Bring It On!

Land of the Enslaved and Home of the Wussy

December 6th, 2006 | by Omnipotent Poobah |


Oh, say, can you see, by the dawn’s early light,
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars, thro’ the perilous fight’
O’er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming.
And the rockets red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
Oh, say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

Sure, it’s a tune so difficult that opera singers quiver at the thought of singing it. Yes, its lyrics are confusing enough to result in many a sports stadium embarrassment. But the last line’s question - “O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?” - is one most Americans pride themselves in answering with a resounding and patriotic yes.

However, I’m not sure we can still answer that question with a straight face.

Since 9/11, Americans have seen themselves as Gary Cooper in High Noon - proud cowboys standing up to thugs and villains to avenge the death of those who died. But, we seem to have missed a point in the analogy. When Cooper walks off into the sunset it’s a celebration of tough and individual bravery. As Americans walk toward their promised sunset - one we’re told will be free of terror as soon as we “win” the war - we do it while shuffling along in the self-imposed chains of irrational fear.

The whole point to terrorism is to bludgeon its victims into changing the way they live. The terrorists know the damage that fearful victims inflict on themselves is orders of magnitude larger than the physical damage they could ever hope to deliver. The object of terrorism is not to fight, but to use just enough physical force to make people cower at the thought of it.

Today, the star-spangled banner waves o’er the land of the wussies and the home of the cowardly. We’ve become a nation of jelly-legged, pusillanimous pussies who are cowed by a megalomaniac living in a cave. A man so scary that his chief terror weapons are amateur home movies in which he babbles asinine threats and predicts terror attacks like Nostradumbass.

In the face of this formidable foe we’ve happily gone along with any number of moronic tactics designed to make us safe, but instead enslave us. Through our own cowardice, we’ve allowed the terrorists to put us exactly where they want us - on our knees, whimpering for someone to do whatever it takes to make us safe.

Under the terrorist’s red rockets and bombs we’ve allowed our Bill of Rights to become more tattered than the flag at Ft. McHenry. We’ve gladly accepted all sorts of expensive nonsense to protect us from the man in the cave. We’ve invaded countries, imprisoned people without trial, and run roughshod over ourselves because we’re afraid of a skinny, delusional hermit. Without some rational rethinking of our War of Error, the terrorists will have won before we even figure out what the game is.

Don’t get me wrong. Terror attacks are evil and vile and reasonable precautions should be made to avoid them. However, you are statistically much more likely to be hit by lightning than you are to be the victim of a terror attack. I light of that, trashing the Bill of Rights, confiscating toothpaste, and spying on our own citizens seems a bit of an overreaction. If we followed the same logic to avoid lightning strikes we’d all be wearing lightning rod hats.

No, make those lightning rod dunce caps.

I’d like to believe that the recent changes in the political climate will lead us to more rational terror responses, but I’m not holding my breath. And the reason I’m not holding my breath is because we will have to demand our leaders take more reasonable actions, something I see no evidence of on the horizon.

To effect change, we need to stop smiling and ignorantly agreeing to stupid and draconian measures simply because they make us feel safer. Instead, we need to raise hell when some asshat like Newt Gingrich suggests that maybe the First Amendment isn’t all that important. We’ll need to tell our leaders that taking our toothpaste away is as stupid as protecting ourselves from biological attacks with a trip to Home Depot for plastic and duct tape. We’ll need to cast off our lightning rod dunce caps and stand a bit more like…well, like Gary Cooper, unbent by the forces of evil and ready to take our rightful place in the sun.

So WUSSIES OF THE NATION UNITE! It’s high time we step out of our own fears and face the reality of the moment before it is too late.

Cross Posted at The Omnipotent Poobah Speaks!

[tag]politics, terrorism, bush, omnipotent+poobah, bring+it+on[/tag]

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  1. 13 Responses to “Land of the Enslaved and Home of the Wussy”

  2. By sumo on Dec 6, 2006 | Reply

    Hey Poobie…ya done it again.  Told old Dub and Usama like it is.  But alas…being they are both delusional…you won’t be heard.  But I hear Ya!  This state of affairs doesn’t stop me from doing anything…I just go or do whatever…and either I live through it or I don’t.  I flew 3 weeks after 9-11…didn’t bother me one bit…it did seem a tad odd though with all the soldiers in camo suits and the guns too….they were really out there in the state of Washington.  I saw less at the time in San Francisco or LAX…mostly just waiting.  Do I feel safer with what the Dub has done with things…oh hell no!  You are right…they’ve gotten away with too much…and we are just now coming up to snuff doing something about it.  Too bad you can’t be in Santa Barbara with Dusty and me this Sunday…we hitting the road for a peace rally…and we aren’t taking any prisoners!

  3. By SteveIL on Dec 6, 2006 | Reply

    Bitch, moan, bitch, moan.  Some of what you say is correct (the toothpaste reference and Gingrich, although it was Democrat Woodrow Wilson who signed the Sedition Act), most of it is bullshit.  It is also made up of irrational fear-mongering, just like Americans are being accused of in this post.  Republican idiocy is the reason for the voters electing Democrats to the majority in Congress, yet these Democrats have offered no solutions or any kind of real platform for dealing with terrorism.  And no leadership whatsoever, par for the course for Congress (both parties) for a long time.  And it is because they are the wussies who seem to only know how to campaign, not govern as is their mandate.

