26 July 2008

what is happening to America?

I'm very concerned for our country. We seem to be going in a very bad direction here. When you just look at how we are "conducting" our war in Iraq, the tactics we use and have been using these last years. They way we use/abuse the folks we have "detained" at Gitmo. Things get very complicated.
Yes, I know that the war is illegal, that is understood by many people even in America finally. That isn't the point of this post. That is a given about the war being illegal. It is also a given that our treatment (?) of those we have "detained" (actually kidnapped in many cases) at Gitmo is illegal. Again, that is not the focus of this post. It is another given that it is a criminal fact.
My concern, if you will, is that our tactics are also verging on the illegal. We are becoming un-American in how we conduct ourselves in these areas. What we are doing in our "conduct" of the war is not the old "American way". Same goes for our treatment of the detainees we keep at Gitmo and other prison facilities.
We used to, or at least pretended to, abide by the rules of war and the Geneva Conventions on the treatment of prisoners. Now, it seems to me, that we no longer even pretend to follow those rules. They have been called "quaint" and "archaic" by the legal staff of our "decider".
We have had attorneys general say such things publicly. We have a current attorney general who is unable, or unwilling, to call water boarding torture! Every decent,sane, thinking, and caring human being has said that it IS torture. Makes one wonder what sort of "human being" we have as our attorney general today. We know what sort of shit our last two are. Damn crooks and liars, both of them. At least Ashcroft had then good sense to say during at least one White House meeting that history may not judge them nicely. He had some concern for what they were discussing at the White House. That at least shows, to me anyway, some semblance of humanity. Of course it may just have been a fleeting thought for him and not a true long term concern of his. I am sure he is looking for ways to cover his ass from any responsibility for any crimes done while he held that post. Need to keep his ass out of jail don't you know.
I imagine the same can be said of our last attorney general, Gonzales, he is sure to wish to remain out of jail as well. Pass the blame to someone else. It is the way of politics in America.
Maybe the current occupant of that office figures he won't hold the post long enough to be brought up on charges of any sort of crimes. Want to bet? How is it that he is unable to define what is or is not torture? I am sure there must be some legal definition available to him. Can't he even read the Geneva Conventions? Is he unable to read international laws? Aren't there definitions of torture in American law?
I only ask these questions because I am not a lawyer, and have no legal background or training. I could go and do an inter net search for the answers myself, but shouldn't the US Attorney General know these things?
I don't know. Maybe I am just an old, out dated idiot, who expects way too much of our "leaders". Maybe I expect all of our folks who hold high office to be like the founders of this country, or that they know the laws they are supposed to enforce. That they know what is and is not torture. That they know what is and is not legal according to our national laws. That some of them even know something about international laws and treaties. Maybe I just expect way too much of our poor, over worked and (of course) under paid people who hold high office in America.
I like to think that if I held such a position as attorney general, that I would at least know the answers to some of the questions I raise above. This is not to say that I am better than they are, or seem to be. It IS to say that I have always taken whatever job I had very seriously. I always tried to do my job to the best of my ability, and to know in detail just what my job was and how to do it. But then, that is how Dad taught me. He and my grandparents were like that. They taught me to take personal responsibility for my job and myself. If I screwed up, it was my fault and don't go looking for someone else to blame for my failures. I try to do that still to this day. Yes, there are many times when others contribute to the failure of something, but ultimately, I try to be honest about my part in it. Telling the truth is so much easier, you don't have to remember what you said the other day, as it is the same thing now as it was then, or will be tomorrow. The truth may be hard to deal with, but it sure beats trying to lie your way out of things. We have all seen folks who lie so much that they forget just what story line they are on today, and watch as they get the lies confused. It sure can be funny to watch. Telling the truth means you get to skip that embarrassment.

