Sunday morning rants.
The result of a late night of heavy conversation with an old friend, and the strange mix of memory and present tensions. Bad things are happening in my life, around me, and I feel like Im caught in the eye
of the hurricane, waiting for it to move and carry me into the maelstrom. Marriages
collapse, people die and are dying, some slowly killing themselves without hesitation.
and world events seem to be a safe haven from the immediate, intimate world of everyday life.
I read in
the paper today that Lynndie R. England was ordered to pose with the Iraqi prisoners.
Being a woman, the degradation is that much worse. There will be a court
martial. There will be careers lost. There
will be lives destroyed.
defense is rooted in the last great attack on sanity, World War Two. Those who
attacked sanity were tried in Nuremberg for their crimes against humanity, and for their roles in the systematic extermination
of human beings. The famous defense was this:
"I was following orders."
defense raises difficult questions, which are made even more difficult now that it is not The Enemy that faces justice, but
it is the United States. We now have to look at ourselves and ask the questions
of morality and ethics. We have to put ourselves in the shoes of the Nazis and
the citizens who supported Hitler or who allowed him to speak through their silence.
It has been
rumored that the orders came from on high to break the prisoners completely before questioning. The process that was used to break them is deeper than what we, as Americans, can understand without insight
into the culture and religion of the Iraqi people, the culture and beliefs of the Islamic nations. The breaking of the prisoners relied on forcing them to break the fundamental laws of the religion. In the United States, we practice religion once a week, if Christian, but the majority
of Christians don't incorporate the religion fully into their lives. Religion
is for the soul, not the body. In the Islamic nations, religion is the backbone
of life. It is a part of everyday life, from the moment of waking through the
workday, into the homes and families, the structure of the governments, incorporated into each breath. It is difficult to understand how pervasive religion is in their lives, because we don't have that. To them, separation of church and state is blasphemy.
They are living under the constant Eye of God. To break the law of the
religion is to condemn your soul to Hell for eternity. In our nation sins have
become so commonplace that we forget that they are sins. Among the Christians,
sins are easily forgiven and forgotten. The God of Muhammad is not that pliable.
and humiliation of the Iraqi prisoners is not torture of the body, but torture of the soul.
(Although the Company did return to its more practiced roots with some of the ways that the prisoners were being broken.) We made them do things that would ensure that they would be damned for eternity, with
no way out. It was more complete than anything that could be done to one of our
own servicemen, because we were able to attack them on a spiritual level.
no way to explain how deep and how terrible the abuse was. Even if youve seen
all the photos, you cant fully understand what they went through.
I'm off track,
and her fellow servicemen cannot be held responsible for the torture. Theirs
were the hands that moved, but someone else was pulling the strings. Now they
are being given up as sacrificial lambs while King George II is decrying the treatment of the prisoners and trying to mollify
the world. It might not have been his order, but it came from someone close to
him. Rumsfeld. Ashcroft. Tenet. One of them gave the command. You can see it in the headlines that splattered the papers a few days ago when this broke loose. Rumsfeld will not be touched. He's taken responsibility for
the breaking of the prisoners, but not for the orders that were handed down to the sacrificial lambs. Some are saying that he should be fired, that a message must be sent.
No one has
been fired for the faulty intelligence that allowed the World Trade Center attacks to happen.
No one has been fired for giving the faulty intelligence that told of weapons of mass destruction. But Rummy must be held accountable.
circumstantial evidence that the orders originated from him. But he won't be
faulty intelligence that allowed the WTC attack to happen. The evidence doesn't
add up to faulty intelligence. It adds up to the government of the United States
planning and aiding the commission of the attacks. It wasn't faulty intelligence
that led to the war in Iraq. Everything points to the CIA trying to support little
George's plans to attack. Bush made the claims without support from any intelligence
community. He went to war without cause or provocation. He made the claims, and the intelligence was falsified to support them.
is important to the plot that little George has written. There will be no consequences
beyond the destruction of the careers of a few military recruits.
detainees in Cuba who remain uncharged and ignored. There are American citizens
who have been placed in custody and stripped of their rights because Bush wants to prove his Absolute Power.
Bush is trying
to create the world in his own image. Actions in South America and Central America
are being overshadowed by the war in Iraq. The ongoing struggle in Afghanistan
is being ignored because of the war in Iraq. American children being turned into
hamburger by people who disagree with the US government's beliefs are being ignored because of the war in Iraq.
In the 1930s
and 1940s, a blind eye was turned to the atrocities being committed in Nazi controlled area because the people believed in
Hitler. The world turned a blind eye because the rumors were too horrific to
believe. No nation could do such a thing.
States was never a State of nation builders. In the last thirty years, we have
not only become nation builders, but we have exerted our will on the world by economics or by force. How much longer will we allow this to continue? How can we,
as a nation built from the castoffs of other nations, believe our moral and cultural superiority? Are we so arrogant to believe that what we are doing is right enough to send our children to die for our
beliefs? Are we so smug that we are unwilling to give our own lives to wage a
cultural and religious war?
has been in office, we have been through two wars, recession, unemployment, and have witnessed the foundation of a totalitarian
police state (the Homeland Insecurity Act, the Patriot Act). Will we allow this
before the polls are opened for voting, Osama bin Laden will turn up. He will
be captured, and held up as a symbol of our Great Nation, of our supreme power. Bush
will be re-elected, and within a year martial law will be declared. Are you ready
for the consequences of inaction?