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June 24, 2006

Terrorists, Citizens, and Other Creatures Living in the World

I had the most interesting conversation tonight. My friend actually thought that the "terrorists" who were arrested in Florida this week will be acquitted because US citizens simply wont believe that their fellow citizens are terrorists.

Unfortunately, knowing US history as I do, there's simply no way I can agree with him. First, there are the terrorists that have been around during my lifetimes: Timothy McVeigh and the Oklahoma City bombing; Ted Kaczynski, the Unabomber; and the Branch Davidians near Waco. And of course, when I was less than a year old, there was the Jonestown mass murder / suicide, origin of the phrase "drink the Kool-Aid" (even though they used FlavorAid).

My point is that crazy people exist in all societies, including the US. It is not easy to distinguish between the white hats and the black hats. Indeed, many ultra-conservatives would take one look at the name of my blog and throw me in the same lot with the people I've been mentioning. So, where exactly has the shades of grey gone?

Lost, perhaps in the same place as a serious discussion of racism in our society. While many US residents believe in American exceptionalism and the need to fight crusades to "spread democracy and capitalism" (emphasis on the latter), a few of us are trying to valiantly resurrect the art of serious discussion.

In this Age of Fear, I think it would be extremely easy to convict US citizens of crimes they didn't commit. It happens everyday for far less egregious reasons than pledging oneself to Osama bin Laden. Never mind that the suspects had no weapons and no serious plots. The 24/7 news media spent days chattering about this government "coup," which gave the administration a welcome reprieve from the constant reminder that the majority of Americans want to get the hell out of Iraq NOW.

Posted by cj at June 24, 2006 11:37 PM


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