Allen Roland writes that America has "fully entered the dark side" and that the "Dark Lord of the Sith is none other than Dick Cheney."  --  The insight, it is true, is not altogether new; Aaron Magruder, the intrepid author of the "Boondocks" comic strip, once told a college audience in a talk that was broadcast on C-SPAN in October 2001: "Condoleezza Rice -- I've met Condoleezza Rice. It's like meeting Darth Vader"; for a picture worth a thousand words on this theme, click here.  --  Allen Roland develops the theme and concludes:  "It is time now for those courageous individuals, including myself, to speak our truth and when enough of us do -- we will emerge from the dark side and will have grown from this painful experience -- or we will perish."  --  Next weekend, Allen Roland will be conducting a six-hour, one-day workshop in Bellevue, Washington....

By Allen Roland

Allen Roland's Radio Weblog
May 15, 2005

--The true hypocrite is the one who ceases to perceive his [or her] deception, the one who lies with sincerity. --André Gide.

Watching Condi Rice tell the world, with great sincerity, that America respects other nation's religious practices while the whole world knows we have and continue to trample innocent Muslims and their religious practices -- makes me realize that we have fully entered the dark side.

We have, indeed, become the Evil Empire (the Death Star) and Darth Vader is not Bush -- The Dark Lord of the Sith is none other than Dick Cheney, whose paranoia and Global empire building schemes are still very much intact.

By the way, who did the Secret Service hustle into a bunker right away when the Piper Cub approached the White House last week? It was Cheney, while Boy Bush happily rode his bicycle a few miles away -- oblivious of the alert.

Why did Bush wait those seven minutes after the World Trade Towers were struck? He was waiting for Cheney to tell him what to do .

Once again, this is a Cheney administration and Bush is the cheerleader for Cheney's neocon dreams and power grabs.

In other words, Bush's responsibility is to keep his base happy -- Charley six-pack, NASCAR Dad and the religious right -- while Cheney and his gang of thieves greedily carve up the rest of the world.

David Michael Green writes in Common Dreams of just how far we have drifted into the dark side: "In Iraq, there is a crime of breathtaking proportions taking place. Breathtaking, but not necessarily surprising. We know from the historical record that governments will lie and deceive, and we've rarely seen one as immoral and venal as the Bush administration. What has turned this crime into an astonishing demonstration of the depth of American democracy's decay is the complicity of the media establishment in hiding the original crime, and in thus doing so, ripping a gaping hole in the fabric of our political system."

The Middle East is now erupting in anti-American demonstrations -- Afghanistan (14 killed and 100 injured in three days of demonstrations), Pakistan (hundreds demonstrate in major cities, burning effigies of George Bush), Saudi Arabia (government expresses indignation and calls on U.S. to investigate), West Bank and Gaza Strip (thousands march in protest and burn U.S. and Israeli flags), Indonesia (hundreds stage rally at mosque).

But it goes much deeper than the Quran desecration. The world, and the Middle East in particular, have always mistrusted Bush, but his re-election has turned that mistrust into fervent anti-American feelings and now angry demonstrations.

So how do we enter the Dark side ?

We do it when we allow ourselves to be controlled by the ego and its selfish and controlling strategies -- rather than the soul and our innate need to unite and cooperate with one another.

The Cheney/Bush administration is the perfect example -- but each one of us also has the potential to enter the Dark Side .

We do that when we allow fear, greed, or the lust for power to override our self-respect, and we lose our true self in the process. I have done that a few times in my life but my innate self respect -- fueled originally by my grandfather's love -- has always emerged triumphant after my painful excursion into the dark side. Looking back, it has always been a much needed learning experience.

And that is where we as a country are right now. We have entered the dark side and are mistrusted and hated by much of the world.

It is time now to remember the words of our founding fathers, poets, and leaders, and use them to excricate ourselves from this hole we have dug.

Words like these from Carl Sandburg:

"For we know when a nation goes down and never comes back,
When a society or a civilization perishes,
One condition may always be found.
They forgot where they came from.
They lost sight of what brought them along."

Or these hopeful words of Kenneth B Clark:

"The essential for hope is to be found in that critical minority of human beings who insist on being unrealistic, who for some still unknown set of reasons continue to argue that human beings are capable of the possibility of empathy, compassion, love, and sensitivity even as cruelty, hostility, insensitivity, and rationalized dishonesty now dominate. In the final analysis, only those courageous individuals provide the hope for the ultimate realism that is defined by the capacity of a society to survive rather than be destroyed on the altar of human barbarity."

It is time now for those courageous individuals, including myself, to speak our truth and when enough of us do -- we will emerge from the dark side and will have grown from this painful experience -- or we will perish.