The Poet's Eye--Independence (first draft)
It was July 2, 1776 that John Adams thought would be celebrated by future generations of Americans as our Independence Day. Writing to his wife Abigail Adams on July 3, 1776:
"The Second Day of July 1776 will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America. . . . It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires, and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more."
The colonies voted on July 2nd and adopted the resolution, introduced by Richard Henry Lee, of Va and John Adams, of Mass. declaring independence from Great Britain:
``Resolved, That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent states, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the state of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved.'' .
On July 2, 1776 the United Colonies of America officially became the United States of America.
But it was not quite that simple. The Declaration of Independence was not signed on the 4th of July or July 2nd. It was not signed until:
August 2, 1776, the journal of the Continental Congress records that "The declaration of independence being engrossed and compared at the table was signed." One of the most widely held misconceptions about the Declaration is that it was signed on July 4, 1776, by all the delegates in attendance.
On the 28th of June, 2004, official sovereignty passed from the Coalition and US Occupation Forces to the 'interim government' of Iraq, two days before the advertised date of transfer on the 30th. So, on which of these days will Iraqis celebrate their Independence? I suggest that any celebration on either of these dates would be premature.
Although the United States of America DECLARED its independence in 1776, REAL independence was not achieved until, after four years of war, we escorted the English out of our country in 1781.
The Poet's Eye can see a similar path of progress for the Iraqis. When the costs of America's imperial adventure in the Mid-East become obvious, both in terms of money (vis a vis 18 billion siphoned directly from the public coffer into the pockets of Halliburton, et al) and the particular and tragic young lives wasted in this colonial war, we will do the same thing the British did in America in 1781. We will cut our losses and run.
Bushco thinks it has a franchise on democracy. The trouble is that their version of democracy is really corporate oligarchy. This is witnessed by the fact that in the upcoming presidential election the two major candidates will spend in excess of half a BILLION dollars to secure a job that pays only 400,000 a year. Is there something rotten in Denmark?
The truth is that there are vast financial gains to be had from owning the office of President of the United States. Of the eighteen billion dollars appropriated for the 'reconstruction' of Iraq, I'm sure some will be spent on bricks and mortar and pipes and power lines, but the majority of it will go into the pockets of Bushco, Inc. by means of specious, uncompetitive private contracts. It's a good business, The Presidency.
The Poet's Eye sees fireworks studding the sky on the Fourth of July. It is a rightful celebration for the idea of casting off oppression and occupation. I wonder how they will celebrate independence in Iraq. And when?
Ragged Old Flag
by Johnny Cash
"And the government for which she stands
Is scandalized throughout the land.
And she's getting threadbare and wearing thin,
But she's in good shape for the shape she's in.
'Cause she's been through the fire before
And I believe she can take a whole lot more."