In some ways it’s a relief

Saturday, 30 September 2006

Myself: You Maniacs. You blew it up. Ah, yadda, bing, bang, bongo. God damn you, et cetera, et cetera.
Me: Me neither. Try a few reactions out on you?
Myself: Yeah.
Me: “Obituary for America.”
Myself: Sure. Do you have the patience to write it?
Me: Next. “My new career: enemy combatant.”
Myself: Why betray so much?
Me: Yeah.
Myself: Why are you even around, man?
Me: What do you mean?
Myself: Didn’t you like leave the country for a few years after Clinton signed the death warrant on those kids in Waco and Idaho?
Me: Two years, yeah.
Myself: So… …this cat is worse.
Me: Sure. Though it’s theoretically supposed to be a contest in the other direction.
Myself: Be that as it may. Why stay?
Me: That brings me to the last title. “In some ways it’s a relief.”
Myself: Well, Randal on out of here.
American Revolution Remix

Let’s get this straight: US presidents have been invading other countries on and off and bombing civilians in Viet Nam, Kosovo, Africa, Mexico, and Germany for that matter for over a century. We sponsor and train foreign terrorists secretly. Reagan’s Alzheimer’s kicked in just in time to save him from being impeached for that crap. Bin Laden himself is a product of the CIA mixed with the cold war. There has not been a President in a long time who was not a war criminal by the standards outlined in the Geneva conventions.

You don’t have to take my word. You can just consult any attempt made at instantiating an international war crimes tribunal since Nuremberg. While most of the first world nations have tried to establish such an authority, the United States has always blocked it; refused to allow one to form. We never have had to answer for things like fire-bombing civilians in 67 Japanese cities because we’re the US. We’re too powerful to fuck with. Our executives have always got away with almost anything they wanted. Nixon was just too bat-shit-paranoid or he would have skated too. Well, thanks to Ford, he did skate.

The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity. WB Yeats, “The Second Coming”

So, that the Bush administration is compelled to make some of the criminal actions explicitly legal is a sign of two things.

  1. They are scared, AKA “weak.”
  2. They are stupid, i.e. unintentionally announcing to the world and their own citizens they are scared and weak.

While these two points don’t speak well for the fate of America’s foreign relations, they do speak somewhat clearly to real American patriots about better days. The kind of American who is willing to die, or kill, to protect the ideas in the Bill of Rights. The kind of American who isn’t a loud-mouthed bully, but a taciturn thinker, slow to anger and impervious in resolve when faced with threats that are not imaginary. The kind of American devoid of affect who stands up in emergencies and does the right thing even when it means going against a crowd, or two. The kind of American like me.

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