Wednesday, May 5, 2004

From Bad to Catastrophe

Our intelligence wasn't good enough to avoid 9/11 or to find Osama in the hills of Afghanistan, but apparently right on target in understanding what it takes to humiliate Moslem men.  It is one thing to see rage based upon presumptions and misconceptions, it's another see it based upon clear evidence.  I ask myself how I would feel as a Jew seeing analogous humiliation of my religious and cultural beliefs?  But that's silly isn't it, here I am a child of, but not born in, Nazi Germany and I still can't look at Germans with complete trust sixty years after the fact.  The day Saddam was captured Howard Dean was asked if we were safer now.  He said no and was vilified for it.  Not only was he right, but we are less safe with every passing day.

You have to ask yourself not only why representatives of this country tortured prisoners, but also what in the world was the nature or purpose of the interrogation.  We still don't have a shred of evidence that Iraq was connected with terrorism, and what might we have wanted to learn about a fallen regime?  Was this simply a case of profiling, of late day sadistic McCarthyism?  And what about all of those civilian interrogators?  Did you know that we were hiring people to do that?  Obviously, they are getting higher pay than the military, but do they also work for a company whose owners are sitting comfortably and risk-free in the US collecting millions of tax payer dollars?  Is that off the books or on?  Is this an Enron in the making?

When George Bush couldn't answer a reporter's question about mistakes – something he joked about at a recent press dinner (but still didn't answer), it was revealing.  The man couldn't bring himself to say a simple "I'm sorry" during his two interviews yesterday with Arab TV.  He is clearly viscerally unable to do so.  Ah to be so perfect.  Remember how outraged this gang was at Richard Clarke's apology to the 9/11 families, something Condi Rice refused to do?  And Donald Rumsfeld, the arrogant and obviously incompetent Secretary of Defense, couldn't bring himself to say so either.  His response was very similar to that of the day when looting was going on in Iraq, the day we essentially blew it and from which we have not recovered.  Shit happens, he said then and shit happens he says now. 

When will the American people wake up and realize that we need regime change, not to mention drastic thinking change, before this Republic implodes?  Will it take a Holocaust-like catastrophe to make people sense that something is going drastically wrong, that we are being led down a  road that ends with a cliff?  Where is our sense of outrage, not at the low level soldiers (men and women), but against the chain of command that made this ill conceived war and disgrace possible and that leads straight to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue? 

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