I post this in the Pit advisedly, as I don’t really anticipate a debate. I anticipate revulsion, disgust and dismay.
There was a time I would have dismissed such stories out of hand. Ridiculous, nonsensical, we’re the Americans, we don’t do things like that.
Never mind the sheer ham-fisted stupidity of it. Never mind that anyone who experienced such degradation is almost certainly an enemy of America, regardless of how they aligned before their “detention”. Never mind that reports indicate that a great number of the detainees were entirely innocent. (Well, not any more, I would imagine…we have surely reaped a great harvest of fresh enemies, and I can hardly blame them…)
Look what they’ve done to our country! I want to be a patriot, I want to sing the Anthem with pride and honor. I want to believe as I once believed…that when the poor and oppressed of the world hear the news “The Americans are coming!” they take heart, help is on the way! The truth is they most likely dive into a hole and cringe in fear, the Americans are coming, as welcome as a plague of locusts.
Is all it takes is one brutal attack to turn us into heartless and brutal cowards? Are we so desperately afraid, so craven and cringing, that we will lash out blindly like a man trying to fend off a swarm of hornets with a ball-peen hammer? Have we abandoned all honor, all dignity, all courage, is there no price too high for safety?
Men who hated us attacked us, and that is bad enough, they were wrong, they are deluded, their hatred has no basis, it is madness. But now we will reap the whirlwind, now, God forgive us, we deserve it. How do we even begin to apologize?
No, we do not deserve it any more than they did. We did not do this to them. Politicians in Washington did this to them. If you believe that it is time to take back America, then come out of the rah-rah haze that the Republicans and Democrats have boxed you into. Stop running mainstream Tweedle-Dee and Tweedle-Dum power mongers through the revolving door. Stop blaming people like Ralph Nader — who never would have stood for this — for the nation’s ills. It’s the fault of people like Bush and Kerry and the people they have duped into voting for them. There is one thing on which the two parties can always be counted on to cooperate, and that is campaign and ballot access legislation that stifles third party competition. There was a holocaust in the Sudan as well, and Democrats in Washington didn’t do diddly about it. You want good government? Then wake the fuck up.
Well, gosh-all-rootie, Lib, who are these paragons of American virtue? Where, oh, where might I find a political group untainted by such dishonor? Who stands tall and solid for the American values of our forefathers? Who can we turn to in these desperate times?
What’s that you say? The Rastafarian Party? No, that can’t be right, must have been garbled in transmission…
Maybe a few years ago you could convince me of Nader’s honor - I don’t think anyone could do so anymore. Coupled with his help from the GOP to get on the ballot in several states by accepting money and assistance from extreme right wing groups, the fact that his most recent book is published by Regan Publishing and recent relevations regarding his treatment of workers and his own campaign finance violations - his reputation is a bit tarnished.
I think we now stand disgraced before the world, and it’ll take a whole lot of hard work to get us out of this mess.
I don’t particularly think any third party people are relevant in this mess. We have honorable people in the Republican and Democratic party who would never have allowed this to happen had it been their administration in office.
I (yes, I’m Bush bashing, but with cause) lay the blame squarely on the current administration. This unconscionable clusterfuck happened on their watch.
With all due respect, we most certainly did. We can’t have it both ways. We can’t go stamping and snorting around the planet about the giddy possibilities and stern responsiblities of freedom while dodging the essentials of our own rhetoric.
'Scuse me, but either the noble principle, “of the people, by the people, for the people” applies to eveybody, including us, or it amounts to shit. We have absolutely no business imposing–by force–any ideal we aren’t fully prepared to accept in turn, which most definitely includes hard, direct, individual responsiblities.
The whole essence is that the guvmint isn’t “them”: it’s us If that in fact isn’t the case, we never had any driving principle from the start. How the hell can–or should–we try to impose the ideal of democracy, the powers, rights and obligations of the individual, onto others while we whine “it wasn’t really us”!
If we don’t hold control over our own goverment, we hold absolutely no convincing suasion to impose on others. The neocons under Dubya have gotten drunk on the idea of empire. They’re pitifully shortsighted, not to mention arrogant.
Few things are stronger than a transcendent idea, vision, belief, hope. Why would anyone accept, much less be inspired by, a basic concept of governance we aren’t willing or able to live up to ourselves? We did this. We allowed it to happen. Our puling about philosophical, religious, political, one-issue domestic “ideals” is just so much jerking off. If we can’t reach some sort of reasonable, liveable consensus at home, with acceptance of individual responsibility and principled dissent, then “our” reasons for swaggering into war–and torture, and all the loathesome kill-'em-to-free-'em permutations–were hopelessly flawed from the start.
I don’t think there’s a magic political solution, party or individual, for everything, much less the smorgasbord of perfectly legitimate domestic concerns. But I do believe in personal responsibility, even when it requires compromises. Especially when it requires compromises. They’re tests, and damned few of 'em are easy. But Abu Gharib happened on my watch, and I’m exponentially obligated due to my completely, insanely undeserved good fortune by being a critical, independent and pissant voting citizen.
It amounts to shit. Elective offices are bought by powerful and wealthy special interests. Elections are merely polls that tell nothing other than which of two baboons conducted the glitzier campaign. The “substance” is nothing more than rehashed slogans about restoring truth to the Whitehouse and making sure every child can read. It has reached the point that no matter what positions they hold, they can take office and make a bundle. If, for example, they support sugar subsidies, they can get money from food manufacturing industries. If they oppose them, they can get money from medical associations. Meanwhile, ballot access laws ensure that no dissenting voices get through to you. Aside from the hoops of fire just to get on ballots, thier opponents get federal funds to help them out. And the electorate ignores third parties anyway, swallowing hook, line, and sinker the incredibly predictable lies and absurdly hokey rhetoric of career politicians. Hitler was right about one thing: it is indeed lucky for rulers that men do not think.
What will it take to make this stop?** How can we ever repair the damage our country has done?
Lib, before the last Presidential election, I promised myself that it would be the last time that I voted for two white men on a Presidential ticket. I am having to break that resolution. This is one of those occasions when there is enough difference in the mentality of the human beings involved that I must vote for the person who is likely to remove the Bush Administration from power.
Then we need some major changes that are a return to the basics of the Constitution. I’m sick of loopholes, bureacracy, and intrusiveness. But an even more dangerous disease threatens us at the moment. Put whatever label you want to on it, but it is deadly.
What will it take to get people to stop quibbling about party affiliation and realize that this is not about Democrats or Republicans but about one willfully stubborn and not particularly bright leader who is the puppet of some very crafty, shallow, greedy, sinister, power-mad human beings?
Does anyone know if this private food contractor is the same sub-contractor hired by Halliburton to provide food for our troops?
There is a very real problem with what the Bush administration is doing. It’s not just business as usual. Your slavish devotion to Ayn Rand gives you a perspective that is for all practical purposes, useless.
I respect your position, Zoe, even though I disagree with it. I’ve just never thought that the fire was necessarily a better place than the frying pan.
Desmo, you’re such a pathetic idiot. Slavish devotion to Ayn Rand? None other than Binswanger himself has officially cited me for exclusion from Ayn Rand’s discipleship. It seems she has this burr up her ass over Jesus Christ.