Thursday, July 14, 2005

I am not an American: Part two...

Earlier, I gave a couple of reasons as to why I am not an American. These include the fact that only a birthright can make one an American while a constiutional act can and does make one a citizen of the United States of America: but yes, I am an American, if the entire Americas is taken into account and then the Caribbean is added into the mix. However, that is not the recognized nor acceptable term, for the people of Cuba are universally known as Cubans: Jamaica - Jamaicans; Venezula - Venezuelians, Columbia - Columbians and Trinidad - Trinidadians.

Hence, I am not an American.

My idea of an American, if I can set aside the early people of the republic just for a moment, would be Colin Powell. It was when he was Bush I's Chairman of The Joint Chief of Staff. His miltary rank is unimportant, except that it was in this capacity that I shall address my comments, but it was his explanation given at a press conference on the means and methods of defeating the Iraqi military.

Powell's words still ring in my head: "We shall surround ...and... ultimately kill it."

Those words conveyed to me the meaning of an American. They were bold, blunt & confident: sort of, "I know I can achieve this and all you have to do is watch me do it."

And Mr. Powell did exactly as he said that he would do!

I could never have done that because, well..., er, I am simply not Mr. Powell. He grew up with the idea that America was indestructable, and as such his speech reflects the indestructability of his thought. Whatever his handicaps were during his life, I am sure that none of them were the idea that his country could ever be beaten.

Sure! It might lose a battle but not the war.

Me? On the other hand, I grew up with the constant reminder of my country's size in the world: small and insignificant and therefore the only way it was possible to an impression was to learn how to out-smart your opponent.

I had to factor in the possiblity of failure because of my inherent disabilities, and therefore, I had to developed a back-up plan: and a back-up plan for that back-up; and... well... you get the picture.

Buried deep into the psyche of my thought process is the idea that I am vulnerable and that's what keep me on my toes. I am not reluctant to change "directions" when faced with sudden and unexpectedly challenges.

Mr. Powell's direct assestment of the task was, first and foremost the thoughts of a miltary man. He had a clear objective in mind and therefore, a relatively easy route of achieving that objective. The results speak for themselves.

The military always make -ans. It is, in one sense, the triumph of brawns over brains. It doesn't have a back-up plan, and a back-up plan fpr the first back-up plan. It is not the "market:" that place where "what is hot today is suddenly cold tomorrow."

In this place, one must always be on one's toes, if one is to survive. GM stock might be a hot buy today but Ford can easily replace it tomorrow; and Ford will certainly only shine for so long.

In Mr. Powell's sense: I am not an American but in the sence of trying to stay one step ahead of the market: I am a citizen of the United States of America. Section 8: clause 4.

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