    You call for rational actions.  Great.  I’d like to know what they would be.  And I don’t want pointless hyperbole about saving the Constitution or being the example for the world.  Something concrete, please.

  4. By skippy on Dec 6, 2006 | Reply

    off topic, but congrats to bring it on! for being nominated as a finalist in the best liberal blog category in the 2006 weblog awards

    it’s an honor to be singled out, and any blog that gets to the finals should be very, very proud.

    we know that skippy sure is!

  5. By Jet Netwal on Dec 6, 2006 | Reply

    Thanks, skippy! Congrats right back at you.

  6. By icoman on Dec 6, 2006 | Reply

    O.P.

    First, the world has to start calling a spade a spade.  This is religious terrorism.  What’s so wrong with using the word “religious”.  This violence goes back over 40,000 years since religions first began.  Relgions have to start being held responsible for the actions of their members.  Governments and businesses are liable for their employees so why can’t religions be sued also? Their members can kill and destroy but us taxpayers have to foot the bill.  Bovine droppings!

     

  7. By GTL on Dec 6, 2006 | Reply

    Pardon the off-topic intrusion, but I just wanted to congratulate Team Bio for your nomination as a FINALIST in the 2006 Weblog Awards under the “Best Liberal Blog” category!  It’s well-deserved, and you can, of course, count my personal vote in the bag for y’all.

    Blog ON, and many congrats, and many kudos, and many, many best luck wishes to my friends, and occasional co-bloggers of Team Bio!!!

  8. By Jet Netwal on Dec 6, 2006 | Reply

    Thank you, GTL. You’ll have our votes for Best Centrist Blog. Congratulations as well to all the fine writers on the GTL blog.

  9. By GTL on Dec 6, 2006 | Reply

    Thanks to Team BIO for any support for our victory in the Awards - we’ll take all we can gett :-)  And you can COUNT on ours for you guys… together, we all serve to set a fantastic example for independent, patriotic liberals everywhere.  You guys ARE the Best Liberal Blog, BAR NONE :-)

  10. By Dr. Forbush on Dec 6, 2006 | Reply

    SteveL,

    This isn’t a Liberal/Conservative issue. The problem is that no politician wants to appear weak on terrorism, so no politician is even going to bring up the idea of losening these restrictions. It doesn’t matter if the politician is liberal or conservative. And, I think that’s what  Omnipotent Poobah says here.

    It is just like the death penalty discussed yesterday. Scientific evidence says that the death penalty does nothing to curb murder, but no politician will even propose doing away with it. It has been shown that it is even being administered unfairly, and only unelected judges are willing to stand up for the victims.

    Fear is irrational, and it takes real leaders to act against the fear. We just don’t have many from either Political Party today.

  11. By SteveIL on Dec 6, 2006 | Reply

    Dr.,

    I did say that congressional Republican and Democrat politicians are wussies.  It’s not that we don’t have many leaders in either party, we don’t have any.  Zero.  Na-da. 

    My question wasn’t for the politicians (because I know they won’t answer them), but for those who say they want rational policies.  I’d like to hear what those policies would be.

  12. By tos on Dec 6, 2006 | Reply

    Very nice piece of writing and some valid points made. Why do you think people are cowed by a man living in cave? Is that not obvious. The fact that a man living in a cave  was able to carry out such an attack and now having to stay there because he is no longer free to plan another 9/11 or perhaps something greater. It doesn’t end with him there are plenty more there that would love to destroy us.

    How can you expect Americans to feel after that experience? Most people here never experienced an attack like that from another country on innocent civilians. Of  course people are going to be afraid. I mean really what should be done? Who knows, Should we wait and find out or take at least some preventive measures. I have to disagree that taking some harmless preventive measures is not overeacting.

    If we were overeacting we wouldn’t leave our homes or travel to NYC which is back to normal living.

    By the way. I don’t see the panic in American citizens. But we do need to be proactive where we can. So we check out toothpaste. It’s not that difficult to put it with the regular luggage. No one has all the answers on what to do just all the answers on what not to do after the fact.

  13. By Craig R. Harmon on Dec 8, 2006 | Reply

    I’m wondering why it is that I don’t feel enslaved. I mean, although I’ve never experienced slavery — and frankly, I’m not experiencing it now — I’ve read descriptions of slavery and I’m wondering how you can cheapen and trivialize slavery by calling America today the land of the enslaved?

    It’s not possible for a slave to not know he’s enslaved.

    More moral equivalence.

    Bah!

    Is there anything Liberals won’t trivialize in order to score points against Bush?

  14. By Craig R. Harmon on Dec 8, 2006 | Reply

    Terror attacks are evil and vile and reasonable precautions should be made to avoid them. However, you are statistically much more likely to be hit by lightning than you are to be the victim of a terror attack.

    No doubt about the statistical probabilities but I’m wondering what you consider to be reasonable precautions to avoid evil and vile terror attacks?

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