Under The Talon's Claw by Valerie Read

The word talon means "claw of a bird". Why would I use this as a metaphor to explain how I see the events of change in our world? In the world today, their other words beside talon to describe, what I feel and see everyday in the news, or on the Internet. Such as, fear, control, and war. The word fear means "terror, worry, feeling of being afraid, and to be afraid of". That one word "terror" has been on our minds since the attacks on the World Trade Centers in 2001. It has been used to spread worry throughout our country and made us fear our own neighbors or friends. Its power has allowed us to put our safety into the hands of our government and we allowed them to control how we think, or feel. That if we want to be safe than certain "alienable rights" would have to be put aside to achieve that. Such as, tapping our phone lines, being in jailed for speaking out against the government’s involvement in the war in Iraq, or if we didn't follow their rules, our names would be on the "No Fly List" and we weren't allowed to leave the country. The last word is "War" and that means our presence in Iraq. The Iraq War was suppose to be our salvation and to stop Obama Bin laden, from attaching us or any other country. It looked like toward the end, that there were terrorist still lurking around not only in Iraq, but at home, as well. Our attentions were drawn to the war in Iraq and we didn't think about the war, in a small country called Afghanistan. This minor battle to end the power of the Taliban, which received no media coverage, had been forgotten, and all our energies’ was put toward another enemy of the state, Saddam Hussein, who we were told was aiding in the attacks against the US. This story ran wild in the media and the Internet, because now we had a face on terror. Now, Obama Bin Laden was not the devil, and the US could have a reason to go after the new evil. This is how words define us, and how quickly our attentions are drawn to a sudden finish, but it leads us down a long, stretch, of darkness and dismay.

The word fear was been stamped permanently on our faces, as we were told to watch out for "terrorist" in our own back yard. That was why the government had to tap our phone lines and listen to our conversations. In this way they can listen anyone who might be a terrorist, or someone that just speaks his, and her mind against the war. Anyone who spoke out against the war wasn't a patriot, but an enemy of the state, and as a citizen who was so afraid of having our doors knocked on by government officials. We learned to keep opinion to ourselves and live under a new regime that didn't allow free thought. The media on the Internet, or TV told the viewers of our current success in over throwing Saddam Hussein, and showing the people of Iraq how true patriotism works. If you do what you are told than their are rewards in store for you, but if you are against us, like Saddam, than it's the end for you. This gave the US government the authority to have Saddam Hussein stand trial for his war crimes against the people of Iraq and he was executed because of that. All he did was receiving aide from the US to fight their enemies and we helped him take control of this country, until his threat against a certain public figure, than he was public enemy number one. The Talon's Claw tightened over Iraq, who brought in outside help in rebuilding this empire in our own image, and instead of giving the jobs to the people of Iraq, they had no cause or power to fight us, because we were their salvation and saved them from their enemy, but to stand aside, watching as their world was changing under a new regime called "The Democratic System", or in other words, "Capitalism".

Our views were replace on what was on our news, TV and the Internet which only showed our winnings over in Iraq, instead of what was really happening. The number of deaths was told like numbers at a lottery, but it didn't tell of the story behind what was being done to the people of Iraq or the enemies of the state. It's simple how control can be the one thing that is used to hold back the truth and replace it with lies. No one knew about how the soldiers were unprepared to deal with what to expect in Iraq. They weren't a costumed to the terrain or how easy anyone could hide and plant a bomb on their vehicle. The vehicles weren't up to code in safety and the number of exploding man made bombs ended too much innocent American blood. Here our government was telling our young people that it was their job to go to War and end terrorism, but held the truth back on what they would really encounter in that country. They were uninformed or ill trained to deal with the hard cold truth of what it was to kill another human being.

The word War is used too much in our society and it was the government's only tool to deal with any problem that was a threat to our beliefs or morals. It wasn't what we believed in and it was against our morals to give than the authority to use that against us. How can you justify telling a soldier that you couldn't wash your own clothes, but to give it to a company being paid by the government to do the units' laundry? This was the start of how commercialized the war in Iraq was. We weren't told that our tax dollar was going to be used to pay third party contractors. Who were given the authority of from our own government to house, cloth, and feed the soldiers during their station in Iraq? It's was more like money laundering and the people of the US were being fleeced by their own country. The country's leader's gave over $600 billion in US tax dollars to third part contractors who rebuild Iraq with fancy hotels and our own US embassy. Which was more a resort with the numerous suites, lounges, and tennis courts? Here they were given a task to watch over the prisoners of war in Guantanamo Bay near Cuba, and soon rumors of abuse were being heard in all the news or on the Internet. The word control had a whole new meaning, when the Jail Guards were treating the inmates like animals, instead of human beings. It says a lot about how you can dehumanize someone by physical or mental abuse against someone who was suppose to be in your care, but torture was something the US government didn't do. The word torture by any means can't be defined by our leaders, but to be clear, it means, physical and mental abuse against a another human being who's feet and hands are chained, and can't protect his or her self, is torture. The one phrase that can't be defined is "Waterboarding" which means water is continuously powered over a victim's face until they can't breather and eventually choke to death. If torture can't be defined, than their is certainly something wrong with this country, and that should be taken seriously by all of us.

What can we do when the Talon's claw is wrapped so tightly around us? When is it time to rally together and speak out against the lies told to us by our own government? How is it possible to unwrap the Talon's claw and reshape ourselves into a country we can be proud of, that was originally based on principles to protect the rights of the people? It is possible to unwrap the Talon's claw by being the strong, intelligent, sane, people I know we are.

You can't argue that we have been bold once before by banning together to say no to the bailout bill, introduced by Congress. We can do this again with the New President, Vice President, and Congress. "We The People" are the ruling base in this country and it is our voice that will count. Our appointees that are in office are there to work for us and it is our responsibility to alert them that we will be vocal in any new law that they will try to pass through.

On January 20, 2009, inauguration day, we will have a new president who will be sworn in under a oath that reads, "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States." The last administration stepped over that sworn oath and ignored our "Constitution" and "The Bill of Rights". Now, we have someone who cares and will listen to what our concerns are. You must be vocal, and use that voice whenever possible, because it is our right as a citizen of this country to speak out about what concerns our hearts, and minds.

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