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Thursday, May 28, 2009

on torture

Since my first "political awakening", in the middle of Reagan's second term, I have often heard lamentations regarding America's supposed loss of Morality, separation from God and our ,alleged, "slouch toward Gomorrah".
In all cases, these indictments were in reference to queers, abortion, Communism, hippies, or Secular Humanists. The Idea, almost exclusively from the Right Wing of American politics, was that, because of our collective immorality...or our tolerance of immorality...God had, or soon would , abandon us.
Politicians and televangelists preached ceaselessly about the consequences of the purported eviction of God from the public sphere, the banning of Prayer in public schools, and the various wages of Sin we would soon bear if we continued on this immoral path.
Now, in 2009, these same , Holier-than Thou folks are all over every news channel attempting to justify Torture, and other War Crimes.
...and the feeling I've had these past 8 years has solidified into conviction:
I am, for the first time in my life, Ashamed to call myself American.

The City on the Hill, the Last Best Hope of Mankind, the country that bills itself as the bastion of Liberty and Morality, and an example of both among nations, has abandoned it's lofty place.
As Mr Cheney, and friends, are all over TV, their fear on full display, I think about "the Home of the Brave", and wonder what happened. Are we so afraid of our "enemies" that we must resort to tactics used by Nazis and North korea?
Are our Founding Ideals so weak, that they must be put aside for mere "safety"?
I had believed, and fervently hoped, that the country of my birth was stronger and more courageous than that...that our collective Will was up to the challenge that terrorism presented.
It seems that we are not up to the challenge...we areinstead, cowards.

Now, the ends justify the means.
Now, we must abandon our Founding Ideals (like due process...) , because the previous Administration failed to heed the warnings that terrorists were "on the way".
Because of that failure, we are no longer the City on the longer the Last best Hope of Mankind. It seems that our Treaty Obligations, the Geneva Conventions and the UN Convention Against Torture,(let alone our own Founding Documents), all these things are mere paper. And the Ideals and Solemn Vows therein are to be abrogated and ignored when Fear so dictates.
In the future, when other nations employ "harsh interrogation techniques" against members of our own Armed Forces, or any other Americans, we must sit silently by.
We have given up our right, morally and legally, to protest.

What a sad, sad commentary on the state of Our Union.
I weep for what my country has become.We have become a Pariah.We are hated , around the world, for the things that have been done in our name.
Many persons I know don't care about that, and would call me a Traitor, UnAmerican or suggest that I "love it or leave it".

I counter these sentiments by stating, categorically, that. No, it is you, the apologist for Torture, who have destroyed my country.It is you, not I, that has brought us to this low , shameful state.
America is supposed to hold itself to a higher standard...a nation ruled by Law, not Men....A Nation that does what is Right, even when it hurts, or may be dangerous...a Nation that favors Justice over Expediency.
By engaging in what are, by definition, War Crimes, we have become what we have always fought against:An Hegemon, an Evil Empire, astride the globe, beyond the Rule of Law and immune from Justice.

It seems that those who hollered the loudest, back then, about our immorality were right...although for the wrong reasons.
It wasn't Queers, or Illegal Immigrants, or Dope Smoking Liberals, or Commies that made us immoral.
It was self described Patriots, cowering in fear behind a Red White and Blue curtain of overwhelming military force, who brought us here.Our Fear has led us to tolerate Evil to be done in our name.
And now, those who did these Evil deeds, as well as those whose fear still adheres them to a murderous, immoral Foreign Policy, are trying desperately to cover themselves...lest they be held accountable before the world.
American Exceptionalism writ as we say, not as we do...and, the Rules we force on the world don't apply to us, if it suits our purposes.
It is apalling that we are even having this "debate".
May god have mercy on us.

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