SPEAKING OUT:

Open Letter to America from a Canadian, #3

by W. R. McDougall

If more Americans simply took a few minutes each day to recapitulate events of the last three years, this fog of madness might lift a little. So relax. Breathe deeply. Maybe enjoy a nice, warm cup of tea. Then put your memory to work.
Thank you, Baltimore Chronicle, for providing a forum to those outside your country who are worried about you and your fellow citizens. As you know, many of us out here believe that a majority of the American population has gone mad.

We would like to help these people regain their sanity. But of course, it is no simple task.

Perhaps memory exercises would help. That is, if more Americans simply took a few minutes each day to recapitulate events of the last three years, this fog of madness might lift a little, like mist on an autumn morning.

Each American can start by finding a comfortable place to sit, with no television sets in the vicinity or, if this is not possible, no channels tuned to CNN, Fox News or other public relations vehicles of The White House.

Relax. Breathe deeply. Maybe enjoy a nice, warm cup of tea. Then put your memory to work.

Now, think about corporate disasters. Remind yourself about how they lay strewn like broken toys amid the forgotten corners of your news media’s ever-shrinking economic and social consciousness.

Consider, for example, Ken Lay of Enron fame. Ask yourself: Where the hell is he? Playing golf with Dick Cheney?

This exercise alone may require a stupendous amount of effort. If you feel exhaustion after attempting to practice it, end the session for the day.

When you settle in for your next exercise, consider the economic policies of your president. Remind yourself that his tax cuts are principally designed to enrich the wealthy, that his incentive programs for big business are thank you notes to those who support him, and that his idea of responsible fiscal restraint is to—in time of war—reduce benefits to members of your armed forces.

Feeling exhausted again? Maybe hold off till next time. But make sure you are truly refreshed before attempting the next session. For this one requires that you focus your attention on 911.

Think hard and you will discover that almost no one in the mainstream media, including those so-called bastions of investigative reporting The New York Times and The Washington Post, has made any substantive effort to follow the money relating to either the terrorist dollars that sponsored 911 or profits deriving from questionable stocks in airlines and other companies victimized by 911.

Then ponder the families of victims of the catastrophe, who are practically alone among citizens demanding more answers.

Difficult though it may be, do not end the exercise there. Recall, too, that despite a mountain of evidence showing utter incompetence and even criminal neglect on the part of United States intelligence services in failing to thwart 911, no one has been called on the carpet.

Remember that many of the high-ranking individuals who dropped the ball—or who simply turned to look the other way—have in fact been promoted in their jobs.

And with that, end the session abruptly. Straining your memory any further might cause you to become politically active.

For your next session, turn your thoughts to the war with Iraq. Think about how only Ted Kennedy and a handful of others in your government have had the courage to criticize what is now plainly an illegal and ruinous act of aggression that has devastated the infrastructure of an entire country and killed, at best estimate, 10,000 Iraqi people, half of them children.

Maintain your composure when it occurs to you that this war now shows signs of escalating into a full-blown political disaster domestically and internationally.

Breath deeply again. Try not to weep when you realize that American soldiers are still being killed and wounded daily in Iraq, months after your president announced his mission accomplished.”

For your last session, muster all the energy you can as you focus your mind on The Patriot Act. Consider how new draconian measures slated for this treasonous document are being touted as essential to the fight against terrorism even as hundreds of cities and communities—and several states—condemn the act as unconstitutional.

Remind yourself that provisions of the act intended for terrorist investigations are now being liberally applied to a raft of other lesser crimes and misdemeanors.

Finally, make a brave effort to conjure up images of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), which for several years now has been busy building huge—and as yet empty—internment camps across the American outback as America sleeps.

I encourage you to encourage others in your country to practice all or even some of these exercises.


W.R. McDougall corresponds from Ontario. See also his Open Letter #1 and #2. Readers may also want to see the Open Letter from New Zealand.


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This story was published on November 27, 2003.