As Americans we, and our oversimplifying, dramatizing flavor of the week myopic media, love labels and labeling (hurricanes, wars, people), indiscriminately discriminating and lumping together villains, victims and valiant.
Just because an opportunist pounces on an off-hand cavalier accidentally diplomatic State remark, and puts on his shirt to save it in the Middle East, philosophically aggrandizing the enemy of my enemy is my friend, labeling Putin savor or demon is as pointless as canonizing a President whose unwarranted invasion of Granada motivated a massacre in Lebanon.
Labels distort perception and infect the brain’s power to discern, just as marketing reduces “We the People” to seeing only what the top 20% of Americans who own 89% of American wealth/income, want us to see, while 95% of recent economic recovery gains trickle up to the top 1%.
1962 Cuban Missile Crisis: Kennedy never intended invading Cuba until Russian missiles were put there. So Russian missiles go back to Khrushchev and it’s easy for Kennedy to promise not to invade Cuba with military force. Now Chess-Player-in-Chief Obama, is recycling historical wisdom.
From Russia with Sarin: Gorbachev and Yeltsin understood American Presidents (even before Drone proficient Obama) are clothed in immense power, and unlike GW Bush, some are even familiar with its proper use. However, whether looking deep into the darkness of Putin’s eyes for cold war residue or diplomatic solutions, he’s right…
Those who label themselves Exceptional, and laud their Exceptionalism worldwide for 237 years, while establishing Roman Empire-like military bases internationally, and supporting tyrannical despots who violate the human rights of their citizens, risk attacks from both foreign extremists, who fear their sense of historical self, threatened by a technological Caesar with deep war chest pockets and broader border expectations; and by domestic fundamentalists who willingly sacrifice their citizens with government shut down, ironically to make the world safe for Democracy.
In our post 9/11 era of stand your ground, youthful loss of life, limb and brain damage caused by unnecessary wars, domestic gun violence and ownership abusing our Bill of Rights and the loss of the very things that could make us exceptional – improved public education system, Human Rights that include equal opportunity for all Americans, Constitutional equality for women, equal voting rights for all and elections free from corporate financial influence — our national grief was used to market us into over consumers distrustful of each other, hurling labels, to create a house divided, more easily managed by labeling, and corporate marketing.
Wounded severely by 9/11, we and our international reputation have been tarnished by those whose Rush is addiction to ratings, political grandstanding and crazy pills.
Yet our human spirit forced recall of unreasonable Bank of America fees, Pink Slime pause and in 2012, re-election of a presidential centrist with his own version of walk softly and carry a big stick: a consensus builder with a facility for Drones.
Since FDR’s 1945 death, Fossil Fuel corporate interests were freed to influence most nations to ignore effects of climate change and for two years G-20 leaders, including Americans, have failed the people of Syria. Still there are always alternatives to war as a first choice.
So can we stop with the labels and listen for the lessons: reverse Bush/Cheney Legacy, redefine Exceptionalism and prioritize focus on why California fires, Colorado floods, more mental illness, Super Sandy, FISA court anger at NSA surveillance, and “It’s not my problem.”
If America is grownup, let’s put away childish things like labels justifying war, and earn the exceptional mantel, of Peace.