Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Morning After.

I always opposed the Iraq Invasion, a meaningless waste of thousands of lives.

I'm against the Afghanistan occupation.

I'm really against the extralegal detention and torture of prisoners of war (remember when we put people on trial and executed them at Nuremberg and Tokyo for doing this same thing?).

I'm very much against the dramatic expansion of The National Security State with plenty of new surveillance capabilities of dubious legality (remember when the idea of listening in on the phone calls of thousands of Americans would have been considered a scandal?).

I think we're not exactly blameless when it comes to the Middle East. For decades, we've practiced a heavy handed imperial policy that treated the region as Our Oil Pump, propping up client kings and appointing satraps to pacify a resentful population and to secure a vital natural resource. We should not have been surprised to see such a legacy create someone like Bin Laden and his many imitators.

And I don't feel ambivalent about Bin Laden's death. He got what he deserved. None of his victims deserved what they got.

Extra Thought:

If it was up to me (and it's not), Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz & Co would be on trial for war crimes. Joining them would be the CEOs of several contractors and mercenary companies, among them Blackwater and Haliburton. I would also have people in the media who cheer-led this thing face the music, companies like the Washington Post, the NY Times, several teevee networks (not just Fox News), and a long list of columnists from Charles Krauthammer to Christopher Hitchens.
They too have a lot of innocent blood on their hands.

A Further Thought:

Just to be clear, "joy" is not the sensation that I've been feeling for the last 48 hours. I don't feel that kind of "booyah!" joy that would make me stand up, wave the flag, and go all jingoistic yelling "USA! USA! USA!". That, I think, belongs to the wide world of easily threatened American machismo. I notice that the "joy" is mostly felt by people who were very young at the time of the attacks.

What I do feel is a kind of grim symmetrical satisfaction.


susan s. said...

Well put, sir!

JCF said...

I just feel a kind of emptiness.

It's not grief for Bin Laden. It's grief for the grief I SHOULD feel, knowing my tax money went to kill another human being, as beloved of God as I am.

And, it's seeing other human beings---my countrymen and countrywomen---who are celebrating, and WANTING to join them, and not being able to.


Murdoch Matthew said...

Chris Hedges is a former long-time war reporter and Arabic speaker who has covered the Middle East and was in New York for 9/11. He also covered the First Iraq War, was captured by the Iraqi Republican Guard, and in fact says jokingly, "I like to say I was embedded with the Iraqi Republican Guard." He recently spoke about the death of Osama bin Laden:


Worth noting.

Counterlight said...

JCF, You're a better Christian than me (said without irony).

JCF said...