The silent American public [Archives:2003/693/Opinion]

December 8 2003

By Gary Vey
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I am currently living in Asia with many other ex-patriots who fled America prior to the recent decline of my beloved country. I still love my country and its people.
I am not alone. There are many of us who have sought to escape the oppression of dissension to the current political agenda by moving to foreign lands. For many of us, hearing news from our homeland is like hearing about an ex-lover that we have not entirely forgotten. We are sad to hear the universal hatred of America by even the most peaceful and neutral nations and of the systematic erosion of the freedoms and liberties that once made us proud to love America.
After the attacks of September 11th we were told that the terrorists “hated us because of our freedom.” But it seems now that America has surrendered many of these same freedoms under the present political administration. The news at home is censored and void of any realistic account of the horror in Iraq to civilians and our own military. The Patriot Act has stripped every American of even their most basic rights to privacy and personal opinion. What the terrorists failed in doing has been vigorously accomplished by our own government.
Someone, I can't remember who, once said that “the people always get the government that they deserve.” These are wise words. I search every day for news of the American people's outrage at what is happening both domestically and globally under the present administration but there is only silence. Perhaps massive unemployment and the poor economy at home have left little time for such political concerns as families try to cope with rising expenses and enormous health care costs.
From a distance, it is easy to see the irony of tax breaks for the wealthy and an international policy geared to make petro-chemical conglomerates absorb the world's wealth. It is easy to see the billion dollar contracts going to Vice-president Cheney's old company, Haliburton, to rebuild the destruction heaped on Iraq by the military and ten years of economic sanctions. But the greatest irony is that the American people, the Moms and Dads who suffer from these policies, are silent.
It is easy to blame the American news media for not reporting the complete truth. Most of the media is today controlled by five or six huge companies with a vested interest in the billions that will be spent on the military budget. It is easy to blame politicians, supposed to represent the average American, who are instead anxious about getting re-elected for another term in office. But the real blame must also be born by the American people who do not complain, who do not ask questions and who let others do their thinking. Yes, it is true, the people do get the government that they deserve.
The silence of German people during the last century eventuated in the horrors of the Nazi regime. This same scenario has been repeated again and again in history. In the end, as it has happened many times before, even the greatest empires will be defeated ) not from an external enemy ) but from within by rot of complacency and the silence of their own people.