One weapon in the war against complacency


Last night after listening to the President’s apologia about the war in Iraq with its message du jour, “we are safer, but we are not yet safe”—an assertion begging the question, Dude, where’s the data about safety—I turned to Mitch and said, “Isn’t there something we can do?”

There are many reasons to be appalled by this speech, not the least of which was the fear mongering ala 1984, but what disturbed me primarily was how little Bush asks of the American people. We mustn’t sacrifice or turn down our thermostats—look what happened to Jimmy Carter. The President wants our forbearance and fear and then dismisses us to shore up our basements with duct tape. Fear and shopping are the opiate of our masses.

There’s no question that terrorism is a hydra—a many-limbed thing spawned from good– and ill-intentioned decisions made after WWII, oil dependence, the formation of Israel, plus ethnic and religious forces most of us can only guess at. I disagree that “terrorists” hate our freedoms; they hate our cultural hegemony, the way our greed and products infect the world like a plague. They hate our sense of entitlement and arrogance, our surity that democracy and capitalism are human rather than American constructs.

The war in Irag is an attempt to isolate this hatred within the borders of one country, an attempt to treat the symptoms of terrorism and not the disease—poverty, ignorance, hopelessness. Would the mullahs be so successful in places where young people can start businesses, plant gardens and raise healthy children?

Isn’t there something we can do?

We can vote. We can help reduce our energy consumption by walking, riding our bikes and taking public transit. We can give to relief organizations. We can teach our children to think in shades of grey and not black and white. We can elect officials with a broader sense of goodness, wisdom that transends our borders and recognizes our economic and environmental interdependence. And we have to do this at home—and abroad.

Anyone got any better ideas?

Comments (11) -

September 12. 2006 00:49


Beautifully stated...  

Richard |

September 12. 2006 01:39

Kari in Littleton

Awesome post.  I had to comment and say that I love your blog because it's so intelligent and passionate (not to mention the yarn!)  I couldn't agree more.

Kari in Littleton |

September 12. 2006 09:22


You are right on...well said.  I would add that repairing our world, returning some sanity and compassion starts with each of us displaying kindness, respect, and caring to everyome around us.  If we can do that, or at least do more of it, we can begin to repair the awfulness of this world we have created.

John |

September 12. 2006 12:26


Yep. I like your bike. When my daughter and I saw "An Inconvenient Truth," we were somewhat stymied by what else we could do. We work mostly at home . . . no commute. We walk a lot.

About three weeks ago we realized that we could cut down on five or ten driving trips a week (library, coffee shop, grocery stores) if we had bikes.

We went to the back-to-school special sale and got two scratch-and-dent bikes. Actually, we got my daughter one first. She let me ride it when we got it home and I felt like I did when I rode a bike as a kid--and that was good. We went back the next day and got a second.

They are identical, so I've tied individual Turk's-head knots around the front posts so we can tell them apart.

Bike: EXCELLENT idea. Fun, too. And yes, I've been caught in the rain twice and I still say that.

Deborah Robson |

September 12. 2006 23:44


Not only does it take everyone displaying compassion and respect, it is imperative that we teach these to our children, along with tolerance.  Teach that being different isn't a threat.

Pam |

December 15. 2006 22:49



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