Greetings from the Land of Enchantment: War Crimes

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

War Crimes

I'm stunned at the dialogue going on over the past 48 hours since Cheney's public admission of what once garnered a death sentence in this country--the promotion and protection of water boarding as a 'heightened' interrogation technique. It's surreal. And I think it's the most menacing thing that this particular presidency has manifested. It's not that the United States government hasn't been doing heinous things for the hundreds of years we've been around, we have. But it used to be covert. We used to have the 'decency' to cover it up.

The Bush-Cheney legacy will be many things, but the grossest exploitation of their cynicism will be this: We will do what we want and the American people, the world, be damned! His admission on network television that he supported and still supports acts of torture, holding prisoners indefinitely, and going to war without cause should have warranted an arrest--right there on national TV. Instead it's a big F--- You to the incoming presidency and the people of America; because he knows he won't be charged with war crimes, he knows the American people won't demand it, he has successfully lulled us all to sleep--and intends to keep us there.

Over the years, as I look at the movement of social history, politics, and more, I have always held the view that despite appearances, things get better. I don't know anymore. If the leader of supposedly the 'freest' nation on Earth can go on national TV and admit to war crimes, knowing that nothing will be done about it. Well, then they've succeeded beyond their wildest dreams. They don't need to make us into machines or automatons that the sci-fi films warn about; they've just made us into children, good little boys and girls, powerless and clinging to wanting everything to just be 'okay'. It's the same tactic that has been used over and over again against any group that wants to have a voice: women, blacks, Native Americans, you name it. And now it's been done to all of us.

Meanwhile, we only have our own 'war crimes' to take care of: our small minds, our petty desires, our inner anger, our hubris, our greed. A great man once said, be the change you want to see. For my part, I'm having a hard time looking in the mirror lately.


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