Friday, November 11, 2005

Full-on identity crisis

Button up the Holocaust museums, turn off the documentaries about Nazi war crimes, and understand this: our troops and other subordinates, under the orders of our Commander in Chief, are not just torturing innocent civilians in hellish prisons, secret and otherwise, but are burning people alive - yes, civilians - with white phosphorus so-called “illumination” grenades and a new improved napalm.

This is not some dark, distant, dismal history we are talking about; this is happening at this instant, paid for by the taxes taken from our paychecks today. “Shake and Bake” is no longer a quick chicken dinner, but a technique using percussion blasts to shake - drive people into the open, and then follow up with bake - rain down white phosphorus grenades that dissolve one’s flesh all the way down to bone. This is being done in our name, by our children, fully documented in an Italian television documentary on the taking of Fallujah.

Geneva Conventions? What of them? We the Imperial Americans do not care to constrain ourselves in our pursuit of....our pursuit of what, exactly? What have we accomplished in our Iraq adventure, other than the killing and maiming of untold numbers of people - Iraqis and our own once-idealistic troops - and the thorough destruction of a country’s complete infrastructure?

Sure, a broken Saddam is now on trial (of sorts) and can no longer torture and maim his own people, but so what? We’ve taken over that role now, and seem to be quite able competitors to his regime. Our “war on terror” is nothing so much as a terrorist-creation scheme, providing ample reasons again and again for the anger and desperation that is at the root of all terrorism.

As humans, we Americans ought to be a little smarter, and should be able to use our frontal lobes - the ones that enable us to look into the future and evaluate likely consequences of actions taken today - to comprehend that our actions in Iraq are not and will never make us any friends, but will ever and always result in nothing but anger and intractable hatred toward us and all that we represent.

I have been against the Iraq war since its inception, and immediately wrote a letter of support to Hon. Barbara Lee when only she showed the courage and foresight to stand against the Bush regime’s descent into hell. But there is absolutely no comfort to be found in being proved correct - it only makes me wonder how my countrymen could be so blind, and makes me fear the worst for our future. At times I wonder if we even deserve a future, because who have we become?

Who are we?

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