Citizens of the Empire: The Struggle to Claim Our Humanity
“If we do not act, we shall surely be dragged down the long, dark, and shameful corridors of time reserved for those who possess power without compassion, might without morality, and strength without sight”- Martin Luther King Jr.
This quote embodies all the elements that Robert Jensen touches in this book. “Citizens of the Empire,” takes a look into the American government policies and procedures towards making America a terrorist free country. Jensen reflects back on the events of 9/11, America and its reaction to the events of 9/11, the support of our troops, and the harsh realities that citizens have not faced about the war on terrorism. Jensen makes the reader take a look as to why he or she may have chosen their position on the war and how their decision was determined. This book is a raw reality that asks the question why is it that we at war and is it worth it.
In the beginning Jensen brings the reader back to that gruesome day when almost every citizen was in a state of shock and fear. The mentality that we lived in a great and powerful country was altered because terrorist were now able to show the world that when your guard even the worst can happen to the “greatest nation.” That mentality was definitely refuted by the media by their comments on how the response would have to be “massive.” It felt as though America was a child on the playground that was being teased by its not so friendly classmates and they had to show their other counterparts that they were not weak and will retaliate dirtier and harder than those that hurt them.
The mindset was that the “United States had been the target of an atrocity, a crime that would make it easy to lash out with massive violence (pg. xxiii).” Because this “atrocity” happened on our soil it was easy to “manipulate people’s anger and fear to justify the war.” Jensen showed that America ignored other...