Torture, druggings, kidnappings, murders... who has been blamed, and prosecuted so far? A few national guard troops, some combat soldiers who took their orders to annaihialate the enemy seriously?
Bush and Cheney basically said --THE BUCK STOPS THERE They use the old tried and true military solution of offerring a few scapegoats up to public opinion, then just going ahead and doing what they damn want. The disconnect between reality and the political speeches grows stronger every damn day. Obama's stance of wanting to look forward is really more just looking away.
His actions, for whatever reason (and there are more forces at work than some boof like me is every going to consider), are allowing the undeclared war fought behind the scenes, by the spies, to remain almost as brutal as ever. Extrodinary Rendition to countries that torture is merely out-sourcing. Out sourcing. Passing the buck.
Recently Bush also came out and said that there was no way to rehabilitate a terrorist. Well, this has actually been done countless times. He demonizes way too many people when he just writes off anyone who fought for Al Queda. There are a myriad of reasons young men and women join in this war. The problem is more social than individual. Any society can be stirred up against another. The US has a history in the middle east than no one who wants to understand this conflict can afford to ignore. We can keep our atrocities out of our school books, and most people ignorant of the dirty wars in the Middle East by often lawless terrorists and intelligence agencies alike, but we can hardly expect people who consider us their enemies to forget the litany of reasons on their list for sending out suicide bombers.
We can change individuals. Not all, but most. Societies have to change to stop creating terrorists.
In the states, there is very little dissent shown in the form of overt terrorist attacks, or even ethnic attacks from outbursts of xenophobia. Oh, they happen, but they are aberrences. Our society does not romanticize dying in war much after Vietnam, which a lot of soldiers fear they should not have been forced to fight, and I certainly think we should have supported Ho Chi Min when he wanted a democratic revolution, instead of coming in on the side of the Colonial Power they were trying to slough off, as we did England before, in the revolution that inspires the man who would bring the US to their knees simply by knowing the fact -- it costs us $2,500 to kill one of them, and pennies for one of them to kill us.
The Vietnamese culture, once considered all terrorists by some, are sure as hell 'rehabilitated,' if you want to say that. The war ended and they went home.
We have to end our wars in the Middle East. Have to try to make the concept useless. This can only be done on a societal level. In The States, individual rights and equal protections for legitmate religions increases peoples tolerance. People who believe in God are usually not that hung up on believing that everyone else is wrong; a lot of them tend to think that there are just various paths up the mountain, and some will be attracted to this route, some to that... or no route at all.
How do we foster liberalism? The Trillion Billion Dollar Question. I know how we get the exact opposite of liberty... at least -- by Demonizing the liberalism of the US... which is done when folk like Bush say that, basically, if you capture a terrorist, you have to lock them up forever or kill them. This is fucking dangerous thinking. No trials. Just tortured confessions and away you go. Bang, Bang, Bang go the guns....
If we were to show the Muslim world that a new day really has dawned here in the states, that we are clawing our way out of the forests of lies left to us by lying leaders and muzzled journalists,
that we are what we are NOW. There are powerful forces with seemingly logical arguements for ignoring the tactics used by Bush to fight his war on terror. If we truly want the kind of good will that we need to stop other societies from using us as their whipping boys, we have to find a way to make ourselves allies not enemies. Period.
Cheney coming out of the dark depths to pretend that we were safer when he was running the world like a cruel sherriff in an old western... He thinks he is John Wayne in The Green Berets. You know he probably had people brought into their office on their knees so he could strangle a few terrorists once in awhile, to keep his edge.... ugh. If we are going to buy the idea that the top law enforcement officials in our Democracy get to run death squads and torture chambers, we are as guilty as they are. And we will pay for their fucking sins, unless something is done to rectify the problem.
Think how close we came to going to war with Iran under Bush. They were itching to get in there. Had them on the radar, along with anyone else who was coming up with a nuclear bomb who seem like they might actually be crazy enough to use it. No one wants the bomb in the hands of a country that avows they want blow another off the map -- Israel. I am not an apologist for Zionists, just humanity in general, I suppose. They are there and making them leave would mean nuclear war. All other concerns aside, that one is enough to make me just stop right at the two state solution. Nothing else is ever going to work, except total war in the middle east between arabs and israel, and NO ONE on this planet is going to win in that war.
Now we see the Iranian people, who we would have been fighting against, being praised by the conservatives. Here, I hope Obama moves fast and hard on nuclear disarmament. Showing other countries that we are serious about moving away from nukes is another way to take ammunition away from the hawks in other governments. Think about nuclear bombs from a military perspective, and who already has them, and you understand just how much a military likes these babies at their disposal. They enter the big time when they tell their enemies, step on our soil and we will destroy this whole fucking world before we surrender.
How do you make peace with another culture, after years and years of sins on both sides? We have to figure this out. I think the ancient idea of confessing and asking for forgiveness is about as adult as two people can get. Lool at the German model after WWII, where they at least owned what they did, and their children understood that their only absolution lay in examining the ways of their elders and deconstructing them, and passing laws so they would never happen again.
I am not trying to get up people's hackles by saying the States are Nazi. I am simply saying that we need to change an entire societies viewpoint on war, and our place in that war, if we want to be safe from terrorist tactics.
Ahhh... I feel like I am stating the obvious, writing just to try to wretch the images out of my mind onto this page.
Check out all of my blogs by googling my name, John Scott Ridgway