Americans are under attack. Not by terrorists who threaten the "American way of life" but by our own government, which has taken the task of demolishing our civil liberties into its own hands – all in the name of protecting our freedom.
So, in order to secure our freedoms, we have to take them away? Last time we checked 1-1 = 0 and that's what we'll soon be left with – zero rights.
The government has become so scared of it's own citizens that they believe student protesters at UC Santa Cruz are a "credible threat." President Bush has once again misinterpreted his duties of serving the American people to mean he is above the law and subsequently has been illegally tapping the phones of U.S. citizens.
And, as The Weekly reported in December of last year, the government has taken steps to do away with state ID cards by replacing them with a national version that not only contains more personal information but also has "some form of machine-readable technology." The worry is that the more technologically advanced ID cards will not only enable access into our personal lives by the government but by identity thieves as well.
Are all of these things really necessary for our safety? Does anyone feel any safer today than they did three years ago? We hope that a tragedy like 9/11 will never happen again. Unfortunately, it has been used to not only justify a war on Afghanistan (or is it Iraq – which one is it today?) but to also wage a war on its own citizens. So our government fears us and in turn has made us afraid of each other as well.
We've been told to keep a close eye on the activities of our neighbors and report anything suspicious. Remember when we used to just invite them over for a Sunday afternoon barbeque and the kids would play in the kiddy pool together? Unfairly targeting Muslims has lead to widespread racial profiling of anyone with brown skin who might not conform to the behavior that is deemed "American" enough. Hate crimes go largely unprosecuted and unpunished.
But do not dissent, because as President Bush said in his State of the Union address, dissenting opinions are not wanted and criticisms of his administration aren't welcome. It is clear that he feels he has supreme authority and that he knows what's better for us than we do. To project such a classic colonizer attitude – "father knows best" – is insulting and leaves us to wonder how much this country has learned from its mistakes since the conquest of what is now America.
The worst part is that despite the protests and letter writing campaigns, we keep letting him get away with it. Enough Americans are fooled into believing that this war is necessary and that the subsequent attack on our rights is necessary to protect our now seemingly imaginary freedoms. We are not truly free when our poor men and women are fighting a rich man's war and too many of our children are starving in the streets right here on American soil.