Shortly after the Ayatollah placed a price on Rushdie's head, the author went into seclusion and surrounded himself with security. Two years later, the author realized that this was no way to live and he now takes a few precautions and travels in the open with little regard for his personal safety. Call it foolish. Call it reckless. But in the end Salman Rushdi provides an example which is a lot more normal and a lot more courageous than the example provided by the Bush Regime since 911.
Prior to 911, the Christian Right (which claimed to distrust the power of the federal government), also assured us that there was a Jesus in Heaven and that all we had to do to get there was to lose our grip on reality and join their expanding, theocratic movement.
That, however, was before 911. After 911 the so called "Christian Right" wasted little time as it ran to the federal government for protection, essentially reversing its previous stand as it bellowed something to the effect of: "evil federal government, please, PLEASE ,save our disingenuous hides so we won't have to put this Jesus rhetoric to an actual test!"
True to form, the Bush Regime in Washington was only too happy to comply. What can I say? For people who seem so certain that they'll die and go to a better place, the Radical Right Wing Christians seem rather reluctant when it comes to putting their courage where their conniving, overactive mouths have been: none of which bothers George W. Bush who has thrived in a climate of fear. Indeed, he isn't only a sufferer; he's a carrier; he spreads fear as if it were a political bubonic plague.
When there's an bad news cycle, he gives us another terrorist alert. If the war is devolving into a blood bath he just goes orange. If someone speaks truth to power, he just exploits 911 and the victims of that tragedy. If there's a Constitutional provision which needs trampling on, he cultivates insecurity, and his obedient , heel-clicking supporters will beg, roll over, and play dead on command.
The only problem with all of this is that while Bush claims he wants to save our lives, no one asks the obvious question.
Save our lives for what?
So that we can grovel in fear and terror whenever the Demander and Thief wants to play upon our fears for selfish, political motives? So that we can go through life afraid, but never quite living it to its fullest possible potential? What Bush offers is not living. It is existing, and I refuse to merely exist.
I'm diabetic. People are amazed when I inform them about this. They just look at me, and assume that I'm young and healthy, but the truth of the matter is that I have a disease which requires constant monitoring. If I were to find myself in a situation where I can't test myself and administer the required medication I could die.
I do not let the disease control my life. I take certain precautions. I exercise; I watch my diet; I give myself the required bloods sugar tests; I take my medication and I take it on time. Fear does not have to be a regular part of my daily routine. Nor do I allow it to do so. I do not claim to be brave. I don't claim to be anything except pragmatic when it comes to the ongoing treatment and control of my diabetes.
Life is to be lived and that's what I'm doing with it. I not only expect to live a long and productive life; I fully intend to be a happy camper in the process. I control the diabetes. Aside from a few minor precautions, I enjoy the same things that my non-diabetic friends do. And if by some chance something goes terribly wrong and this condition really does kill me, at least my friends will be able to say that I enjoyed my life, and that's more than some people can say.
Now if Bush would only adopt the same attitude towards terrorism (and life in general) as Salman Rushdie and allow the American people to actually live their lives with a minimum of fear-mongering and outright manipulation.
Regrettably, full, happy lives are the last things Bush and his goons wantsfor the American people. Never mind the fact that Republicans routinely complain about a dependency on tax-supported social programs; the truth of the matter is that this Administration loves the idea of psychological dependency--as long as that dependency is on our Big Brother, George W. Bush, and his maladjusted inner circle of cronies, and empire builders.
Bush understands that a fearful population is an obedient population. Bush likes obedience. You might even say that he is addicted to it. There isn't a thing in his psychological profile to suggest that he can tolerate disagreement in any way, shape or form; and to that end he and his inner circle will do anything and everything possible to keep the American people frightened.
Rushdie has a solution to this. He defies his would be murderers. He refuses to give any potential assassin a psychological victory by giving in to their demands. He has decided that life is to be lived to its fullest, not cowering in the shadows worrying about what might or might not happen.