When I awoke at 5;00 I reached for the on button on the clock radio which is always tuned to WQXR, the classical music station of the NY Times. Soon I heard an announcer say there would be no commercials today, only music -- chosen, I knew, with their usual care. Nothing maudlin, just wonderful music. This is a station, reader, that you can access on the web.
An email friend from the hinterlands twits me a fair amount about political subjects; we disagree approximately 120%. Sometimes the emails are serious, he's really not a knee jerk guy - retired military so ... but a recent note listed things he sees wrong with the US and he mentioned that "people forget 9/11". In his"that day" memories that are not just about what we saw on TV.
But the subtext was that people fault Bush, or self-proclaimed "war president" for the war in Iraq because they forget 9/11. But what has that war done? Killed as many of our men and women as the terrorists did, and left thousand more disabled and deeply traumatized, destroyed a country that was actually not a threat to us. It has not "got" the terrorists but has spawned more. And at home? The paranoiac fear has been used to ignore both our Constitution and international agreements, it has given us a 1984 type surveilence system and made air travel an irritation that raises nearly everyone's blood pressure while demeaning millions of well meaning Americans with intrusive search practices carried out by half-trained personnel who become mini-tyrants or mental neo-nazis who make everyone take off their shoes and forfeit their water bottles. Here in NYC I can expect to have most of my moves in public recorded on cameras. Are we safer? Have we won respect around the world? And when will the economy recover from the costs of this assinine war? This has not been an eye for an eye which is a horrible, primitive motto, this has been seven years of wishing I didn't live in a country with such "leadership."
I wish I felt there was true change in the air, I wish I felt some of that "hope" to be real and not rhetorical. I remember too many wars in just my life time. And too many Presidents who were "not crooks" but not fine leaders -- by a long shot.
ELDER MUSIC: The Band, Revisited - This Sunday Elder Music column was launched in December of 2008. By May of the following year, one commenter, Peter Tibbles, had added so much knowledge an...
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