6/20/2006

Two More Bloody Corpses At Your Feet

Expect a lot of self-righteous indignation from the self-righteous right wingers following the news that the two missing soldiers were tortured before their deaths. We can only expect to see more troops captured and tortured in the future, now that the Bush administration has opened that pandora's box.
Even if there was a good reason to invade Iraq (which there wasn't, only bogus lies about WMD. Meanwhile, North Korea is getting ready to test a missile that can reach the US. Way to Go!), the blood of these two soldiers would still be on the hands of the US government that implemented torture as a policy. But especially on the hands of the current administration that issued a signing statement to a law passed by Congress specifically banning the use of torture by the US that said we weren't going to obey this law. But there was no good reason to go to war with Iraq, the whole WMD, ties to al Qaeda and links to 9/11 (when are we going to start fighting terrorists?)been proven a falsehood to everyone but the most thickheaded kool-aid drinkingest of Republicans feeding their Islamoparanoia at the corporate propaganda wells.
Now don't get me wrong, I'm not condoning the actions of whoever the US pins these murders (murder? In a time of war? Oh yeah, that's right, they murder, we liberate with extreme prejudice!) on, al Qaeda or the insurgency, but it makes you a hypocrite if you support the Bush administration and their use of torture and find yourself outraged by this. Granted, they'd probably have been tortured anyway, but two wrongs don't make a right no matter what kind of fuzzy math you use. (Although I can already hear the spurious arguments someone might use to weasel their way out of this:" B-b-but they learned torture from Saddam!") And it's hard to take the high road when you're standing in a bloody gutter.
The bottom line is, if you support the Bush administration, you support the use of torture. And if you support the use of torture, there's two more bloody corpses at your feet.

22 comments:

Kvatch said...

Tragic, tragic, tragic. If the stories coming out of the Pentagon are true it does the insurgency no favors. Not that I'm in favor of a well-armed, violent, and effective insurgency (which is what they are). But I'm constantly surprised that they engange in a level of violence that will guarantee that they are never taken seriously as freedom-fighters much less soldiers. This will allow the US to continually brand them as thuggish, unhinged, murderers.

glenda said...

I just feel so sorry for their families.....they are somebody's children, brother, sister....

podvizhnik said...

This is a story that angers some people, saddens others, and yet others maybe a little of both. And it should.

There is a great conflict going on which has been brewing for a long time; it has the potential to be as bloody and destructive as 1914-45, and we are all a part of it whether we like it or not. To say it's all about WMDs or oil is not totally wrong, but it's like saying 1914-45 was all about the Austrian occupation of Bosnia. To say it's all about Islam vs. the West isn't wrong either, but that's like saying 1914-45 was all about German militarism versus Western mercantilism. Both of those explanations couch the conflicts in terms that don't explain why the conflicts--sooner or later, one way or another-- had to come.

The fact is that, in both conflicts, then and now, the inherent forces of liberal democracy proved to be a threat to other ways of life with which they were incompatible. In the earlier conflict this may not be apparent to us now, but I was raised by people who remembered World War I very well (and one of them was a German). The people who shouted "Hang the Kaiser" back then had some real and sincere--if vague and imperfectly articulated--grasp of what the principles of Kaisertum and Herrenschaft really represented: alternatives which not only did not integrate with their way of life, but which were implacably, if not always actively, hostile to it. Things are very little different today with those who shout "F--- Osama" and the principles of al-Islam, jahiliya, and ijtihad.

Now, as then, it has come to war. Did anyone really want it? Back then, few if any really, sincerely, wanted it, but events, like water, take the path of least resistance, and the point came at which enough people all around were willing to set aside their conciliatory instincts and take the plunge. Many, even most, of them probably felt--or hoped--it would never reach them directly: "It will all be over by Christmas" was the most-repeated phrase on both sides. YCr suspects it is, again, much the same today. We would undo the violence if we could, but it is hard to call back a bullet once it has left the barrel of a gun. The fallen, and those who worked to keep more from falling, are those best remembered from the former conflict; those who did nothing but shout are--justly enough--of interest only to professional researchers. So it will likely be that history will, again, most likely honor the valiant (I mean the really valiant, whether they wore a uniform or not) and forget the skulkers and the unprincipled--whether those in office, or not.

Kathy said...

And it's hard to take the high road when you're standing in a bloody gutter.

It's also part of the reason violence and terrorism continues to multiply. It sounds so cliche, but violence begets violence.

Left of Center said...

we reap what we sow. How long would this madness continue if one of the Bush twins had been tortured and beheaded? actually if that happened things would just get worse. Bush, though he trys to paint the likes of Bin Laden as a monster, is really no different. Bush and Bin_Laden are both revenge killers. Two sides of the same murderous coin. Both the spoiled sons of money and power commited to a course of bloodshed and revenge. The deaths of these two boys is just a blip on the radar to those calling the shots.

Lucyp said...

'We reap what we sow' sums it up perfectly. The right wing blogs have tried to justify the cold blooded murder of 24 innocent civilians recently by the US military, and as horrible and distasteful as these murders are, we really do reap what we sow and we have been sowing some pretty devastating seeds over this century.

That Damned Jezebel said...

Very sad situation on either side

Its hard to draw conclusions about it. I dont think this is going to stop.

Chuck said...

...Now, as then, it has come to war. Did anyone really want it?

Well, actually yes. bush did. In retrospect, that is clear; the PDB, the Downing Street memos, "yellow cake", warmongering, fearmongering, "catapulting the propaganda", "I'm a WAR PRESIDENT", "If you're not with us, you're against us", "Patriot" Act, the creation of Naziesque terms like Homeland Security, Operation T.I.P.S. and on & on...

