The following likewise summarizes these same last seven years:
"Violence is the last refuge of incompetence" - The Sixth Principle of Incompetence.
I have likewise felt much "empathy" for John McCain and Joe Lieberman, who keep beating the drums of war - increased troops in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as waging war aginst the evil Iranian Regime.
As a Canadian, my chest swelled with patriotic "pride" when Prime Minister Harper announced his vague plans to invest greatly in our military, if only because "if you want to be taken seriously in the world, you need the capacity to act".
And then ...
Then I remembered this:
"Ignorance breeds fear. Fear fosters hate. In turn, hate leads inevitably to violence (...) when will we acknowledge the fact, once and for all, that it is the incompetents among us who consistently promulgate violence as a solution for anything, to everything? (...) we must strive to forget nevermore that rationalizations supporting the use of violence - other than the need for the rightful exercise of self-defense when set upon by a genuinely clear, present and immediate danger - invariably constitute deceitful fabrications meant to conceal, disguise or justify incompetence ... including our very own for embracing such mendacity."
"So - what exactly happened on the day after the fateful and tragic morning of 9/11?
We lost and the terrorists won.
Right there and then.
Whatever else has happened in the (seven) years which followed to this day merely constitutes the gradual and methodical enactment of the terms of our surrender.
No more, no less."
We have allowed ourselves to be enthralled by the fearmongering, the hatemongering and the cries for blind vengeance bellowed by false patriots, making us forget what true patriotism is and what it means.
Consequently, this is the price exacted from us when we entrust governance to incompetents:
"What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty or democracy?"
"What is power?
We all know the saying: 'Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely'. However, how many among us actually realize that this adage is nothing more than an excuse for incompetence in wielding, or exercising, power?
For it is a fact that those individuals who are 'corrupted' by power are inevitably revealed at their core to be selfish, greedy, covetous, paranoid or fearful. Consequently, these use power expediently as a tool for the wasteful satisfaction of their every whim, want and need, or as a weapon to aim recklessly at their outwardly-projected inner demons.
In short: only incompetents abuse power.
Why is this so? Because, their petty minds are blind to the principle that factual power constitutes that which serves not only to better our own personal lives, but to improve those of others as well. We are indeed the keepers of our brothers, our sisters, our families, our relatives and our neighbors: this is a plain and simple verity, which also happens to define the very essence of Humanity.
It is not coincidence that incompetents invariably forget - or deny - such a fundamental truth."
If only because we have met the enemy, and the enemy is ourselves.
We The People - this is what it has, and always has been, about. In a democracy, it is the electorate who holds all the keys and guard all the doors - provided that the citizens actually live up to their responsibility.
We are the ones who have broken the "contract between citizens and their government" because, in essence, we surrendered to fear, hate and desire for blind vengeance, all the while thinking that somehow our vigilance and implication had become optional with regards to our own governance.
My only remaining hope lies with the possibility that it is not too late, that we may yet veer off the road to perdition upon which we are fast riding on and take another, more enlightened, one.
After all, are our noble precepts of democracy, liberty, human rights and peace nothing but empty, boastful, self-gratifying and hypocritical shams?
(Cross-posted from APOV)