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Ashamed to be American

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I was reading Five Years of My Life: An Innocent Man in Guantanamo, by Murat Kurnaz, when I came across a passage about Kurnaz being subjected to gruesome electric shock torture at the hands of America's brave volunteer warriors. After passing out and being tossed back in his cell to sleep it off, Kurnaz was soon awakened by harrowing screams.

He saw two valiant American soldiers hitting a man who was lying on the ground-his head wrapped in a blanket. Five more patriotic heroes eventually joined in on the beating, hitting the man's head with the butts of their rifles and kicking him with their heavy boots. "Then," says Kurnaz, "they walked away, leaving him lying there."

The next morning, the man was still lying in the same spot: in a pool of blood. It wasn't until later that afternoon that four US officers came to inspect him and an escort team earned their yellow ribbons by taking away his lifeless body.

"I wondered to myself if he had any children," writes Kurnaz. "Whether his mother and father would ever find out that he had been beaten to death. At that moment, I didn't care whether it was him or me. My life was worth nothing more than his. I'd understood for quite some time what this camp was about. They could do with us what they pleased. And I might be next."

Even if the man who was beaten to death was proven-beyond a reasonable doubt-to be personally responsible for 9/11, how can anyone but a sociopath justify such treatment? Can anyone but a sadistic criminal justify the existence of "Gitmo"? How much more will it take before everyday Americans collectively hang their heads in shame over this ongoing crime and the many other examples of their (sic) nation's contemptible conduct?

Are any of you ashamed of the epidemics of preventable diseases like cancer, heart disease, diabetes, etc.? What about the poisoning of our air, water, and food (including mother's breast milk); the one-third of Americans uninsured or underinsured when it comes to health care; the fact that 61% of US corporations do not even pay taxes; the presidential lies, electoral fraud, limited debates, and so on; the largest prison population on the planet; corporate control of public land, public airwaves, public pensions; overt infringement of our civil liberties; bloated defense budget, unilateral military interventions, war crimes committed in our name, legalization of torture, blah blah blah?
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What will it take before you are wholeheartedly ashamed to be American?

Ask yourself these two questions:
1. Do I feel the planet is in peril?
2. Do I believe that those in power-those most responsible for the planet being in peril-will relinquish power voluntarily?

If you answered "yes" to number one and "no" to number two, I have one more question for you: How much are you willing to endure before you take serious, sustained action?

Mickey Z. is the author of the forthcoming novel, CPR for Dummies and can be found on the Web here.

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Mickey Z. can be found on the Web at http://www.mickeyz.net.

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I reprint here my diary entry from January 2005(!)... by Mark Sashine on Monday, May 5, 2008 at 2:16:52 PM
Americans should be very ashamed of what their Gov... by Rolland Miller on Monday, May 5, 2008 at 3:42:38 PM
but I disagree that cancer, heart attack and diabe... by Brett Paatsch on Monday, May 5, 2008 at 6:54:00 PM
I am even more proud of our young men and women in... by David C Beach on Monday, May 5, 2008 at 8:12:09 PM
Are you for or against torture?Are you for or agai... by Brett Paatsch on Monday, May 5, 2008 at 9:19:02 PM
Be nice now, I think a lot more of a s**t-throwing... by David C Beach on Monday, May 5, 2008 at 11:20:27 PM
No, Gitmo is the Result of the White House having ... by Mac McKinney on Monday, May 5, 2008 at 11:33:15 PM
Guantánamo 270 detaineesNorth Korea 250,000... by David C Beach on Tuesday, May 6, 2008 at 7:59:48 AM
Wow, that's a good one. From Gitmo to North Ko... by Mac McKinney on Tuesday, May 6, 2008 at 11:58:25 AM
the kind of torture Mickey Z. describes possible. ... by Richard Mynick on Tuesday, May 6, 2008 at 11:28:23 AM
Man, your pretty dumb.... by erik mouse on Tuesday, May 6, 2008 at 12:26:56 PM
We are no longer. The separation due to class and ... by Wolfie on Monday, May 5, 2008 at 10:51:18 PM
I have known there was something 'wrong' w... by Roger on Tuesday, May 6, 2008 at 4:53:48 AM
though I'm quite ashamed at what the self-appointe... by Stanimal on Tuesday, May 6, 2008 at 6:30:41 AM
many years ago, when I was, on balance, proud to b... by richard on Tuesday, May 6, 2008 at 7:22:44 AM
 As an immigrant, first generation it was not... by Mark Sashine on Tuesday, May 6, 2008 at 7:50:03 AM
Your cavalier understanding of this country is not... by David C Beach on Tuesday, May 6, 2008 at 9:34:17 AM
'I don’t require your justification to b... by Mark Sashine on Tuesday, May 6, 2008 at 9:59:53 AM
We don't agree.... by David C Beach on Tuesday, May 6, 2008 at 10:30:46 AM
 Here is a quote of Bush's at a Rotary Cl... by Michael Dewey on Wednesday, May 7, 2008 at 9:18:14 AM
Shamelessness is made, not born.  America is ... by John Hanks on Tuesday, May 6, 2008 at 8:56:23 AM
Open-minded, forward thinking is something I consi... by Roger on Tuesday, May 6, 2008 at 9:45:29 AM
To whome it may concern:  You know both major... by Mark A. Goldman on Tuesday, May 6, 2008 at 11:04:06 AM
My country has been taken over by a group of rich ... by Philip Pease on Tuesday, May 6, 2008 at 12:09:46 PM
The premiss here is that countries are a necessary... by erik mouse on Tuesday, May 6, 2008 at 12:39:58 PM
Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses... by mikel paul on Tuesday, May 6, 2008 at 1:42:29 PM
 But we should not be ashamed, no way. Loving... by Mark Sashine on Tuesday, May 6, 2008 at 1:59:50 PM
http://www.opednews.com/articles/opedne_mark_sas_0... by Mark Sashine on Tuesday, May 6, 2008 at 2:08:47 PM
Those who are less emotionally and intellectually ... by Wolfie on Tuesday, May 6, 2008 at 10:02:32 PM
and   I guess we should follow each othe... by Mark Sashine on Wednesday, May 7, 2008 at 9:48:01 AM
It's bad enough being British, but American, n... by douglas kay on Wednesday, May 7, 2008 at 9:15:42 PM