Back to where I was going earlier, tactics and such.
The way we are, or at least the way we have been fighting the Iraq war is not how one would expect America to do things. The kicking down doors at 3 AM, the use of air power in densely packed cities, the abusive checkpoints. These are not typical America tactics in my opinion. Sure, our police here do the door kick at double "oh" dark thirty, but bombing of houses from the air? Come on folks, that is an Israeli tactic. Using missiles and air power to "take out" a person or maybe a few people in a city? That isn't how we used to fight wars. It sure as hell is NOT the way to win the "hearts and minds" of the locals. It is, again, more how the IDF does things in Gaza and the West Bank.
Fire off a missile and damn the "collateral damage". Well, this will NOT make friends for your side. It WILL make even more terrorists (?) than there were before you attacked. It is the way Israel does in Gaza. We hear this on the news regularly. It is not the way to make friends. It will just lead to more killing on both sides.
We are becoming the Israelis. I for one, do NOT like that.
We abuse, even torture, the folks we "detain" at our facilities at Baghram in Afghanistan. Remember Abu Ghraib? Read the latest from Gitmo. We are doing things to the people we "detain" that Israel does to the Palestinians that they have prisoner.
We are becoming the Israelis. Again, I am repulsed by this.
We allow ourselves the use of tactics that have been used by the IDF in our current wars and in our prisons. This is something that should cause great concern for any thinking, caring human being. The tactics of the IDF and Mossad are inhuman. They brutalize the Palestinians because they can. We are starting to do the same in Iraq, Afghanistan and Gitmo. We are becoming the IDF, and it is repulsive.
Our Congress critters fall all over themselves to swear allegiance to Israel. Our candidates for president do the same. Why? Why do we, the people of America not protest this outrage? Should not OUR elected representatives swear allegiance to America? Should not OUR candidates for president swear allegiance to America and to the people OF America? Why do we allow these people who are OUR elected representatives to swear allegiance to a FOREIGN country? When will they swear allegiance to US? Ever? Maybe next election cycle? Maybe when the "spirit" moves them?
What the hell is happening here folks? How long are "we" going to just sit back and allow this crap?
Look at the two illegal wars we are stuck with. Look to our prisons in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Guantanamo and the abuses we have done to those we hold in those facilities. Look at the treatment(???) of the Palestinians and you must see the parallels there.
We are becoming the Israelis. And no wonder, we have OUR elected leaders running off to AIPAC to swear their allegiance to Israel! Didn't WE elect them? Does Israel get to vote in our elections now? Just who the hell do OUR elected representatives work for?
Now, look at New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. It is nearly three years since Miss Katrina and her sister Miss Rita paid us a visit. The city of New Orleans is still a mess! Three years later! Where is the outrage at this mess? Where are "our" leaders? Well, they are off singing the praises of Israel to AIPAC. Where did you think they'd be? What, did you say you thought that "our" leaders might be doing some "good" for us? Why, who are you to say such a thing? Holy crap, you must have been thinking like me to have such terrible thoughts! Be very careful now, I am quite prepared to take my punishment for my "crimes" and thoughts and words. Are you? Don't follow me, I may be on the wrong road. Be careful now, this isn't the America they mentioned in high school civics class. It is becoming more like Israel, where dissent will be punished.
Our mainstream media is of no help at all. That sector of America has become basically a propaganda machine. Real reporting isn't done here very much any more. The truth is what the government says it is. Remember, we have a "decider" in the White House.
Our "leaders, even BOTH of our candidates for president make statement s that "we" will "obliterate" Iran if they dare to attack Israel. Why? We do NOT have a mutual defense pact with the state of Israel. While we should be concerned about any attack on any country by another country, we have NO business getting into this mess. We have gone and started TWO illegal wars ourselves. If Israel wants to fight Iran, let them. But we should keep out of it. Or, better yet, sell arms and ammunition to BOTH sides. Cash only, no checks, no credit. Of course with Israel, we would just be getting our own money back, as we send them about 3 Billion dollars every year.
Now we have had an Israeli historian do an article in the New York Times last weekend that basically says that if America won't bomb Iran. Israel will go it alone. Well great. Just goddamn fine. Of course this shit will pull us into the mess and everybody knows it. They will need to fly through Iraqi airspace, which WE control now. Iran has said that if Israel does attack, they will retaliate against both Israel and America. Why? Because they equate an Israeli attack with an American attack. We have stood with Israel for so damn long, no matter how badly they behaved that we are now seen as one and the same. Again, we are becoming Israel.
We even have high ranking members of some "Christian" religions who support Israel to the absolute detriment of America. Just like some of our politicians do and have done. Why do any decent Americans allow this? When do "we" get OUR leaders to stand up for US? When will we stop being Israel?