In the powerful words of Ruby, played by Renee Zellweger in the Civil War movie Cold Mountain, “They call this war a cloud over the land. But they made the weather and then they stand in the rain and say, ‘shit, it’s raining!”’
Well, America, after 13 years of war at home and abroad, this is a deluge. From the mountains of Afghanistan right to the front porches behind our white picket fences we see the evidence of industrialized capitalism’s unbridled greed.
We all contributed to this storm. Every time we laughed at our neighbor’s politics or filled our minds with a steady diet of cable news vitriol. Every time a venomous, anonymous attribution is planted on-line or in the newspaper, it creates more confusion and more hate. When we refuse to do our homework and look away at irrefutable, but inconvenient evidence of how America got to this horrible place in history–we create more ignorance, anger and fear.
When we send our beloved fathers, sons and daughters to fight under false pretenses (Iraq’s WMDs) we leave orphaned children behind–children who grow up with misdirected hatred. And what about the children of Afghanistan and Yemen killed weekly by drone bombs dropped on their villages? If those innocent children qualify as “enemy combatants” and collateral damage–don’t all the world’s children killed by weapons of war also qualify?
Generational hate spins round and round and grows stronger with the toxic fertilizers of ignorance, intolerance, fear…
“They call this war a cloud over the land. But they made the weather and then they stand in the rain and say, ‘shit, it’s raining!”’
Every time we re-brand heroes as “traitors,” we compound ignorance and the mainstream’s agenda of profit-driven-political-divisiveness.
Whenever American arms dealers sell weapons to each side of a war, citizens of entire countries end up hating us. We feel the hate and buy more guns–never understanding we have encouraged the cycle while also discouraging any chance of peace.
In a nation swimming in information without context, the only consequence can be more fear and hate. People hate and distrust what they do not understand. Try this experiment: Stop one person today and ask them the difference between Saddam Hussein and Osama Bin Laden.
After 13 years, most Americans still don’t know.
(Both Hussein and Bin Laden once worked for America’s C.I.A and were political enemies.)
At this point: Is there really a difference between out there and in here?
Hate is as common as dirt these days, and sometimes the common dirt is divided with uncommon adjectives like “Holy” or “Oil Rich.” That’s gives people something new to fight over.
“…they made the weather and then they stand in the rain and say, ‘shit, it’s raining!”’