When you learn the truth about how your government and business leaders work, the lies and the hypocrisy and the coverups, it's heart-breaking. But perhaps the worst thing is what you learn about human nature.
This week, Cindy Sheehan signed off from the organised "peace movement":
I have invested everything I have into trying to bring peace with justice to a country that wants neither. If an individual wants both, then normally he/she is not willing to do more than walk in a protest march or sit behind his/her computer criticizing others. I have spent every available cent I got from the money a "grateful" country gave me when they killed my son and every penny that I have received in speaking or book fees since then. I have sacrificed a 29 year marriage and have traveled for extended periods of time away from Casey's brother and sisters and my health has suffered and my hospital bills from last summer (when I almost died) are in collection because I have used all my energy trying to stop this country from slaughtering innocent human beings. I have been called every despicable name that small minds can think of and have had my life threatened many times.The sad truth is that many people just don't care. Gordon Gecko's "greed is good" philosophy is alive and well in the 21st Century. Indeed, it has flourished since it was first articulated in the 1980s.
The most devastating conclusion that I reached this morning, however, was that Casey did indeed die for nothing. His precious lifeblood drained out in a country far away from his family who loves him, killed by his own country which is beholden to and run by a war machine that even controls what we think. I have tried ever since he died to make his sacrifice meaningful. Casey died for a country which cares more about who will be the next American Idol than how many people will be killed in the next few months while Democrats and Republicans play politics with human lives...
I am going to take whatever I have left and go home. I am going to go home and be a mother to my surviving children and try to regain some of what I have lost...
Good-bye America…you are not the country that I love and I finally realized no matter how much I sacrifice, I can't make you be that country unless you want it.
It's up to you now.
Money is the supreme motivating factor for a whole host of evils, from the backroom deals in the business clubs to the frightened, self-centered votes at the ballot box.
UPDATE: More from Andrew J. Bacevich, an anti-war soldier who just lost a son in Iraq:
“Money,” he notes bitterly, “maintains the Republican/Democratic duopoly of trivialized politics. It confines the debate over U.S. policy to well-hewn channels… It negates democracy, rendering free speech little more than a means of recording dissent. This is not some great conspiracy. It’s the way our system works.”But as Gary Leupp notes:
If there is a positive aspect to this despair, it is this very realization: the system is the problem. It has not so much “failed” us as we have failed to understand what Sheehan and Bacevich are concluding: it isn’t designed to work for us but for but for them.