Each of us lives from heartbeat to heartbeat; no less so, each nation. The world watches the heart-stopper struggles against terrorists; to name a few: Mafia – Sicilian, American, Jewish, or Russian gangs; Hezbollah – Lebanese umbrella organization of radical Islamic Shiite; and al-Qaeda – international terrorist network seeking to replace free governments with fundamentalist Islamic regimes.

When terrorists unite to occupy a nation and thwart its right to freedom, free nations are to stand with the invaded nation; the rhythmic heartbeat for freedom demands it and pounds continually amidst *Textual Imagery- information and communication filtered through all kinds of global media, and *Organic citizenry – access to all the facts to responsibly analyze to act on the truth. In the American/Iraqi stand for freedom, Americans as citizens of a free nation, have two choices – one responsible and one not: 1. believe mainstream media or 2. move to Organic Citizenry, that is, analyze the Textual Imagery to find the truth.

Unfortunately, human beings often shape beliefs and opinions superficially rather than analytically; it is easy to take action (vote, take up arms) related to Textual Imagery alone and call it responsible. We U.S. citizens are no exception though we have access to widely distributed, real-time information: never before has all the information been so available or has a war been fought for which Textual Imagery displays daily each battle, skirmish, or bit of gossip.

So much is given that we have become mired in the muck of complacency assuming we are not responsible to be more than casual, superficial observers of what we once could only imagine. The rationalization prevails that we do not have the time or the expertise to sort through all the information.

Instead, we elect officials and support those whose job it is to disseminate “accurate” information. It is too easy to trust the media so that we can continue enjoying the fruits of freedom born of our forefather’s sacrifice whether any other country has freedom or not.

A trust is misplaced that abdicates responsibility to Organic Citizenry, to willingly putting aside emotion to listen, to hear, to analyze before coming to actionable truth. That we all become news analysts in the sense of broadcasters and journalists is not required. Organic Citizenry requires that each citizen pay attention to what is being filtered, that is, being spun for reasons other than assessing the next actionable truth to promote freedom. Organic Citizenry requires that we desire no longer to be stuck in the veiled truth of complacency or the shadow of false security perpetuated by Textual Imagery of the moment.

Look back to our own history and our own freedom fight. Suppose you were a citizen of England who received the Textual Imagery of happenings in The Colonies and their fight for independence and freedom. Do you suppose that Textual Imagery would have been filtered in favor of the King’s view or the view of the Colonists?

Unless you were privy to a personal visit by Benjamin Franklin or a quick chat with Lafayette or George Washington you would say your information was filtered to you as King George III wanted you to know it. Right? Textual Imagery then was primarily limited to word of mouth and limited text exchanged hands from the King to the uneducated masses. What we are now calling Textual Imagery – information and communication filtered to citizens second by second, heartbeat by heartbeat – did not exist.

In 2007, we can be Organic Citizens, thinking citizens not necessarily engaged in professional journalism. We can search Textual Imagery, line up elements from ALL perspectives, and find the truth. No longer are we in a daily conscious struggle to determine whether going down the block to the grocery and back might result in being shot or maimed.

Did Maslow’s Hierarchy teach us nothing? Freedom only flourishes with Organic Citizenry, when a citizenry is able to move about its nation freely in the pursuit of happiness according to each one’s uniqueness. Are we willing to leave behind a legacy of Organic Citizenry to our young? Or, are we so foolish as to think that Iraq’s struggle is just about Iraq.

It is about belief in freedom based on truth and the willingness to know enough to vote for the people most close to our beliefs regardless of labels and misdirected Textual Imagery; i.e., fear mongering, inaccuracies, or spin for “political correctness”. (A term directly from the Communist Manifesto of 1848, by the way.).

Freedom fighters are U.S. soldiers in Iraqi. They are from your state, city, or block; you can reach many! Have you talked to a U.S. soldier? To more than one soldier’s family members? Looked for facts from someone living or fighting terrorists in Iraqi? From an Iraqi policeperson? From an Iraqi woman? From an Iraqi parent?

Understand, you are going absorb Textual Imagery in every heartbeat regardless of your answers to the above. Be selective and add to what you absorb, what you know to be fact. Choose from all perspectives instead of that randomly fed to you in sensational headlines and bloody pictures as you walk through the airport, channel surf, for browse the internet.

If you were an Iraqi citizen, what might you be thinking about living in America from the headlines or the nightly news? Pause. Think. Consider that same Iraqi citizen and think about what that same citizen now thinks of American based on the soldiers we have sent to help the Iraqi fight to occupy and govern their own land.

Have you seen those pictures of Iraqi gratitude? They are available. Have you seen the physical presence of our soldiers turning Iraqi hearts to hope? Ask the Iraqi citizens; the information is available — Google it! Look, see, listen, and hear the current Iraqi heartbeat, not the current terrorist du jour’s spin on the it.

See the hand, hear the voice, feel the touch of freedom, of heads lifted up to hope. Pass it on with each heartbeat allowed you for a legacy that will live in the heartbeats of future Americans and Iraqi citizens. The legacy you perpetuate in tomorrow’s leaders leaves America and Iraq 1. free and governed democratically offering free choices of worship, work, and play or 2. incarcerated and governed from the dark halls of totalitarianism, by dictators fueled with arrogant lust for power and self-worship.

Organic Citizenry beacons to us for the higher purpose of continued liberty and relationship to hope. We have a chance to pass it on to Iraq. With your help, Iraq can carry the hope baton to another now-suffering land of oppression that they, too, might be free. Your Organic Citizenry as exercised by your vote, your communication to elected officials, and training up youth to the rites of freedom will prove freedom’s ring is everlasting. Without you, we lose the heartbeat of freedom and face the despair of a future in oppression — not a good gift to leave behind!

*From America & Iraq: Seduced by Fear by Amaal Tokars