Sunday, January 16, 2005

The Everyday Cost of Treachery

My Brother Died in Vain is the title of an article I read today (click here). The title almost says it all. The White House has at long last made official, what the world has know for years. There were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Except the ones recently brought there by the Americans.

It's a story about the real cost of this greed driven waste of so many lives in Iraq. An examination of cost versus result. The cost of proving what was already know to be a lie.
Another drop of blood on our new American dream cum nightmare.

Again and again ordinary American families will be left with that cold unanswerable question. Why? To what real purpose was this life expended?

There will never be a real answer to that question. That is the real horror of it. To each person who actually cared about this young man, it is the beginning of pondering a question to which there is no satisfactory answer.

This is not the price of liberty, it is the destruction of liberty both at home and abroad. Liberty does not send young men, with potential yet unfulfilled, to be sacrificed for the greed and the power lust of elitists and their demagogues.

Liberty does not destroy a country and violate and oppress its entire population, for greed or any other reason.

Liberty does not torture, abuse, or incarcerate people, perhaps for life, without provable charges.

Liberty does not burden the families of the working class and working poor with the price and responsibility for the reckless decisions and actions of the ruling class.

Totalitarian governments do all of those things.

A quote from the article:
At home, the sidelines are overcrowded with patriots. These Americans cower from the fight they instigated in Iraq. In a time of war and record budget deficits, many are loath to even pay their taxes. In the end, however, it is not their family members who are at risk, and they do not sit up at night pleading with fate to spare them.

The writer alludes to one of the most puzzling aspects of America's abdication to authoritarian government. Specifically that so many Americans have been convinced they can support such policies and actions, without paying a real price. As though someone else will pay the bills and do the fighting.

That much is obvious. Why else would all branches of the military be undershooting their enlistment quotas? In spite of massive recruitment drives. One is forced to ask; Where are all the men who voted for the war? They are still waving flags and writing stupid brave things on the net but they are not signing up for their war. They are waiting for some one else to do the hard parts of their new style patriotism.

It would seem they are expecting that class of Americans who traditionally escape unemployment via the army, to join up and fight the dirty Arabs for them. They love the idea of killing and dieing for 'freedom', they just want some one else to do the dieing part.
The getting wounded part, the going mad from stress part. They prefer to change the channel or have a beer when it gets too heavy.

Sadly, for the National Guard and Reserve and Regular Army units being ground to a nub in the desert, the President is determined not to burst the bubble for his supporters, by reintroducing the draft. He knows how quickly his popular support would melt in that eventuality. When enough Americans begin to realize the price they must pay for the mad excesses of this government.

I don't believe the draft will start again until Bush and cronies are sure they have complete control of the state's repressive apparatus. The Attorney General's office, the CIA, the DHS, the FBI, the politically motivated Judges, need to be controlled by Bush appointees whose major and often only qualification for their jobs are that they are politically 'on side' with Bush and his prescription for a new America that nobody voted for. A cheery view, I know, but that is how it looks.

Chertoff, our new head of Homeland Security, is a much more reliable political bag man than Kerik could have been, for all his willingness. The most cursory look at Chertoff''s record of achievements do not bode well for democratically minded (note small 'd') Americans. Check here for a few details.

Reading the article by Dante Zappala, regarding the loss of his brother in Iraq, I can not deny that we are all responsible for what is happening in America's name. And that each of us has a responsibility to find it within ourselves to speak, to resist in some way the dark human cloud that is forming.

Are you looking for your voice, your part to play in what's to come? In the long run, there is no safe choice, not even for the bumber sticker God fearin' Republicans. The Angel of Mercy is very unpredictable.


At 9:05 AM, Blogger Ian McGibboney said...

Thomas, I understand your frustration. Probably the worst thing I'd read on the subject came soon after the Iraq War had begun. A letter in Newsweek berated Anna Quindlen's previous column about her kids going off to Spring Break. This woman's response was that all of that was a waste of time, because "our young people should be doing everything they can to pitch in and support this war and fight for freedom" or something approximating that. Her comment made me sick to my stomach, because it reflects a lot of what I hear from Baby Boomers who obviously forgot everything that their generation taught them. This is NOT my war. This is not my cause. I didn't ask for it, nor did I volunteer for it. I think it is wrong and incredibly hypocritical for that to be foisted upon my generation and the one after it. The "adults" in charge are insulated from the real consequences, when they should be the first ones to feel (or at least see) them.

At 1:00 PM, Blogger Coach said...

Media Warfare

"I can not deny that we are all responsible for what is happening in America's name. And that each of us has a responsibility to find it within ourselves to speak, to resist in some way the dark human cloud that is forming".

Your words echo back to earlier conflicts in what for many, still remain living memory. Edmund Burke similarly wrote: "all that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”

This begs the question that you and Burke raise. If we are to 'resist' or to do 'something, than what does this look like? What is civil disobedience in 2005?

During the January 20th Presidential inauguration, many will turn their back on the presidential parade as it passes. Whoa! Oh no, not back turning! What affect will this demonstration have if our mainstream media decides 'this time' to cover the other side of the inauguration story?

In an age where we're bombarded by filtered information one experiences a kind of 'knowledge fatigue'. The real test will be, 'can we continue to resist the relentless onslaught of political media propaganda for the purpose of pushing forward a corporate fascist agenda that is killing Americans, Iraqis and others?

Blogging, the new French underground.

At 1:14 PM, Blogger ThomasMcCay said...

Hey, Ian. I'm not sure frustration is what I feel. I've gotten old and gnarly and sort of expect people to be just what they are.

That is why I talk so harsh sometimes. You occasionally have to slap the beast on it's hard head to get its attention for a couple of seconds. It's the nature of primates.

I find it extremely bemusing that the generation that brought us the 'summer of love' is also bring us our winter of bitter discontent.

I do feel that people in my generation have a particular responsibility simply because we have seen this before and we know it leads to nothing good.

So, we are too old for the draft and so attached to our easy wasteful life styles that we no longer care? Are we so content and at the same time so cowardly that we will quietly watch our own children and grandchildren fed to the machine? As if it were a right and noble thing to do?

Does Bush the service avoider cum war monger represent that many people of my generation? I sincerely hope not.

At 1:31 PM, Blogger ThomasMcCay said...

Flogger my man. I don't think I see it in quite the same way you do.

When I encourage people to find their voice, their way of resisting, I'm not suggesting any specific action or even type of activity. Finding your voice at your reading club, in Sunday school, among your friends who haven't reached your understanding is perhaps more important than going to the street. Many aren't ready for the streets yet.

Some people find it in themselves to go turn their backs on the emperor. It is a time for consciousness raising. We are not nearly ready to storm the Bastille today.

Perhaps, the single most important thing Americans need to do now is to start asking questions, out loud.

Do you expect that the people should rise as the result of one action? Of course, turning your back on the prez isn't going to bring down the tyrants but it can pose a lot of questions.

We have to think in the longer term. There will be no easy quick victory. To expect such is the direct path to despair.

I don't know what Resistance will look like. I don't think we will know until enough people start asking those questions, out loud. At home and in our lives. Ask the questions.


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