I am an American

    September 2001

    I am an American
    My hands drip with the blood-red pain of millions.
    And I notice not.

    I am an American
    My storehouses bulge with the handiwork of the distant hungry child.
    Guilt nudges my thoughts in vain.
    Do you like my new flat-screen TV?

    I am an American
    Some say I am hated for my deeds
    But I know envy when I see it.
    They wish to be American too.
    Pity. But not all are so favored.

    Once the mother goddess of ancient Babylon,
    Now a copper-skinned icon,
    The lady of the harbor raises her lamp to the skies.
    Welcome, says she. Come hither.
    Give me your tired, your poor,
    Your huddled masses yearning to work cheap.

    So must I demand such fealty
    From those of other lands
    To enable me, a prince of light and truth,
    To serve the Lord in righteous obedience.

    Founded by deists,
    Populated by Protestant and Catholic,
    Refuge to Hindu, Buddhist, Moslem, Jew,
    My nation is a home to all that worship free,
    But of course He knows that I'm really Christian.

    A nation born in revolution.
    That revolution lost,
    But independence still attained.
    An independence protected by two great waters,
    That break the shores of distant lands
    And caress the coasts of home.

    When, in 1861, my brother sought a different way,
    I killed him.
    For flag and sport I chased the traitor down,
    And turned his fields and life to barren ground.
    Now the shadows of that time remain
    A legacy of hate and fear.
    When will he learn?

    I am an American.
    I looked west and saw my destiny.
    I wished a pox upon the red man,
    And my lands multiplied before my eyes.

    My wealth flowered forth
    From the scarred, bent backs of the black.
    The yellow man built tracks of iron
    That crossed my hills and valleys.
    And the brown picks the fruits
    That grace my morning table.

    I am an American.
    Their destiny is to serve
    Mine to lead.
    It is the will of God,
    And I follow the Lord.

    That destiny has led me across the seas
    To lands less favored than my own.
    For they were not born to the red, the white and the blue.

    "War is just a racket," said a long-forgotten general,
    Twice a white-starred hero on a field of blood-stained blue.
    "Conducted for the benefit of the very few
    At the expense of the masses.
    The flag follows the dollar,
    And the soldiers follow the flag."

    Surely the man must be mistaken.
    My soldiers fight for peace.
    My diplomats hold forth the olive branch,
    Gently in their velvet-gloved hands.

    I captured the power of the sun,
    The source of all life,
    And twisted its use to death.
    And condemn those who would do the same.

    In South America I returned democracy to the tyrant's hand.
    But received no thanks.
    Satisfaction itself was payment enough.

    In Indochina I showed the men of Saint-Cyr
    That true power and nobility must always prevail
    As I sacrificed my sons to fight the godless ones.

    In ancient Slavic lands
    I rained death upon the chosen foe
    Lamented that collateral damage came to pass
    But cheered that no real people came to harm.

    The War to Erase the Shadow of the Past
    Showed I feared no madman's threats.
    Smart were the weapons crafted by my people
    As I again made the world safe for feudal monarchy.

    Day by day my bombers still drop death
    On the Land of the Fertile Crescent.
    Where Gilgamesh once ruled,
    Babes in arms now perish from lack of food.

    Now, the Lord has called upon me
    To cleanse the earth of all evil doers
    And I have obeyed.
    Go forth in crusade, saith the Lord,
    And my knights have led the way.
    Vengeance is mine, saith the Lord,
    And I name thee in My stead.

    Infinite Justice is my goal,
    Infinite Truth is my cause,
    Infinite Righteousness is my way.
    For I walk in the light of the Lord.

    Though I walk in the valley of the shadow of death,
    I shall fear no evil,
    For I am the essence of Good,
    And darkness flees from my step.

    Muscovite warriors shrank from the land
    Where my own brave men now tread.
    We of the New World have both will and way
    In that ancient crossroads to prevail.
    It is but one brief pause in the march of history.

    In Flanders fields,
    At the cliffs of Normandy,
    On the sun-drenched atolls
    Of the lukewarm Pacific,
    My fathers died to keep me free.

    I, too, am ready to sacrifice.
    I shall offer those very freedoms
    Upon the altar of security and convenience.
    For freedom is confusing and difficult,
    But convenience is always at hand,
    And security helps still those ever-lurking fears.

    Only one freedom
    Shall I still hold dear.
    That, the greatest of all,
    Free trade.

    The Lord has showered plentitude upon my land and people,
    Which I claim as right of birth.
    So should it be.
    My schools shine forth brilliance from their lamps of knowledge,
    My physicians reign supreme,
    My priests of science and kings of commerce know no equal,
    The health and wisdom of my people tower above all others
    And the kindness of my heart is legendary.

    I seek not gain,
    But strive to benefit all.
    Why should they hate me?
    I, a beacon of light and freedom.
    I, the land of the just.
    I, who all wish to attend.

    Innocence and purity have often brought such envy.
    I can endure it.
    My mission weighs heavy on my soul
    But I am worthy of its divine weight.

    The Lord has given me dominion over the earth
    And all that dwells upon it.
    The fishes of the sea,
    The beasts of the forest,
    The birds of the air.
    The plants that carpet green across its fields,
    The rich treasures of its depths,
    And those peoples of the world who yet await my blessing.

    My golden arches soar colossus-like astride the world.
    The flickering of my fantasies dazzles the multitudes,
    Who take, as do I,
    Those fantasies to be real.
    And so they become.

    Those who serve me are well rewarded.
    With wealth, fame, and position.
    Those who resist are crushed.
    It is for the greater good.

    The world has seen the future
    And it looks like me.
    I have seen the future
    And it is mine.

    My myth is the myth of the West.
    The white hat, alone and abandoned,
    Who goes forth to battle the doers of evil.
    Who triumphs, because his cause is just,
    And rides off into the sunset, a day's work well done.
    Where are you, Duke, now that your time is truly come?

    My hands are not just clean, but antiseptic.
    They are American hands.
    Because I intend good, I am good.
    The Lord has blessed my Works.
    So I can do no wrong.

    I am His hopes and dreams fulfilled.
    I am His emissary on earth.
    I am the Omega to His Alpha.
    I am an American.

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