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Saturday, June 26, 2004

I just saw Fahrenheit 9/11.

Go see it. Now. I order you. If you are Democrat or Republican, American, British, Moroccan, Venezualan, if you work in a factory or in a skyscraper, GO SEE THIS DAMNED MOVIE. Absolutely EVERYTHING I've wanted to say to the American people for the past four years is summed up in an easy-to-consume, sensationalist Michael Moore package. You will laugh and cry, in equal measure. Really.

What moved me the most was seeing an Iraqi woman, upon seeing her uncle's house demolished (with her uncle in it), shouted at the camera that God was great and would smite the Americans in revenge. "Allahu Akbar!" she shouted at US, the common theater-goer, blaming us for the death of her uncle.

And for a second, I honestly wished God would strike down my house as she said, avenge her uncle and break all my nice kitchen counters and dishwashers and GameCubes and Xboxes and every single thing that makes me an American ignorant to the suffering of the rest of the world. And yet... it's silly to think that the Americans are responsible for this atrocity; we're so far removed from what's happening, all we were being told is that the President needs your help to strike down on the evildoers who are going to invade your community. How the hell the Earth's poorest nations are supposed to want to kill us for our freedoms is beyond me, but you can't really blame the populace for supporting this war when all they saw were Fox News presentations designed to look like football games that said terra terra terra, Iraqi freedom, support the troops and damn, that was one hell of an explosion.

So I do wonder what I can do as an American and that is not to be so ignorant all the time. The people who are responsible for this war are Bush and friends, but also the people who let him; the Democratic senators who pissed their pants, the Republicans who stood by and saluted while their party's traditional platforms of "stop big government" and "mind our own borders" were being eroded, and ultimately you and me, for sitting and being complacent about all this. I suppose the only thing I can do, as an American, to repay that woman who shouted "Allahu Akbar!" at me with such certainty that I almost felt the theater come down on me, is to educate myself and become part of that machine. I can take the blame. I can tell myself that, as a citizen of a Democratic society, I pay the price for what my country as done. And I can do everything in my power to make sure nothing like this ever happens again.

That is the only true patriotism. Serve your country. Serve your democracy. Freedom demands it. Vote!
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