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Cowardice: Yours, Mine, and Ours

The year begins with your humble Doctor begging your pardon. Like so
many keyboard criers, I wrote some impassioned pieces on the current
conflict in Afghanistan (it sure ain't no war, with no declaration from
Congress), decrying the Ashcroft raids, the bombings of civilian targets,
and the pass given to Saudi Arabia despite its much greater role in
fostering al-Qaeda. I wrote 'em, but I reread 'em--and I decided not
to post them. No sense adding to the stridency of the national
conversation, I thought. No sense risking injuring the feelings of
those with friends and family overseas, I thought. No sense raking
up the bad feelings created by the thousands of dead in New York,
I thought.

Well, caca.

I chickened out, simply put. Many of us have. The national media
has been giving the pro-"war" side a free pass, not questioning the
underlying assumptions driving this conflict. Policies that have nothing
whatever to do with the war--like the tax-reduction package, a warmed-
over rerun from the supply-side crowd--are sailing through, unchallenged
by a media long derided as "liberal", despite its consistent championing
of the corporate status quo. Hokum is broadcast and published, and I
and many others have sat by, quiet in the face of it all. No sense
causing offense, right?

Again, caca.

Cowardice is cowardice. Anyone who loves his or her country has a
duty to learn its history, to study its current actions, and to render
an informed opinion on its course. If one finds, after careful study
and consideration, that one's country is heading the wrong way, one
has the duty to speak out and say so.

I apologize for having sidestepped that duty.

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