The worst lesson to learn

This may be my last blog post for awhile on AlterNet, as my summer stint has concluded and I'm off to other ventures.

Unfortunately, the Bush administration continues to saddle the country with many of the same problems it did when I started here. They're still on the verge of instating a Supreme Court that will make abortion illegal. They're still contributing to the erosion of the environment through scientifically unsound, pro-corporate policies. They're still mouthpieces of the religious right, shepharding its presence into our secular government and schools. They're still allowing American soldiers and Iraqi civilians to die. And for the third day in a row, the president is still stubbornly refusing to budge on his shameful premise: that the war in Iraq was justified.

The war on terror is right here, at home: if all this isn't terrifying, then I don't know what is.

Next month, my cousin will go back to Iraq to fight for this illegal war. He already served a year there, the worst of his life, in which he had to drive unguarded humvees through the roads of Baghdad. His family immigrated from India only a few years ago; today, he serves in the U.S. military, placing his life and faith in the leaders of this country. And his mother must wonder how she thought coming to this country would give her son a better life.

This is what I have learned most from my time here: We are Americans, but we are not all served by America. We are no longer "protected" by our leaders; they now purposefully put us in harm's way. And we are not represented by our leaders. They have stopped listening to us, and now doggedly follow only the voices they choose to hear.

This administration does not speak for all of us: I hope the rest of the world remembers that, when the day of reckoning comes.

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