Some of you were raised upon the same myth as was I. From our elders, or their elders, many of which fought in the Second World War, we grew up in the comfort that American ingenuity could and would be able to solve the world’s problems. We grew up safe, we grew up right, knowing that whatever form evil might take, as “one nation indivisible”, we were more than a match for it……After all, we were spawned from the world’s greatest generation.

Ominous parallels lie deep in the files of history. Parallels to the “Fall of Rome”, are often premature. However,….I ask your indulgence instead, in comparing ourselves to another scenario, which seems to closely compare with our current plight.

Without question the last century, closed down with much fanfare seven years ago, was indeed the American Century. Today, bets currently upon this century’s title, the one we have recently entered, are leaning towards it becoming known as the Chinese Century. But,… if one backs up to the 1800’s, from the defeat of Napoleon early on, to the glory of an Empire on which “the sun never set”, that century overwhelmingly dominated by the British.

Currently any stature and world voice that the Brits have now, is directly due to their close alliance to the US. So how did the world’s greatest empire, which once ruled the seas, become just “another member of the EU”, in less than 100 years? Can studying their demise, teach us anything which we can utilize to keep our own nation from following suit?

The answer is: yes, …perhaps it can.

It was through the two world wars that the United States became elevated to its prominence. It was also those wars that brought the rest of the world to their knees. With the US home-front safe from attack, our massive economic might simply outproduced the economies every other nation, whose home front infrastructures had become heavily damaged by the wastes of war. It was this lucky break that shot us into prominence……and changed our destiny.

Today we live in fear of a surprise attack, another Pearl Harbor along the lines of WWII. But it appears that we have greater chance, and should perhaps have greater fear, that we inch into our next war, as did those countries guilty of instigating the First World War. There, little steps piled up on both sides; “I’ll see you one and raise you one.” Finally at some point, with guns drawn, a trigger was pulled, and against all reason the battle engaged, …lines became drawn, and stalemate ensued…… the end, the amount of lives squandered for nothing but a general’s vanity and inches of ground, severely affected European psyche for a long time……

Now, in a similar situation as today’s most powerful nation, we are likewise poised to engage in a military adventure, which we will argue is against terrorism, but history no doubt, will drown us out and interpret it as a religious war against all Muslims, and today the brinkmanship is currently being played vis a vis Iran. Meanwhile while we rattle our sabers and bang on our shields, on the sidelines lies China, peacefully continuing to grow and prosper. As was Britain in the early 20th Century, so will we become in the 21st, forever placed at a disadvantage because we could not leave “war” alone.

If our current trend continues, we soon will become today’s Great Britain (economically) and China will assume the number one position of the United States.

So what is the pivot point on which all this change hinges?

In a book about the Lackawanna Six, The Jihad Next Door, the author, Dina Temple-Raston, investigated Guantanamo. Some of you may have seen the clip showing one of the detainees being beaten to a pulp. It makes Rodney King look like he was beaten by Dora the Explorer. The author said the clip really disturbed the FBI, and became instrumental in forcing the detentions to move forward into courts of law.

These victims were American citizens. As I grew incensed after seeing this atrocity directly sanctioned by the White House, I finally understood how a loose cannon, could strap on a suicide vest and walk into Christiana Mall convinced he was firmly on the side of “right”. Forget the big dramatic attacks. It is these little nuisances, one person explosions, against which we have no defense, that kill people. And those little nuisances, all of which are home grown, get their impetuses from our values as a nation.

Europe has much more problems with imported populations. The threat of bombings is a higher there. The only reason we have yet to succumb to this type of carnage, is because our reputation. Currently, among home grown Muslims, Americans, still considered as generous people, are still too nice to kill.

But that tone has changed under this administration.

It is important not to think of this solely in terms of a stand-alone threat. Instead, it too must be calculated into the equation of what happens when this nation attacks Iran. We have attacked one country unprovoked. History shows that once a second one is subsequently attacked, it brings all the hornets out of the woodwork. Quite possibly, had Hitler stopped at Poland, a world still weary of war, may have agreed still to a stalemate, and the course of history may have run quite differently. Today Poland might still be split down the middle……..But Hitler couldn’t, and didn’t stop. And today it looks, more and more, like Cheney won’t either……

We have heard the Pentagon has targeted 2000 sites within Iran. Contributing to this apprehension was the fact that nine out of ten republican candidates in the New Hampshire debate sponsored by Fox, overwhelmingly supported the use of nuclear weapons in Iran!…….These callous statements seem detached from the logic and realization that over 62 years have transpired, since mankind has last decided to use these weapons on people. These callous statements, all made by wanna be politicians, not only seem to be washed over, but even cheered on by the media, who too fail to recognize without any comment that it will take over 24,100 years until we even reach half life of the ensuing contamination. Instead, like rowdy football fans they cheer our nation’s toughness, “you bet we will drop the bomb”, without pausing to remember the hideous effect that our last actions had on those citizens and children of both Hiroshima and Nagasaki……….

This is a serious disconnect; it needs pointed out to all. As recently as 1964, Goldwater was politically ruined by a girl picking petals off a daisy. Now, ….one needs to support nuking Iran, in order to be considered a “serious candidate”? If one pauses, steps back and thinks for but a brief second, it is obvious that there is something seriously wrong, not only with the candidates themselves, but with both the silent media and with the American people, who though they listen, do not seem to hear, or think.

Today as a society are doing exactly what the British did leading up to WWI! After consistently succeeding for so long, the British public had become bored with success. Numbed to perfection, they wanted action; “for the sport of it, chap”. War provided it……… first……..until the reality of a million dead boys, set it back in. All it takes is a little event, one over which we have no control, and the mammoths collide.

So where upon this trend, do we stand today. In the name of security, we have been asked to give up our rights to privacy within our homes,…. and Congress complied. We have been asked to allow torture,… and Congress complied. We have been asked to attack another country, solely because it had something Cheney wanted, …oil, …..and Congress complied. We have been asked to pay for this extravaganza out of our children’s future incomes, and despite the vociferous opposition from a plurality of the American people,….to which Congress complied. We have been asked to squander our most precious resource, “the highest standards ever held by a nation put forth upon this planet”…….and Congress complied!

Whenever brutality is rendered by the power in charge, it is never something to be revered. Historically and unfortunately, America has always had a violent contingent within its psyche (we have all heard stories), but as a nation of values and law, it was never sanctioned as our official policy. Evidenced by the fact that as law caught up to the frontier, frequency of brutality faded or ceased altogether. After all,…. as we were taught from an early age, Americans fought brutality…not supported it, for as “one nation under God”, we stood firmly on higher principles. …

Now, …with this cabal embedded within the White House…. I am not so sure this still stands……I would argue that for the first time ever in our great nation’s history, our frail human tendencies, instead of being controlled by our rule of law, are directly exploited and sanctioned by our system of law instead.

Will this, once great nation respected around the world, continue to navigate without its moral compass and steer itself down that insane course, previously plotted again by the former “Great” Britain over a century ago?

To be brutally honest, ….right now ….it certainly looks likely.