One can only rejoice at seeing people taking their aspirations for civil rights and freedoms into their own hands, courageously claiming these justly as their undeniable birthrights as human beings and steadfastly demanding said birthrights out of the corrupt authoritarian classes that have been selfishly and mercilessly ruling their nations.
Indeed, one can only rejoice and marvel at the Tunisians last week and now the Egyptians, rising up with their voices filed with righteousness, truth and hope as their chief weapons against all means of brutal reprisals - potential, threatened or enacted.
For they have risen against all odds - verily.
Yet, as we, citizens of nations founded upon the cornerstones of democracy, the constitutional rule of law and the primacy of civil rights and freedoms, applaud, encourage and cheer on these fellow human beings to accomplish what our ancestors already achieved in one way or another, as we open our arms wide in friendship with the expectation, if not eagerness, of embracing them warmly in welcome to our growing assembly of free nations, we must not pretentiously ignore the simmering, if not flaring, embers that lie spread about our very own democratic backyards - embers that are poised to become fires which will unravel what our ancestors strove to bring about in our nations, long before what Tunisians and Egyptians are currently seeking to effectuate for themselves, their own children and future descendants.
For indeed, the way things have degenerated and continue to worsen in our democracy-based societies, it might just well be that our Tunisian and Egyptian brothers and sisters in Humanity refuse to join us, opting instead to start an assembly of free nations of their own until we go about cleaning up our own backyards - provided, of course, that their just cause is not coopted by religious fundamentalism as in the case of the just cause of Iranians, of some three decades past.
Hence, we have no standing in allowing the indulgence of losing ourselves in the effervescent joy and trepidation that we may feel at the sight of those brave Tunisian and Egyptians roaming the streets to demand and acquire their undeniable rights and freedoms. Rather than complacently and smuggly congratulating ourselves at already being free, thus somehow granting us the impetus to cheer on our Tunisian and Egyptian brothers and sisters, we should instead look at ourselves in the harsh, but ever truthful, mirror of our reality.
And we must do so more than ever.
Here are but glimpses of what our mirror seeks to show us, should we but quickly glance before turning a fearful eye away from what we are becoming, as we remain in denial of the truth of things:
No White House timetable for closing Guantanamo;Remember: these are but glimpses of the actual darkening totality of what our mirror seeks to show us.
U.S. Congress blocks Guantanamo closure;
Guantanamo detainees stage peaceful protests daily;
White House drafts executive order for indefinite detention;
‘Unjustified homicides’ go unpunished at military prisons;
America's treatment of detainees;
Activists delivering Bradley Manning petition held at Quantico;
No-fly list abuses;
Mass FBI raids target pro-WikiLeaks DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) civil protesters;
Espionage Act ‘makes felons of us all’;
Internet 'kill switch' bill will return;
Justice Department seeks to have all web surfing tracked;
Internet Privacy and Personal Access at Risk;
CIA Invests in Company that Monitors Social Network Sites;
Warrantless Wiretapping A-OK, says US Court;
Internet Surveillance Could Get You Hired or Fired;
US government ‘creating vast domestic snooping machine’;
Calif. Supreme Court approves warrantless data seizures by police;
DC Metro Bag Searches: Random Inspections To Begin;
‘Homeland’ security coming to hotels, malls;
Conflating Proper Dissent and Terrorism;
Who watches the watchers?
CIA gave waterboarders $5M legal shield;
Torture, Human Experimentation And The Department of Defense;
US-led troops abduct Afghan journalist;
Death Squad Eyed in Terror Strategy;
Judge dismisses targeted-kill program lawsuit;
Former Spy With Agenda Operates a Private C.I.A.;
Top Secret America;
The Privatization of War;
Corporate Media Ignores US Hypocrisy on War Crimes;
Big Media Interlocks with Corporate America;
CNN Asks “Do we need a free press”?
Supreme Court becoming a tool for corporate interests;
What Are We Bid for Justice?
ACLU’s Holiday Message Labeled ‘Suspicious Activity’ By Tennessee Counter-Terrorism Officials;
Key Republican calls UN Human Rights Council ‘a waste of taxpayer dollars’;
2010 Vs 2011: Same As It Was, Same As It Will Be;
Witnessing The Nearing End Of The Modern Experiment In Democracy;
Canada: Can You Tell Me Where My Country Lies?
Welcome To Your Authoritarian Corporatocratic Security Surveillance State Of North America;
The Canadian Branch Of The North American Security Surveillance State;
Constitution, Rights, Rule Of Law: Who Gives A F*ck?
We are living in an era whereby anyone who voices alarm at the neverending and ever-increasing erosions of our rights as constitutionally defined is considered as an insouciant, utopian, fringe agitator - if not actually blind and stupid.
We are living in an era whereby those who stand for the constitutional rule of law, who seek to limit the excesses and undue policy influences of corporations, are actually branded as enemies of freedom.
That is because in this era that we are living in, the freedom of corporations to do whatever they please and whenever they please equals freedom for us all.
That is because in this era that we are living in, we can only be truly free and secure if the government knows everything about us, while we must placidly remain ignorant of what our government is doing.
That is because in this era that we are living in, less rights equals more security and more security equals freedom.
And that is because in this era that we are living in, we have cowardly, if not at least complacently, abandonned the core principles - the very cornerstones - upon which our societies are founded: democracy of the people, by the people and for the people, the rule of constitutional law, and the primacy of civil rights and freedoms.
The very things that Tunisians and Egyptians are currently seeking to achieve for themselves, their children and their future descendants.
The very things that we have willfully cast aside to the eternal shame, I strongly suspect, of our nation-founding ancestors.
Therefore, we have no standing whatsoever to lecture other nations about human rights, civil rights, freedom and liberty.
And we have no standing whatsoever to cheer on the Tunisians and Egyptians in their just quest.
Not until, that is, we look hard into our harsh mirror of reality with equal courage and determination as they are demonstrating for all of Humanity to witness, so that we may begin the hard and difficult travail of restoring our own democracies to what they are supposed to be.
Of restoring our democracies to what the Tunisians and Egyptians are aspiring.
Thus, as we applaud our Tunisian and Egyptian brothers and sisters, let us keep firmly in mind that it is they whom are bravely uprising in order to win their birthrights of freedom and liberty that are the bona fides teachers here - whereas we are naught but de facto spoiled pupils in dire need of lessons in democratic civic responsibility, vigilance and courage.