Friday, July 07, 2006

Bullies On Parade

Don't leave marks. That's the most basic principle of torture. Then you can always say that any claims of abuse are fabrication, and who would the judge believe - a fine upstanding man in uniform with a badge and a hot radiator in the back room, or a poor, troubled miscreant?

We're leaving marks all over the place.

First, there are an increasing number of incidents coming into the light of day where foot soldiers on the ground appear to be fulfilling a belief that Arabs are "sand niggers" by raping and killing - or maybe just killing - innocent Iraqi civilians.

As order is restored in Iraq, do we expect these reports to disappear?

Everything we have done to hurt any Iraqi citizen will be of record. And it will given a monetary value. This is the information age.

The cost of our supremacist bullying will be presented to us sooner or later.

Our intelligence services have been torturing people. We have been torturing people. We. Us. We American citizens have been torturing people, through our government. We have been leaving major marks.

For people who live for the spirit, for people of conscience, this is appalling. For those who think of themselves, consider that there will be bills to pay.

We have been abducting people around the world, putting them in torture situations, and then turning them free to tell their stories to the world press. On the way to the torture sites, our airplanes have stopped in countries that don't allow that sort of thing. The Italian government has issued an arrest warrant for our former CIA Rome station chief. If we fail to extradite him, it would not be a surprise if they were next to shut down our airbase at Aviano.

Italy is a democracy. It just replaced George Bush's friend, Berlusconi, with someone less friendly to the Bush style of government. Britain's Tony Blair is going soon, and for some of the same reasons. If anger at our arrogance continues to grow, we'll have no friends at all.

We are holding dozens of prisoners of other nations for unstated reasons at Guantanamo. When we release them, their stories will be told. We dare not kill them. We can only hold them forever. In an increasingly democratizing world. How did we get stuck in this situation?

Our locked-in behavior at Guantanamo is a continuing statement to the world that America does not do as it says. A big advertisement.

We're bad.

How did we get this way? How did we become represented to the world by bullies? How is that we have failed to fulfill the Golden Rule?

How is it that we see only the confabulist's view of ourselves and blind ourselves to the pain our government torturers are causing? The rest of the world is not blind to that pain.

Bullies are a minority. Democracies have places for bullies.

They send them there often.


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