Are we actually going to start talking jive about leaving? Just when things get crisp? If this is a test, then it is surely a multiple-choice test wrapped in an essay and almost certainly to be punctuated by some oral examinations. Prior to these attacks, I would talk openly about my intentional & eventual departure from the United States. For an amalgam of reasons, it represented more a traveler’s attitude a la Jake then an abandonment complex. Prior to these events, I had a nebulous yet pungent sense that, as a US citizen, I was viewed very negatively thru out the world. Having such close friends & ties to Oh Canadia, I heard stories such as: “If you’re ever in a tight situation overseas that’s going to turn horrifically grim, just claim to be a Canadian. Under no circumstances should you boast American heritage.” But such was the stuff of colorful conversation, backed by no real concrete animosity TOWARDS the US. It was just one more tale in a saga that literally (ok, in analogy) saw the US scorned like a bad lieutenant with too much power, too often wielded to service his own ends. As an American, I was lumped into that category and brandished the same. Again, I was apprehensive about my perception abroad as an American. Therefore, I sought the day when I could travel so far abroad and for such a period of time that I would be able to see what the baby & the bathwater looked like. From the outside. To be sure, I believed that my US education had raised me to see with an Americans’ eye what the only the inside of an American cocoon looked like. As well, that this ego-centric, fiscal-driven, quasi-colonist mentality I began to develop sometime after puberty was, for the most part, transparent to the majourity of my fellow Americans, but painfully clear to the rest of the world. I was going to alter this with a world-view. I was going to combat this with a mind more open then it was cynical. But I grew complacent. I began to seek more tangible goals such as (perceived) economic gain, or (simulated) social status. My goals became those bettering myself and the woman I love. Introversion. Isolationism away from those odd feelings concerning what it felt like to be an American living in America.
Until today. Until the Right Now. Until the conversations getting tossed back & forth these past 72 hours. Not only between the leaders of the world, but also between the Circus – some of the only constants I can rely on right now. Long-dormant thoughts are coming to the surface. Viewpoints once thought to be reactionary or counter to the views of the many are finally being expressed. Spades will be called spades and it will be a long and arduous road. History, both revisionist and sacred will be examined. What you hold to be truths & your rights as humans will be tempered against those who have been denied and can only hope for those same unalienable rights. Shame on you if you think I am in any way justifying the actions of those who would commit such atrocities in their pursuit of these rights. This is the shocking jolt. This is the rude awakening. This is the point in the existence of this country where the truth be told that we, as the United States, are no different for we have committed the same such atrocities. Albeit thrice removed. Atrocious that we should continue to call our foreign policy one of peace KEEPING. However you view the US intentions overseas, one only need look at the suffering that continues in those same lands despite these dollars & peace accords. One only needs to look at the severe breakdown within our own nation to realize that our current foreign policy is nothing short of re-arranging the deckchairs on the titanic. How many more of OUR dollars will be spent hunting down faceless symptoms of an overseas religious war before an American teacher gets a fiscal recognition? How many more people have to die?
You think that the current US military deployments to go about “ending states who sponsor terrorism” will EVER bring about peace in the Middle East? It will only spread it thinner. It will not be addressing THEIR issues and THEIR resolutions. And here is something that will really bake your noodle: Try and wrap your brains around the possibility that the attacks on our soul were borne OF our soil. Think about that. Remember Oklahoma and how cruel & misguided our initial assumptions were. Just: what if?
I talk as if there is actually some shred of hope that the US will take the high road. That they will do the right thing by cooling off and taking a levelheaded human approach to this. It won’t happen. As I snap this rant off, the engines are revving up and the fog is getting mixed. When the shit starts, you & I, as Americans, will only know what we are spoon-fed. The path we take, regardless of accuracy or lack thereof, will be touted as justification and rectification. Even so-called credible non-US sources such as the AP, BBC or CBC(!) will have little recourse but to run with whatever direction the momentum dictates. And you wont know the difference. And the rift that caused this most-recent link in a long chain of events will continue to fester. Only clichés will suffice. Eye for an Eye. But the real adage will be clear only after a painfully long distance of time & blood: That wrongs do not negate wrongs. That the path to peace must now be viewed in terms of the path less traveled.
But hell, if shit gets funky in here, I got plenty of room up in Ontario. I’ll bring the fishing tackle; you bring the propane & the Molson.