Thursday :: Mar 20, 2008

A Terrible, Vast Crime

by paradox

As I read of China’s fears of an Olympic boycott this summer over suppression in Tibet I realized with a sharp stab of dismay that were the United States hosting the Olympics this year we’d be in precisely the same position from the Iraq war.

I’ve read the many five year anniversary Iraq war stories the last week with acute interest (thank you, San Francisco Chronicle and blogtopia) and although most are very good at illuminating the details of what’s happened, they lack a stark clarity to moral culpability in stating what the Iraq war truly is: a vast crime.

We lied and fabricated to launch a “pre-emptive attack,” overthrowing a sovereign nation, precisely what we prosecuted Nazis for only 50 years earlier. We are a radical, rogue nation, financial markets or sovereign nations, it makes no difference, we make the rules and then break them at will when it’s convenient.

Radicals often weave their larger crimes with others in whatever they choose to do, and ours are no different in the realm of Iraq: torture, $8 billion in cash just gone missing, rendition. In all of the five year stories there was never, ever any mention of any investigations that were eventually to be set up, specific US statutes and treaties that had been precisely broken, or possible life prison sentences for the criminals who had inflicted this horror of war upon all of us.

Come November when the radicals finally have been stripped of power and real pain of the recession finally starts to get acknowledged the war will end, Americans will never stand for this insanity when so much else has gone wrong and needs urgent attention. The war will end next year, yes, Clinton and Obama proclaim it every day now, but apparently the trials and life sentences will never start soon thereafter.

Not only must America endure the horror of war herself, plus all the seething hate and resentment from the manifest harm we inflicted on others, but we will forfeit a crucial chance to honestly look at who we are, what we have done, what we must do as much as possible to make it right, and to hold those responsible for criminal acts accountable.

In short, we will be as regressive in ending the war as we were starting it. Furtiveness, arrogance and evasion will be our moral handmaidens, there’s never a moral escape to crimes like murder and torture, and our potential as a nation will forever be greatly diminished.

I am a small, limited person, I do not seek to dictate the reality of the world or be an arbiter of justice. There are limitations to what humans can do or accept, I understand. That still does not change what we have done to ourselves and Iraq with the war.

It seems set in stone at this date that there will be no accountability when the war is over. The Presidential candidates, Party leadership and Congressional leadership have decided. Accept it or shut up, Democrat, that’s reality.

Fair enough. In that reality know citizens plainly see leadership that lacks basic elemental bravery, lacks fundamental adherence to principal, and most of all is completely absent moral guidance or culpability to terrible crimes. The leadership simply doesn’t have the necessary character.

At least that character is plainly not radical or capable of what citizens had to endure before. It is a bitter, disappointing choice, but one that will be eagerly taken nonetheless. Citizens like me take what they can get, even if it could have been so much more.

paradox :: 6:00 AM :: Comments (13) :: Digg It!