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Denial & Depravity

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(and now Pakistan) and plenty in between. Grenada. Nicaragua. El Salvador. Panama. Throwing people out of helicopters. Drowning them in buckets. Shooting them in the back of the head. Cutting off ears for trophies. On and on and on, under the cover of spreading "democracy' and "freedom'. Death is the ultimate freedom that US excels at delivering.

Thanks in part to relentless government propaganda and the suppression of photographic and film evidence of the destruction of the target cities, in 2009 a poll found that 61% of Americans are just fine with the atomic bombings, they think it was the right thing to do, even though many prominent people at the time, including Eisenhower, General McArthur, Albert Einstein, and Albert Camus thought otherwise. What do they know?

Roughly the same number have no objection to torture, even when it involves sexual violence against children. Hajji children. Ragheads. Sandniggers. Who cares? No problem with kidnapping and indefinite imprisonment without trial. Or with Cheney's assassination squads. Blow the bastards up and let Jesus sort "em out. At least one hundred innocent Muslim people are known to have been tortured to death. Karate kicked while cuffed. Drowned. Left in the desert to die of hyperthermia and thirst. Smothered. Beaten. Crucified, for Christ's sake.

There has never been any accountability. Not for Vietnam. Not for the rape and murder of nuns. Not for stuffing grenades into Nicaraguans mouths and blowing their heads off in front of their families. Not for mass graves in Panama. Not for the use of white phosphorous against civilians in Iraq. Not for the use of snipers against children. Not for American death squads. Not for remotely blowing up weddings and funerals in Afghanistan (the "good' war!) and Pakistan. Not for Blackwater. Not for Halliburton.

And not for 9/11, which is demonstrably the greatest crime ever committed by Americans on American soil, and the source of (or at least the excuse for) some of the most egregious crimes against humanity ever committed on Planet Earth.

Unchecked evil has a tendency to grow and repeat itself, and become institutionalized, as we are now seeing as President Obama upholds more and more Bush era policies which were considered illegal and immoral under his and Cheney's disgraceful "leadership'. Torture has not ended. "Renditions' can still happen. Guantanamo may or may not be closed, but Bagram is already expanding to take up the slack. Thousands of children continue to be detained for no reason, as the Obama Administration does end runs around courts that order them released. No one knows how many "dark sites' still exist, or what vile abuses continue to go on there. How many people remain unaccountably detained on Navy vessels in obscure locations at sea? How can a President credibly spew pious talk about the rule of law while maintaining that some innocent detainees will never be tried or released? Their only crime? They got tortured. Mustn't let that get out!

There are only two choices: the nation can come to grips with its criminal past (Hiroshima and Nagasaki might make a good start, but why not go all the way back to the Native genocide? Slavery?) Or it can continue down a road of collective denial and ultimate dementia. Now the moral rot has spread to the economy in which criminal banksters have been royally rewarded for massive fraud, even as they give the finger to taxpayers who are losing jobs and homes in record numbers. Everyone is pretending that a complete financial collapse is not inevitable, but it is as certain as the total moral degeneration which preceded it and permitted it.

Try "looking ahead' then.

John S. Hatch is a Vancouver writer and film-maker.

 

I'm a Vancouver writer and film-maker. I have written extensively on political issues, mostly involving American foreign and domestic policy, and also issues in common with Canada such as the ongoing Omar Khadr case. My favorite outlets are OpEd (more...)
 
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