There are times when reading or viewing what transpires as politics and policy in this country leaves one feeling distressed, exasperated, indignant, incensed, incredulous, amazed, psychologically drained"just to name a few of the applicable adjectives.
The actual reporting, even by the best of the rest that remains i.e. The New York Times leaves one thinking, "Is this what we have come to?"
Recently while reading a reporters account of the Af/Pak war (itself a depiction of something out of Rod Serling's "Twilight Zone" series of 60's TV) the reporter was as a matter of fact describing the CIA driven drone warfare in Pakistan (who we're not at war with, yet acknowledged by the administration but not discussed) in terms of its effectiveness in killing Taliban leaders while alluding peripherally to "collateral damage" (the killing of innocents) and its possible negative effects as if it all was just normal war engagement.
Forty years ago when it was revealed that Nixon approved the clandestine bombing of Cambodia (in hopes of disrupting supply trails used by Viet Cong guerillas and North Vietnamese army units as a safe haven) there was a huge outcry and massive demonstrations on the campuses of U.S. universities over this expansion of the Viet Nam war (confession: this writer was grad student at the time and a participant in those demonstrations).
Today our "incursions" into Pakistan (and Yemen) with drone attacks and mercenaries (Pentagon paid contractors) along with American special operations army units conducting kill operations in Pakistan is reported as normal, every day ops (if it is reported at all) and there is no outcry in this country (save for those in sporadic demonstrations as happened last Thursday outside the White House).
Let's consider; if it weren't for internet sites like opednews, truthdig, the Nation et al along with the pictures, document dumps and disclosures of secrecy exposed by WikiLeaks we would be kept in the dark, particularly with the immense secrecy exercised by all recent U.S. administrations.
When one remembers the pictures taken by military bystanders of their fellow soldiers torturing and humiliating detainees at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq that were first revealed in 2004 there was little outcry by our citizenry apparently buying the line of then Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld who said "it was just a few bad apples operating on their own" that went astray in Iraq (as if they were operating strictly on their own without authorization and approval of such practices by the likes of Rumsfeld himself).
The whole story lasted for months (again with little outcry by most Americans) as a few GI's were charged and found guilty, the Commander of the unit removed and demoted and an investigation by the military commenced lead by General Taguba. His findings confirmed the widespread abuses and he even testified before a House committee in Congress. Yet his findings stopped short of exposing those Bush administration officials who authorized the torture (which we now know was authorized by Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld et al who have openly admitted their culpability). As it stands this is a complete travesty of injustice knowing that a few low level GI's took the fall while those who authorized the torture (and now openly admit it) know they will not be held accountable.
Meanwhile the entire episode seems to have faded and all but forgotten by most Americans as presumably (one guesses) just "something else" along with the multitude of other revelations we're bombarded with to which it seems most Americans have become numb and indifferent to. And this relates only to our wars and occupations!
Strictly on the domestic scene this president capitulates (to those on the right who want to destroy him) as he reneges on his pledge not to continue the Bush era tax cuts for the rich that would be expiring (along with the tax cuts for everyone else) at the end of the year. Saying he was "held hostage" by Republicans (who vowed not to extend unemployment benefits that would be expiring for millions by Christmas unless all tax cuts were extended) he said he was forced to compromise and take the deal (all this from a Democrat president with Democrat majorities in both Houses at least through the current lame duck session).
From here it all smacks of moral bankruptcy that coincides with our financial indebtedness, militarism and imperialism that is leading us to economic insolvency.
Last Thursday's civil resistance action focused against our wars was hopefully the start of our resurrection and the hopes of those who chose to rebel against the forces that are leading us and the country to ruin rather than to submit passively and succumb meekly to those forces.