A happiness principle in Buddhism is that one shall best substitute others for oneself, and a golden rule everywhere is, "Do unto others as you would have done unto yourselves."
We should all want to be arrested, abused and held without charge for at least a couple of years as are the Iraqis in the front page story of the Sunday New York Times, February 18, 2007. What else could possibly come into an American mind so pissed upon reading the lengthly tale of shameless brutality of what has become commonplace behavior for Americans toward Iraqis, all suspects, in their very own bombed, invaded and occupied country.
Arrest, years of imprisonment, brutal treatment, electric shocks, even murder of cell mates, all without trial, without even charges made or reasons given! Enough already!
How the hell is any less than totally insensitive American supposed to enjoy living up his or her perks as a citizen of the U.S.A. outside in freedom, while knowing that so many are being killed or imprisoned and tortured in our name, and for our own so-called benefit, on the inside!
Remember the famous response of Henry Thoreau, in jail for refusing to pay taxes during the Mexican War, when his friend Ralph Waldo Emerson asked, "Henry, what are you doing in there?" Thoreau answered with an accusation, "Waldo, the question is what are you doing out there?" A few months later, U.S. soldiers were conquering the city of Monterey house by house. But from 1846 through 1849 there was very little door to door war against civilians and their families, summary arrest, imprisonment, torture or rendition to torture without due process of law. Back then, we knew what we wanted, and the Mexicans knew what we wanted. We wanted the land, we won, we took the land, and that was the end of it. Clear and simple.
Our near four year subjugation of Iraq under all kinds of pretexts and excuses has given al Qaida a 'cause celebre' and increased its recruits many times over, all around the world, while establishing a violent presence in a country once completely outside its zone of operations. This in turn has given the U.S. a REAL reason for being in Iraq, following the lie of weapons of mass destruction, the grand show of getting rid of Reagan's former useful friend and ally, Saddam, the butcher of Iran, now long gone, and the ploy of altruistically bringing those 'backward' Iraqis democracy. Democracy is something we ourselves have less and less of, as a result of our present long term renegade militarism wildly and desperately enforcing a grandiose world-wide commercial imperialism which finds itself on the wane, but continuingly hailed on our conglomerate corporate network TV.
If the criminally insane are in charge of most of the world and are doing criminally insane things, then people who support them and their actions must also be criminally
insane, at least to the degree that they are giving support to the insanity. Or maybe those of us who are at least partially sane, are worse. Remember, in a court of law the insane are not held responsible for their criminal acts.
The New York Times which today gives us a heart-breaking but disgusting and enraging full page article detailing the step by step degradation of one of our Iraqi brothers, is the same newspaper which backed the nation into accepting, even looking forward to invading, and ultimately condemning, the people of Iraq to today's mega murderous nightmare. In the run up to war The Times temporized in the conclusions it projected, hedged and equivocated regarding the veracity of testimony of UN inspectors, projection insinuations regarding the validity of their reports, council and advice, and of course featured the war mongering, emphasizing fearful expectations if war were deferred or postponed. The Times gave high play to far fetched insinuations, spurious reports of data, and dramatized the personal role of Saddam utterly and completely out of the context of his having been the darling of President Reagan in his quasi proxy war for the US against our establishment's sworn enemy Iran, which had kicked our C.I.A. out along with the Shah it was protecting with vile methods.
This perfidy of supporting war until the going gets tough for the business community is of course to be expected from reviewing past New York Times intentions. Just search this newspaper's backing of Truman's reneging on Roosevelt's colonial freedom promises, and helping France take back its colony in Vietnam from Ho Chi Minh, who had fought the Vichy French and Japanese as our ally. Research how the Times described our financial and militarily support for the French war in Vietnam for nine years, and our circumventing the Geneva Conventions after the French were defeated; how it portrayed Kennedy's extending the air attacks on the people in the delta of South Vietnam and Johnson's Gulf of Tonkin's justification for all out bombing of North Vietnam. And then, and only then, praise our U.S. newspaper of record for republishing the pentagon papers and the horrific descriptions of My Lai and other U.S. massacres, thus preparing us for admitting the loss of a war that cost millions of lives on the Indochinese peninsula.
And these are but two of the examples of New York Times support for a predatory foreign policy toward the former colonial world and the painting of war options in positive light both before and after the fact, but then somehow making the paper look good in the end. Where does the NY Times locate itself? In the dock with us, or as pleading insanity?
This same Sunday NY Times issue contains an informative review of our prospective next president Hilary Clinton's public statements over the years on Iraq, beginning with 2002 speeches highly in favor of the invasion of Iraq with all the flimsy and preposterous pretexts given by the war mongers repeated as gospel fact. Below this we are treated with texts of her 2003 defense of her vote in favor, her 2004 no regret of her vote explanation to Larry King, and her 2005, 2006 and 2007 protestations of being misinformed and misled. Is this a case of Clinton recovering sanity or just trying to jump off a sinking ship.
Lets remember that millions of Americans in the street from all walks of life realized that Clinton and twenty-eight colleagues, most of the Democratic leadership, was willingly going along with the bull in the glorious and fearful aftermath of the 9/11 blow-back from the very fundamentalists President Carter had financed, armed and trained against a new progressive women liberating government of Kabul six months before the Russians invaded Afghanistan.
Though most of us did not know about Brzezinski convincing Carter to sucker the Soviets until he bragged to French newspapers recently, we ALL smelled a fish regarding the 2002 push to invade and occupy Iraq - ALL of us and not only the twenty-three Senators who voted NO to the war. (Somehow twenty-three of Clinton's colleagues were NOT 'misinformed' nor 'misled." as Senator now claims she was.)
Replacing oneself with others is a very successful technique for its consummate humanity. It is also common knowledge that one experiences true happiness only while making others happy. Conversely, torturing others will certainly bring misery to the torturers, and it is now widely accepted that we Americans are torturers. So lets call for those in power to arrest and imprison us all, which will certainly be beyond the establishment's present resources and perhaps cause an easing up on our captive and defenseless foreign brothers and sisters.