J.David Galland: America's Rip Van Winkle Syndrome

Many people are not going to be happy with the context of this article. The truth can be a prodigiously large and hauntingly difficult pill to swallow. At the end of the day, however, it is all we have, the truth, and it can hurt.

Hopefully, truth will not always be so painful. I am, however, convinced it is far more fearsome, in varying degrees, to the comfortable American, awash in conveniences, fast this, fast that, and drive-up everything's. But, when we delude ourselves as a society, and a people, for a protracted period of time and re-elect corrupt politicians, who clearly do not represent the best for The United States, I think we need to look within! At the same time, we allow the emotional opinions of self-serving idiots, and media notables, demagogues with bizarre thought and conduct processes, to serve as the compass that guides our lives like a heretofore directionless ship, foundering in the rough sea. A human entity devoid of autonomy, that is without the sense to reason and to think independently. As American poet and writer, Henry David Thoreau, described those of his t! ime, who would not take a political stand against slavery, men of straw.

Many Americans, sadly, fall quite comfortably into the aforementioned categories. Those who do found themselves in great numbers, amongst the blissfully ignorant and completely taken-a-back, on September 11th. At the same time, many of us were not surprised at these tragic events; we expected this kind of offensive operation against the United States.

My fellow Americans, on September 11th of this year, you had no more, and no less, the amount and quality of military force, and intelligence collection ability, than you clearly indicated was an acceptable level, in relation to its cost, that you cared to have.

In recent weeks, your Congress and your Senate approved a multi-billion, yes, billion dollar coffer to serve as a "jump-start" financing plan to initially fund the war in Afghanistan. Only months ago, a multi-million dollar increase proposal for the U. S. Navy's operational budget was considered substantial. By whom you ask? Your Congress and Your Senate; your philandering Gary Condit, your "less than macho" Barney Frank, your "swim champion", Ted Kennedy, the disbarred former Chief Executive. Do I need to continue?

While mulling over the Navy's request for funding to defend America, your elected politicians approved an 85 Million-Dollar study on Breast Cancer Research for the Navy to conduct. Now, whom do you blame for spending defense money on this research, instead of buying more aircraft, ships, equipment, and missiles? In deference to somebody, anybody involved in this debacle, the Secretary of Defense and The Secretary of The Navy both opposed this expenditure and they deserve credit. At the same time, Hillary Clinton, the wife of a well known "stud -extraordinaire" and cigar connoisseur, played the "Sexist - Card" and accused both esteemed secretaries of being insensitive and irresponsible, and of course demeaning to women and sexist. I think that is a sort - of package deal. Unfortunately, the media did not cover the aforementioned facts closely enough, so most folks, between watching "White Wash Dan Rather" and his ilk, never learn of this stupidity. So, there you go, but it surely does not end here.

Those of you who watch the CSPAN channel, if your memory is clear, may recall how the people in charge of the military, as they say, "the heads of our armed services", practically begged and grovelled before our elected officials. They were only asking for more money to fight terrorism and to maintain a strong defense. Sounds logical and simple, right?

When the heads of the Intelligence Services appeared before the same elected officials, they vehemently declared and informed your representatives that terrorism, directed at the United States, was the Number 1, threat. The Intelligence community heads made your elected officials fully aware that they did not have the funding to create and sustain intelligence networks that would preclude attacks on America. The fact that a clear danger existed that could not be countered, given current funding initiatives, apparently did not impress the elected elite. It apparently did not impress most Americans either, or perhaps you were busy watching the Tele-Tubbies or Big-Time Wrestling, mutants both.

Top military leaders appeared before your elected officials and pleaded for more funding to maintain an acceptable level of military readiness and to be given the money to conduct sorely lacking combat training. Literally, military generals were begging your elected officials for beans and bullets and this is inexcusable.

