Wednesday, June 22, 2005
Don't bow down
Let me start from scratch, for those of you who aren’t keeping up with the current Washington hooey farm.
A couple of days ago Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) made the awful mistake of – hold your breath – speaking out against the atrocious practices in Gitmo. And he went so far as to bring up some pretty nasty names, including the Nazi Third Reich, Stalin’s gulags, and Pol Pot. Well, of course this had the effect of offending some folks who seemed to think that he was comparing our military troops to those fascist organizations. Really? How awful of him.
And instead of clarifying his position and choosing to keep the spotlight on the atrocities, where it belongs, Dick bowed down to the pressure and chose his political career over his integrity.
Think maybe he was crying because he felt a little of his soul dissolve as he stood at that podium?
Here's what he said that really pissed me off:
"I am sorry if anything I said caused any offense or pain to those who have such bitter memories of the Holocaust, the greatest moral tragedy of our time. Nothing, nothing should ever be said to demean or diminish that moral tragedy."
And here’s what I wrote him this morning:
Doncha think you bent over a little too far backwards to make sure everyone feels all warm and fuzzy about Gitmo and our troops again? These are complex issues and complex times, and your bowing down to the lowest-common-denominator of the mainstream media, not to mention the Republican party, is NOT going to help.
Why should we not keep the Holocaust in mind and bring it up as a measure of humanity’s potential for atrocity? Seems to me like there are a LOT of similarities. The Holocaust started
somewhere - it started slowly, with the consistent erosion of human rights, and the unwillingness of the governing bodies or those they govern to stop it. In fifty years, will the United States be known as a tyrant, or a hero country?
Don't bow down.
I can understand how John McCain, himself a POW, would refuse to acknowledge that the country he suffered for in Vietnam might itself be the perpetrator of such awful crimes. But at some point you have to work through your personal issues and open your f&*$%*# eyes.
My father went to Vietnam, too. I love my father dearly – I couldn’t ask for a better man to have stood by me through a rough childhood, the loss of my mother, and further hard times as I faced adulthood and the challenges that brought. But I am still deeply saddened by his participation in Vietnam, and I resent the effects it had on him. It’s one of those huge paradoxes that our country faced when the soldiers came home. Because so many of our non-military citizens saw things in black and white (you went to Vietnam, therefore you’re a bad person), those soldiers were shunned and ignored when they came home, just when they needed the healing support of their fellow Americans the most. Yeah, I’m slamming peaceniks here, try not to freak out.
Anyone who thinks that this world today (or ever, really) was a simple place where you could easily side with one group or another, well, they’re kidding themselves. Left wingers, right wingers, they’re all the same at heart. They want to believe in simple solutions, and there are none.
We’re in Iraq and Afganistan illegally (and in my opinion, immorally). Do we just leave and let those countries, and their citizens, go down in flames? I don’t think so. As a country, we have a responsibility to set things right. We can’t just up and leave, and those who are calling for a removal are themselves preferring the black and white paradigm.
But we can, and should, impeach the bloody-minded bastard who got us there in the first place, and start cleaning up our act. We can, and must, stop perpetuating the practices of the totalitarian regimes we pretend to replace. We can, and must, keep talking about this as a nation. We have to educate each other, folks, because the government ain’t gonna do it. And we can’t bow down.
So we’re lounging on the sofa before bed and I ask Brian, “So whaddya think about the Downing Street Memos?” It began a political discussion that covered events over several decades, many of which I’m not familiar with, because I was stoned for most of the time. We talked about assassination, atrocity, the Geneva convention, censorship, and other things before heading off to bed.
It gave me an opportunity to refer him to the documents themselves, which seem to prove pretty conclusively that while Bush et cronies were parroting the usual BS of keeping our country safe from terrorists and WMDs, they had already planned to invade (some say as early as 1999). At the time the memos were written (summer 2002), they were picking and choosing the information they wanted to share with the American public in order to support the push for war. Just in case you didn’t know. See below for my letter to George about it.
Posted by andi at 10:23 AM