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State of the Union:  a defeated nation
Mark A. Goldman                                                                      Dated:  1/26/07


There is a lot of discussion about whether or not we can win the war if we send more troops. The war is already over. We lost. We are a defeated nation. No amount of troops can secure a victory now. In fact, the more troops we send, the more we lose. What was at stake in this war? Everything. 

If you listen to the pundits and the news, it is all about the war in Iraq. They will even tell you that the last election was about the war. But the war I have been fighting has nothing to do with Iraq. The war I have been fighting has nothing to do with terrorists. In the war I have been fighting, who wins—the people who continue to honor and hold sacred the Constitution and the rule of law, or those who do not— is a lot more important than who wins in Iraq. As far as I can tell, those who do not honor the Constitution have already won. The war I have been fighting has been going on long before I entered the fray.  That war is lost.

This is not to say that I am surrendering.  After all, I'm not dead yet. I'm only telling the truth as I see it... only taking stock of the battlefield, counting the dead, the dying, and the wounded; counting the hours before the sun sets, and seeing what is left of my candle.

Even if we kill every al-Qaeda "terrorist" in the Middle East, the war will still be lost. Al-Qaeda is not our mortal enemy. It never was. There never was an external enemy who could transform our government from a constitutional representative democracy into something else. I have no name for what it is today, but what we have now is not that. Too bad for our children.

The only reason that it still might look like a working constitutional democracy is that many of our people believe and act as if there still is one. The only thing that will convince them that they are living an illusion is when the reality hits them where it hurts, as it did and continues to do for many of our citizens who used to live in New Orleans. They now know, that what they have lost is more than just their homes, their jobs, their money, and their stuff.  They were betrayed by their own government, their own countrymen.  What they lost were their illusions and the dream it represented.

To win back our constitution and reinstate the rule of law we will have to fight another war, a different war. To win that war will require a critical mass of citizens who have the vision to see, the heart to fight, and the will to win. Maybe that war will be fought by our great-grandchildren or great-great-grandchildren. I'm guessing it will take that long for our children and grandchildren to unlearn what we have been teaching them by our example. Maybe I'm being too optimistic.

Sometimes silence is golden. Sometimes silence is discretion and the better part of valor. Sometimes it's fear. Sometimes neglect. And sometimes silence is treason.

About a hundred years ago there was famine in China. I predict that one day there will be famine right here in the United States. When they read in China what is happening to us, they will care as much about us as we cared about them when we read what was happening there. The bread that will be consumed in many nations will be baked with wheat that was grown here, even as America's children go hungry… it will be called the great hunger in the midst of plenty... and we will weep in our graves.

On Citizenship

On Work

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights



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