Today I get a black piece of cloth, maybe a small black scarf from one of those Manhattan vendors, and I will tie it around my upper left arm. I have to do something. I have to do something concrete. I have to acknowledge my horror and despair with the amoral leadership of my country.
Obama is proving to be a bait and switch political tease. Exorbitant sums have gone to rescuing the very people who have raped us of our security and our future. Those daddies certainly coaxed him easily into their super club. Bill Clinton joined up. Why not Barack Obama? The political and corporate class. Very lucratively and efficiently done, Wall Street. The Obama reassuring pseudo populist rhetoric will work easily for a while, Obama’s brand so strong and the media so corrupt, lazy and inept and a citizenry apparently paralyzed.
He is proving to be a militarist. Ready and willing to enable “pragmatic killing,” accepting rationalizations for “collateral damage” – they were being used as human shields, yada, yada, yada, in the Middle East and wherever, and also, say, colluding with Israel’s callousness to dehumanize and kill Palestinians in Gaza. Willing to invoke the very imperial, toxic secrecy that protects dehumanizing behavior and profiteering corruption he railed against as a campaigner.
Where have all the ethics gone? Gone to lobbies, everyone. The senate, with our Democratic majority, just voted against capping credit card interest to 15%, as yet another of our mandates circles the bowl. Half the Democrats stabbed their constituencies in the bank … oops … in the back, certainly not in the bank. Freudian slip. Not in the bank at all. All those generous contributions from the bank lobbies. Blue State vs. Red State? Ralph was right. Both parties are proving bottom feeders. My appreciation and empathy for the minority of true progressives with integrity. Sadly, still the minority.
All of these dizzying tales of brutal, horrific torture perpetrated on a massive scale on fellow human beings, some that may have been guilty, though it seems the parameters for guilt were ethnically based more than evidence based. And … oopsie, some accidentally dying during torture (but isn’t it dandy that amnesty will be provided for such inadvertent accidents?). I understand doctors were standing by during waterboarding in case emergency tracheotomies were required. Yeah, I would call it aggressive and enhanced torture … ON STEROIDS. Though from the sounds of the experience, the surviving victims may have envied those that escaped into death. This last statement is not an exaggeration, I am sure.
And yes, polls indicate that there is a far greater percentage of church goers who are apologists and even supporters of torture than non churchgoers. What a surreal freakshow we have arrived at as a country.
And the survivors and the victimizers, too, of torture will have to climb out of their respective hells. The psychological trauma along with the physical trauma sustained by the detainees. Many of them having been released were ultimately considered not guilty. But that doesn’t seem to be seriously addressed by our leadership and certainly a jingoistic and shallow media. Being American is never having to say you are sorry. Being a Republican is never having to say you are sorry. Being a politician or a pundit … being a banker… well, you get the idea.
And so the Bush leadership invoked torture techniques borrowed from the notorious Chinese, the Spanish Inquisition, maybe Skull and Bones and Yale frat hazing? These masterminds were chicken hawks, men who did not fight for their country but wanted to play their own warped masculine game of spies and sadism apparently. My stomach turns as I think of Mr. Rumsfeld more than doubling stress position time for detainees, whining because he spent sustained time on his feet, after all. There has got to be a bigger word devised than mere hubris. HUBRIS ON STEROIDS.
The deaths and profound physical and psychological wounding of our children who trusted their country and leadership to join the military and fight for us? But not us, them. The military, the corporate and the political class who had and still have their own amoral profiteering agenda and blood for oil or whatever was/is a small price in their hearts of darkness.
The deaths and physical and psychological wounding of all those people and their families on their own soil, the destruction of their homes. The end of their quality of life. Those who were and still are being shocked and awed by what our hammering military has done and is doing. Some even betrayed, who trusted America stood for human rights. No, no, no. Corporate rights. Death and destruction as our leadership and crony corporatists build their gated communities for comfort and protection while extracting lucrative resources (or preparing to) in the countries the residents of which mistakenly presumed were their own. War Inc., right? After all, doesn’t "might make right"? Patriarchal gamesmanship. Competition and power. Not cooperation and partnership. Not that weak, girlie stuff.
Victims of Katrina. Tsunamis? Drone bombings? White phosphorous and cluster bombs? What happened to conscience? Do you have a conscience, President Obama? Do you have a capacity to empathize with the common folk in our own country? In other countries?
And the leaderships we prop up in countries we are invading, occupying, whatever. What musical chairs do they all play? We enable the friendly ones to us, not necessarily friendly to their own kinsmen, we don’t want a conflict of interests, after all, and when they stop being friendly to us, being bottom feeders, many, we are surprised and angry and vengeful. But we got down with dogs, and we are surprised about the fleas? And the taxpayer money streaming out to black marketers and corrupt regimes that exploit the capital from our coffers, not caring for their own citizenry.
And so what if the man we are supporting in Afghanistan, say, just signed a bill that legalizes rape at least once every four days on a wife who refuses to sexually satisfy her husband? Or imprisons young women who run away from older husbands they have been sold to? Or endorses a culture where women must cover themselves and are forbidden from leaving home, let alone learning. Yeah, our involvement has really improved the plight of women there. Or this leader who politically cronies up with notorious war lords who were barbaric to their fellow countrymen. Pragmatism, once again? Let our children soldiers die to sustain this man’s regime?
What about rape as a tool of war now happening so distressingly and massively in parts of Africa? Is that human rights violation seriously registered by governments that presume to be civilized? Well, if there is no profit to be made to interfere, or perhaps a significant country would be inconvenienced by our impulse to interfere with such mass rape and maybe outright genocide, we back off. More pragmatism?
And then there is the matter of a military that minimizes sexual assaults in disturbing numbers within. And ignores alarming accounts of domestic violence of soldiers against families post service. More atrocity from dehumanization and psychological burn out resulting from depraved and callous amoral exploitive leadership.
I will wear a black arm band. I will explain to people why, people who will probably patronize me for being way too emotional, and taking “politics” way too seriously. I will simply say that I am mourning the loss of America’s soul. That I wanted to do something concrete. I wanted to register how my country is very dysfunctional and the present leaders are, for the most part, still narcissistic and cowardly and loyal to the status quo so it is not going to get better. And I am sorry I feel this way. But I do.
Things are tragic right now. They need to be mourned. They need to be felt. And whatever human reptiles are masterminding and profiting from things as they are, I will mourn their hearts of darkness, their lack of consciences.
I mourn America. She is no longer mine.