Saturday, July 23, 2005

The Greatest Democracy in the World? Yeah, sure.

I don't know. Sometimes I think I'm hallucinating when I read articles in the US newspapers (Source: today's edition of the Washington Post).

So, now, the White House--the center, the heart of the US, the self-proclaimed Best Democracy Of All Times (not to mention best judicial system--and everyone knows the rightness of that fact), great defender of freedom, of human rights (that's a joke, right? Tell me that's a joke, please)--is now lobbying to prevent a law from being voted in the US Senate.

But, what law?

Why, a law presented by none other than Republican Senators (you know, the ones who are in the same political party as the specters haunting the White House)!

So, why would Dick Cheney, Vice-President of the US, second in command to the president leading the greatest, best, fantasticest, most democratic, most you-name-it country in this world work like crazy to prevent a law presented by his own camp to pass?

It must be a terrible, terribly evil law.

Lemme see...

The Bush administration in recent days has been lobbying to block legislation supported by Republican senators that would bar the U.S. military from engaging in "cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment" of detainees, from hiding prisoners from the Red Cross, and from using interrogation methods not authorized by a new Army field manual.

So, in short, the White House is fighting to prevent the passing of a law that would insure the US behaves like a civilized country, a country that respects the most basic of war conventions (Geneva anyone?) and human rights. Anyone care to tell me how that's a bad thing that should be avoided at all costs?

Ah, but in the words of the White House Officials, this law would interfere with the president's ability "to protect Americans effectively from terrorist attack."

Oh, so torture is no longer evil. The US president must use torture to defend the US citizens? He must be above conventions against torture that his country signed in the United Nations?


We can all see how abuses and torture have helped all of us in the recent days and months. We can see how it helped out London and Madrid, how it's helped out Sharm el-Sheikh. How it's helping out Irak. And Afghanistan, where women are being stoned again. We can see it, all right.

When I look at the terrorists that bomb London, that slaughter innocent civilians, I know what I see: evil barbarians, cowards, raving fanatics, murderers--the enemy.

When I look at the people owning the White House, leading the self-proclaimed greatest democratic country in the world, I find myself feeling sick. And I fond myself having more and more difficulty understanding what I see.

On a scale of "Enemy" to "Friend" going through "Neutral" in the middle, I fear the US governement is dangerously slipping toward the "Enemy" side.

Oh, and think about this, think long and hard: if the US feels it can torture "enemies", then just how can it ever again express outrage if its own end up being tortured by the other side?

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