I'm "down." As soon as my computer starts verifying it's me, I'm "disconnected," reading the message that my server cannot establish a connection. For awhile I had hopes of fixing it, and followed advice and sought other "entrances" and waited for telephone lines to dry out, but all to no avail. So now I'm at the library, reading all the accumulated messages I may not have time to answer before my allotted time is up.
But to be honest, I'm down in a far more significant way. The shock of a majority of voters affirming that America was on "the right course" was, to me, more distressing than our launching war on Iraq. Then, I rationalized supporters of war had been misled by a president blind to the strategems of his closest advisers who was supported by a complicit media. This election time, some of our media had admitted culpability and supplied enough information to sweep this dangerous president from office--or so I thought. (I'm speaking personally here. These comments are not "official" Peace Network statements.)
How wrong I was. Last night, our television screen looked like, as one commentator said, "the Fourth of July," as America continued the "shock and awe" that seems to be our sole foreign policy tool. Imagining the terror of people cowering under that bombardment, now devoid of hope that somehow their attacker would be brought to heel by a people-led democracy, sickens the soul. Now these hapless people who endured the First Gulf War and years of sanctions watching over half a million of their children die are subject to "shock and awe" again. And this time the "coalition of the willing" includes the American people. How shocking and aw(e)ful!
When Peace Network postponed our "Regathering" to after the election, we did so because so many of our folk were working in the election, and because we realized our plans should be based on the course our president would set for our country. And now, here we are, facing the bleakest of futures, as visions of our national holiday celebrating the independence of the land of the free and the home of the brave blurs into the awful pictures shock and awe creates. Each explosion sears the brand of a country gone mad, and I long to be disconnected from the mayhem.
But if I remain "disconnected," I will not be me. I cannot verify my Self by allowing my government to shut me out. I know I am of little consequence in their scheme of things, but I still yet believe, like Anne Frank, that "people are really good at heart." When I taught Anne's story and directed the play, I continually pondered how an entire country could be so blinded and misled. Now, I'm sorry to say, I'm beginning to understand. Tell a Big Lie often, and it becomes the truth, when the listeners are distracted or faithful followers of a nationalistic religion.