In the face of what has happened on the Gulf Coast of America, should we be surprised that the Department of Defense is persisting in its "Freedom Walk" on Sunday, September 11 to commemorate and remember the victims of 9/11?
Should we be surprised to learn that it is a "permitted" event, meaning that it is open only to those approved by the organizing group, in this case, the Pentagon?
Is it surprising that Clint Black, famous for his patriotic song "Iraq and Roll," will be the featured entertainer, and will, thus, attempt to connect, yet again, Bush's Iraq war with 9/11?
The Bush administration is ever ready to use government for its selfish interests. It continues to use 9/11 as justification and cover for almost everyhting it does to hurt Americans. It manipulates policy and legislation in ways that benefit its corporate sponsors. It restricts ways in which Americans can protest government, so it can dodge any responsibility or accountability. It uses government to censor science which doesn't fit its narrow religious beliefs. It eliminates bankruptcy protections for Americans at a time when more and more are threaterned with economic implosion. It uses government to deny contraception for people in AIDS-torn Africa, again in the service of its narrow religious beliefs. It sponsors and encourages huge exports of jobs away from its own people to benefit the bottom lines of its corporate cronies. It provides sinecures in government for incompetent hacks as payback for favors. It cuts prevailing wage laws in the wake of America's worst national disaster to help the likes of Halliburton. It stands by while oil companies gouge Americans at the pump. It encourages bigots like Pat Robertson. It cuts budgets for real homeland security from hurricanes like Katrina, while it pumps billions into the budgets of defense contractors and its own selfish war in Iraq.
The Bush administration has become America's weapon of mass self-destruction. It has selectively employed Grover Norquist's wish to drown government in the bathtub, by literally drowning the American people, while using government for its own corrupt purposes.
The victims of Katrina are more than just the dead, the dying, the displaced, and the abandoned of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. The victims are the American people as a whole.
We have elected this government twice (although there may be some evidence ot the contrary) and given it permission to undercut its own people. The Democratic opposition has been complicit in some of it -- giving carte blanche to Bush in Iraq, voting to take away bankruptcy protections for the American people (even Hillary Clinton voted for it), and supporting Bush's energy policy. Some say we deserve the government we vote for.
While I hesitate to use the prevalent phrase "tipping point", it fits the time. Now should be the tipping point for change in America. In the aftermath of Katrina, evidence of the Bush government's incompetence, its bankrupt and greedy policies, and its callous disregard for the personal and economic safety of the American people is more glaringly clear than ever. If it isn't the "tipping point" then we need to simply give it a good shove.
If we do not exploit (in the best sense of that word) this terrible example of how bad this Bush government really is to make changes in 2006, and then again in 2008, then we really will deserve the goverment we vote for. Let's not forget the Democrats who have been bought and paid for as well. We need to deal with them, too.