Its ALL false nationalism!

"...Bush and Bin_Laden are both revenge killers. Two sides of the same murderous coin. Both the spoiled sons of money and power commited to a course of bloodshed and revenge..."

Absolutely correct!

...The deaths of these two boys is just a blip on the radar to those calling the shots.

Yep. And how unfortunate is that? bush is totally unchecked in his LIES and aggression.

One more horror on the books melting into the deaths of 150,000+ people so far. Apparently the WTC was attacked by Saudi Nationals, yet duh-bya publicly kisses, sucks and licks on their prince. Saddam Hussein must have fallen out of favor with the bush dynasty- so he was overthrown and innocent Iraqis were murdered.

It was (and is) invasion & occupation- plain and simple- all perpetrated by a dictator wannabe wielding enough family power to blatantly steal two U.S. presidential elections. Consider that.

podvizhnik said...

I find Bush-hatred fascinating. (I am no fan of the man, though I don't hate him either.) But it seems to outrun anything hurled at Reagan, or even Nixon, both of which eras I remember well. (Glenda? Any thoughts?) I am doing a study of it now--that is one reason I have been checking out 'blogs lately--and I intend to eventually 'blog some conclusions myself if I can get them into sufficiently concise format.

WADR, chuck, while Bush is certainly responsible for the current situation in Iraq (as the Kaiser was responsible for the situation in Belgium from 1914-18), my whole point was that we are in a much bigger conflict which goes back much further than 2003 or even 2001. It goes back at least to the fall of the Shah in January 1979. It preceded Bush, and will long outlast him. This does not exonerate him, but he must be put in his proper place in history if we are going to be able to guide history. To say that So-and-so started to war because he is a murderous bastard, or whatever, is in some sense to excuse ourselves--after all, if the Commander-in-Chief is a malignant psycho, then there's not much we can do, is there? I find such implications disquieting. We can do something, and that is a fact.

Finally, to the extent that we feel free to label Bush as any sort of criminal or lunatic, or call for Congressional or judicial restraint upon him, we must realize that are also providing justification for our opponents' efforts to do the same to a future President whom we might support. Who is there who can call Bush a spoiled son of privilege, and then object if those on the other side do the same to a President John Kerry in 2009?

tp said...

When have we pre-emptively attacked a country in this manner though? These are extreme acts that are new.

podvizhnik said...

Historically, the US has confined it to this hemisphere and kept it smaller-scale. But there are plenty of examples: Panama '89, Grenada '84, Guatemala '66, Dominican Republic '65 (and before that from 1916-24), and Honduras 1924. In each case we were taking 'pre-emptive' action, although the term didn't exist until lately; of course, none of those countries had anywhere near the force capability that Iraq had. We were also acting with our NATO friends under the colour of 'pre-emption' of Serb action in Kosovo.

Your observation that Iraq is a new
'style' for the US is, however, fundamentally correct. Is this justified? Can it ever be justified? I haven't room to go over all the arguments each way here. One thing is indubitable, and that is that in this age of nuclear and biological proliferation, and the capability of electronic plotting (a form of which we are engaging in here), the situation is very different than it was in the '60s or even the '80s. I'm not an official contributor here, but I'd like to see one of them post a piece themed on "The Next Attack on the West;" does anyone think another 9/11 style attack is possible, and if so, where, when, and how? Of course, whatever theories were advanced would have an extremely small chance of being correct in every detail, but the basic reasoning behind them might well be interesting. To anyone who has spent much time reading old newspapers and magazines from the 1930s, it is fascinating to see that most ordinary people--letter-writers, etc., took it for granted that Hitler would eventually start another European conflict. The outbreak of hostilities in 1939 seems to have surprised absolutely no one except a few intellectuals.

Lew Scannon said...

There seems to be a consensus amongst the conspiracists that there will be another "terrorist" attack (although, it should be noted that most conspiracists place the blame for 9/11 on either dark forces within the US government, or on Zionists in the US/Israeli governments) used to justify our planned invasion of Iran, as well as justify more unconstitutional acts by the current administration. However, I feel that another "terrorist" attack will likely not occur, as all our civil liberties suspended since 9/11 were purported to make us all safer from such sort of thing, another attack will surely prove that opinion wrong. What we will see is more "terrorists" cells being arrested, such as the one in Miami, where informants infiltrate a group to incite them to commit attacks they can be arrested for plotting to commit.

No Blood for Hubris said...

The pro-torture, pro-atrocity crowd is up in full shriek. Makes me think bad thoughts, it does. Yup.

Diane S. said...

Not at all to diminish the tragedy of the death of those soldiers, the story pales in comparison to what's happening to the Iraqi people on the ground.

Check out the latest video on Get in Their Face. And while you're there, check out the vid on The History of Oil

Both are long videos, but well worth the time invested.

tp said...

Thanks, Diane.I'll check it out,.

podvizhnik said...

For what it's worth: I heard a local pundit, who is also a National Guard officer who has served on combat teams in Iraq, say: "This means that no U.S. soldier is going to let himself get taken alive again." The implications of that comment have reverberated in my head for days. That attitude was not heard with regard to Germany and Japan in WW2, or even to the North Koreans and North Vietnamese in those conflicts.

That Damned Jezebel said...

Chilling. Understatement.

michael the tubthumper said...

why is it all telephone companies are useless incompetent bastards?

INTERNATIONAL STRANGENESS DAY

tp said...

I think part of the regulation involves inefficiency and terrible customer service.

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