More inexcusable, I assert, when funding for sensitivity training and consideration of others training is readily available. I suppose this is because many brilliant reports have determined that military men are sexist homophobes and have overly aggressive personality traits that paint them as insensitive. Social engineering projects within the uniformed services are given top priority, while many soldiers have not fired a weapon on the qualification range in years. Bayonets, locked tightly in secluded arms rooms, rust in their scabbards, and are referred to by some soldiers as, "that pointy-sticky thing that goes on the end of my gun"! If this does not illustrate training shortcomings to the reader, then let's go to Rio de Janeiro for the ice fishing tournament! America, does this bother you?

When the military asked for funding, to equip soldiers, to buy the tools of war necessary to protect America, and to ensure soldiers achieve and maintain proficiency with these tools, many are labelled "extremist" and part of a vast right-wing conspiracy. At the same time, your elected officials have warm hearts and hurry to send your soldiers just about anywhere; when a school in Kosovo needs a new playground or a sandbox, or when the residents of some poor African country are in dire need of root canals, or when Laotian tribesmen need free chiropractic care. At the same time, a soldier's family members wait with toothaches on "space available appointment" lists for months.

America's protector, its last line of defense, is its standing military force. Obviously, young American men and women must enlist in the military to maintain the strength of the nation. I see this as a very honorable calling, but I am among the few who do. America's response to recruitment was to close and prohibit the ROTC programs at universities and high schools. Recruiters are barred from campus and high school property. In this fashion, America has clearly indicated that they will not allow their sons and daughters to defend their country and freedom. In the minds of too many, this is all quite justified, particularly if one ascribes to the lunacy of Oprah Winfrey and the somewhat mal-adjusted Rosie O'Donnell, who are "God-Like" to many. According to their "teachings", the military incites violence and teaches children to use guns, thus ensu! ring more high school massacres, to be sure.

America's military leaders have had the unbridled audacity to inform your elected officials that they cannot continue to waste time, troops, money, assets, soldier morale, and preparedness in the numerous swill holes of the world, where the downtrodden and hungry abound. When the media gets an ear full of this reality, it portrays America, and its soldiers as insensitive to the starving masses. This normally triggers a plethora of backlashes. Notables suddenly emerge with a mouthful of demands and threats. Even the racist, self-serving demagogue, love daddy, Reverend Jesse Jackson, invoking the ever present threat of a, "Civil-Rights Backlash", has declared, in his holy and intellectually enlightened level of pulchritude, that this is what America pays soldiers to do. Apparently a great deal of Americans believe this idiot.

Why are you Americans indifferent and flippant toward the attack on the USS Cole, where many sailors died? What about the Air Force barracks that was bombed in Saudi Arabia? How about all those people killed and injured at the embassies in Africa? Why have you all forgotten the American soldiers whose lifeless corpses were dragged through the streets of Somalia"? What about the soldier who was beaten to death on the TWA plane when it was hijacked, his body thrown on the tarmac like trash? What about the 54,000 young men who were sent to their deaths for virtually nothing, in Vietnam?

In the meantime, when Americans ought be rising up and demanding accountability of their elected officials, they are too busy defending Animal rights. Many others are more concerned with getting in touch with their own feelings, and feeling the pain of others in an extension of condolence. Some others are out, seeking closure, following the recent rise and drop in gasoline prices. Another apparently time-consuming American responsibility is being the world's leader at legitimizing homosexuality, while threatening and offending those who still think the concept is abhorrent. There are other, more pressing concerns, like the fact that the Ozone level can ruin a good tan and that it is acceptable to assault and murder people, in the name of moral righteousness, if they perform an abortion. If nothing else, we can visit a burger joint and jostle people who dare t! o eat meat. Then yes, there is the belief that all police officers are secretly Neo-Nazis and Ku Klux Klan emissaries, what about rising prices on wide screen televisions and batteries that only last a month in your remote control?

Americans, you ignored the signs! You did not want to be bothered. You did nothing to demand accountability from your elected officials, not even when one shook his finger at you and lied on National television, thus admonishing you for even accusing him. This is why the Terrorists have attacked the United States. You got exactly what you asked for, either by omission or commission. Now, fix it, and be quick!