The crying in the night of over 10,000 Arab-Americans imprisoned in this country is my fault. Nearly one million Iraqis and Afghans wounded, dying and dead . . . are my fault. That myself and my son and my niece and my nephew and my father and my grandfather have been and are conspirators in this bloodbath implicates me directly in the conspiracy to conquer the world and greedily consume its resources for me and mine alone.
As a Tibetan Buddhist of Welsh/Irish ancestry, if I do not acknowledge the morally-depraved conditions surrounding me as those of my own making, I am betraying my Marine Corps son, my Vietnam veteran Rand Corporation father, my psychologist mother, my U.S. Army niece, my Marine Corps. nephew, my Atomic Energy Commission grandfather, my reverently Catholic grandmother, my aborted daughter Pietra, my devoted and impassioned right-wing sister, my Rand Corporation Armenian terrorist expert sister, and my fervent and intelligent high-school teaching radical right-wing brother. I am betraying aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents way way back including Martha Logan who traveled from Missouri to San Francisco in a covered wagon in 1864, and including Mary Todd Lincoln who knew too well her own darkness. The betrayal goes deep, all the way back to Wales and Ireland and Daleys and Hinseys and Morgans and Riess’s and Lincolns, and Galbreaths and Thompsons and Logans and Sturgis’s. I betray them all each day that I perpetuate the lies that inflict such suffering on the earth.
Allowing 45,000 young people whose bodies are maimed inside and out to remain hidden under cover of darkness flown into Dover like dirt swept under a rug is tantamount to putting a gun to my son’s head and pulling the trigger. I think most of us are secretly happy that Bush and Obama are hiding these dead and wounded children because we don’t want to be responsible for them, no more than we want to be responsible for caring for our parents as they age. Tuck them all away in nursing homes and VA hospitals and let’s get on with our patio parties and cocktails, and ball games and channel-surfing and operas and symphonies and movies and health-spas and, geesh, 45,000 is not that many compared to 300,000 from the Vietnam War!
George Bush and Barack Obama are just mirror reflections of my own inner corruption. I put them in office by allowing the vote to be rigged two times as I looked the other way. I’ve done nothing as they've committed acts more heinous and impeachable than any previous presidents in this nation’s history back to the first George. Their crimes against humanity are my crimes against my children and my mothers. The truth of this suffering must be comprehended as a first step to eradicating this suffering. I could blame this man and that woman and that corporation, and I could give you reams of paper and articles about terrible injustices and we could all get wound up and fired up and angry and vengeful, enough to go out and inflict violence on those in power over us.
But the real question is . . . How do we stop the suffering? How can we be happy, how can we get back on the path, the pursuit of happiness, the pursuit of life that we initially set out to do? And what is liberty but the freedom from anger and hatred. I believe in a cause-and-effect universe. I believe that negativity causes suffering and goodness causes happiness. I believe that this is a universal law as indisputable as the ebb and flow of the ocean. If I create a negative action, I will experience the negative consequences of that action. It may be delayed, but when the conditions are right, the seed of negativity I planted will have expanded geometrically and will bear its sour fruit and make me miserable. If I have a positive thought, somewhere down the way, I will experience some small happiness as a result. It’s all up to me to create my own reality.