Thursday, September 28, 2006

America the Tortureful?

Boy has America come a long way (much of it in the wrong direction) in the last 5 years. The New York Times has a true and depressing piece today about the so called anti-terrorism bill about to get shoved through Congress. Passing such a bill is surely a victory for the terrorists.

With all respect possible to those who died on September 11, the greatest damage done by the terrorist attacks has been the damage we have (and continue) to inflict on ourselves by pretending that we somehow gain safety by compromising our national and moral principles. The end (keeping ourselves safe), justifies even the worst means (up to and including torturing innocent civilians) as long as we believe (however foolishly) that doing so can make us safe.

It is ok to attack any country for any reason or even for imagined/no-reason (as long as we hit upon a noble purpose like spreading democracy). It is ok to lock people up indefinitely (without review) because of our suspicions. Those held at Gitmo are predominately "suspected terrorists". It is ok if our president breaks our laws (wiretapping), because he tells us he wants to keep us safe (that is after first denying that he was spying on us). It is ok to treat other people with less dignity and respect than we would demand in reversed circumstances (Geneva conventions) because the president finds the terms dignity and respect vague. It is ok to redefine torture so the way we currently treat prisoners is less likely to be fit within such a limited new definition. And oh yeah the president gets to decide in secret what really is torture/abuse. And evidence given under torture/abuse/duress can be used against them in court. It is ok to try and convict people based on evidence they cannot hear or see (thus shredding any notion of fairness in defense or trial). All these things are ok, because if your name is Abu or Hamid you are presumed guilty, if we even suspect you.

And yet we wonder how radical ideology and anti-americanism can be so widespread and growing...why some people are opposed to our occupation (culturally/economically if not physically) of oil-rich countries in the mid-east.

It doesn't have to be this way! We can defeat terrorists without shredding our constitution and surrendering the rights our founders so bravely fought for. We do not need to participate in the human sacrifice of American sons and daughters to the GODS OF TERROR.

Our president says we fight them over there so we don't have to fight them if they don't know where we live! It only took 19 of them (aided by our complacency/lack of imagination) to kill ~3000 innocents on 9/11. And now there are hundreds and thousands more entering the jihadi cause. Our president somehow thinks our military can defeat an enemy we do not understand, cannot recognize, and will not speak to (other than to taunt "bring it on") in distant lands where all our soldiers can do is point their guns and asses the threat of every person they encounter in completely foreign surroundings, until they make a mistake and either wound/kill an innocent or be wounded/killed by a hostile.

Yeah and Mr. President how is that whole Iraq thing going? I mean how is it really going? not the BS/spin/crap/lies about turning corners and "freedom is on the march". Just hoping or wishing that everything will turn out well, does absolutely nothing to make it so. We've heard what you believe about the freedom loving people in Iraq, and how wonderful it was to see these brave people brave such danger to vote democratically.

But how much longer can the Iraqis themselves stand the sectarian violence and the islamofascists tearing the country apart? One more year, three more years, ten more years, longer? So long as our occupation of Iraq fuels more terrorism and violence and resentment among Iraqis, we will never "defeat" this tactic called terror (or even the jihadi extremists in Iraq) and we will never be able to withdraw our troops. Sadly our current strategy gives the terrorists control of our foreign and military policy as they can veto any withdrawal of troops by stirring up violence (as they have done this summer).


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