. The leaders
whom the minority of Americans s-elected have used these two
words to try, sometimes successfully, to cover up the blatant
rape of all the flag stands for. Worse yet, these words are
used to divert attention away from the obvious "evil-doing"
by a court appointed administration.
The Bush mantra is... we are going to arrest people without
charge because of national security. We are going to rob you
of your rights because of national security. We are going
to tell federal judges who rule against us to kiss off because
of national security. We are going to deny the American people
their legal right to know what we are doing because of national
security. We are going to invade countries without any provocation
because of national security. We are going to prohibit investigations
into the worst attack in our nation's history because it would
compromise national security. We are going to use your tax
dollars to torture people without telling you because of national
security. And if you have any problems with any of this, we
have the right to lock you up forever by calling you a "hostile
combatant" because you are a threat to our national security.
What it all boils down to is not so much protecting "national
security" as much as it is protecting Bush Inc.'s security.
See, the two have become synonymous but, unfortunately, there
are those who are too "patri-idiotic" to notice.
Oh yeah, America has surely changed. And I have to admit.
Bush was right. He really is a "uniter not a divider." He
has managed, in a very short time, to unite the rest of the
world against us. I remember saying that phrase out loud as
I watched the second plane slam into the World Trade Center
almost a year ago. People looked at me as if I were being
heartless. But nothing could've been further from the truth.
As a father I knew that some little boy's or girl's Daddy
wasn't coming home that day.
What happened that day united the entire country for about
Then some of us had the backbone to remember whom we were
dealing with here at home and, rightfully, started asking
questions right away. And we didn't like many of the answers
we found. And we despised those who would dare question our
patriotism for merely asking "why" and "how?" But that's what
the conservatives and other victims of Bushitis keep trying
to do. Face it, folks, this goes way beyond any stained blue
dress. It's just too bad that it's not getting as much attention.
The international community has all but told us "you're on
your own" as Bush tries his damned best to expand his war.
The impending invasion of Iraq threatens to light a match
on the powder keg that is the Middle East conflict. The Europeans
are constantly looking at and commenting on similarities between
Bush and pre-Nazi Germany. The nations that stood behind us
a year ago are wondering what the hell is wrong with the American
people that they cannot see the blatant raping of what our
country once stood for and what has become of America at the
hands of a spoiled brat - all in the name of the "war on terrorism."
The world looks at us and wonders how ignorant and complacent
we have become that we don't fill the streets with protesters
in defense of our endangered freedoms.
A year ago I wrote about the real heroes. The men and women
at Ground Zero who kept digging. I said I didn't recognize
the country anymore. I too was afraid. I was also mourning
for the loss of innocent lives. I was scared as many others
were. As many others still are.
But in the last year, I've learned not to fear the so-called
terrorists as much as I do the court-appointed leaders that
would hand them their victory. Little Bush said, over and
over again, "They hate us for our freedoms," and he and his
thugs have done their best to take those freedoms away.
As much as I grieve for those who perished in NYC that day
I also wonder why Bush allowed those 25 crucial minutes pass
between tower strikes without scrambling air fighters that
were within range. Why was that children's book so important
to him, knowing what we all know he knew? I grieve for the
passengers of flight #93 who did their level best to take
back control of the airliner - just before they were shot
down over the green pastures of southwestern Pennsylvania.
It may take 20 years to hear it said on MSNBC or CNN, but
it will happen.
I grieve for those proud Americans who are too blind, deaf
or just plain stupid to realize what the rest of the world
recognizes what is happening in this place that was once called
America. Those people who have taken the flag and tied it
tightly around their eyes for fear of seeing that Bush has
no idea what he's doing. Or worse yet, maybe he does.
I grieve for America. I don't know this country anymore.
We have become victims of our own leaders. There are families,
right now, wondering where their daddies are - compliments
of the Loony Tune Rev. Ashcroft. We stand on the brink of
nuclear - oops, I'm sorry - nu-cu-lar catastrophe at the hands
of a proud and self-proclaimed "C student" masquerading as
an elected official with a mandate. This same person has watched
the economy of this country tank, and the only thing he and
his political lepers can come up with as a solution to the
problem is to surround themselves with the very leeches who
have robbed hardworking American workers of billions of dollars
and then call it an "economic forum."
Bush is right about one thing, though.
The events of a year ago should unite us. The events should
unite us against all those who pose a threat to what our flag
and our country stand for. We all need to stand tall and yell
as loud as we can against those who would undo what the founding
fathers put down in our Constitution. We need to fight those
who "hate us because of our freedoms." We truly are fighting
a war on terrorism. We need to declare war on and depose those
who, in the name of their perverse ideology, would spit on
the graves of those who tragically died a year ago.
Then we can deal with Al Qaeda.
Click here for the original Lost in America articles by W.
David Jenkins III: Part
One and Part
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