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With Us Or Against Us

excerpts from a column by William Frey. November 17, 2005

The repercussions of perpetual war, unwanted occupation of a foreign land, a reviled America abroad, and permanent erosions of our liberties have rendered the rents in the fabric of our democracy all too apparent. Rationalization for such egregious departures from our values can be accomplished only with the generous use of denial and self-deception.

A predictable pattern has developed. Misguided policy – most specifically, policy which convinces Iraqis that we are intent upon permanent occupation – fuels increasing insurgency. With each set-back President Bush has reacted by rhetorically “upping the ante”. Each escalation of rhetoric is accompanied by increasingly strident claims that those taking exception to his policies are “siding with the terrorists.”

In his call to arms, “You are either with us or against us”, by paraphrasing the words of Christ from the twelfth chapter of Mathew, President Bush appropriates the language of faith for the cause of total and unquestioning support for Administration war policy.

Such framing of the issues encourages a view of reality with only two options: siding with an infallible, virtuous, freedom-spreading America led by George Bush, ordained by God to democratize the world, or siding with evil.

“Upping the ante,” as well as the re-defining of both patriotism and divine will so as to be in accord with administration policy, solidifies our emotional commitment to the premise that every act of war, every Fallujah, every death of a son or daughter, every “liberated” Iraqi civilian who becomes “collateral damage”, every new infringement upon our civil liberties, is all for the greater good. By such a process, we may find solace, avoid recognition of the actual horrors we have come to support, and psychically deflect responsibility for the unintended, but predictable, consequences of our actions.

You have been reading excerpts from "Confessions of a Repentant Republican" by William Frey. You can read the entire piece here: tinyurl.com/854v9. Thanks to consortiumnews.com. We visit often and we hope you will too.

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