Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Not Ready to Make NiceI've been trying to write this post for like 5 days now. The fact that we are nearing the end of the Bush Presidency is beginning to sink in. I feel on one hand, elation, that we will soon have a Democrat Administration and a large majority in the House and the Senate. On the other hand, I feel that a mere political defeat for the Republican party is not justice for the sins of the past eight years. We are getting rid of some of the criminal element, it's true. But the structure of the system that enabled these opportunists to fundamentally destroy a sovereign country, and essentially destabilize the Middle East, remains intact, just in case the next guy wants to use it. I'm not saying that Obama will use these new powers of the Presidency, I'm looking ahead to 2012, 2016, and further. If there is no penalty for the crimes of the last 8 years, the perps will go home with a shit-load of money, lick their wounds from this election, and live to fight another day.
In the last year or so, I've either forgotten the crimes, or in some horrible period of indifference, resigned myself to the fact that there will be no justice. There was a turning point, when I realized that Bush and Cheney had been marginalized, and were no longer a threat to the nation. Now with two weeks left until we elect Barack Obama, I am thinking again about the crimes of the last eight years, and wondering what Americans will do to make sure that a Bush/Cheney nightmare can't happen again. Will we, as a nation, go about reconciling with Republicans, and try to forgive and forget? Will Americans figure that we have done our job, we have rid ourselves of corrupt lawmakers, and go back to our TV sets, and our lives? Because some of these crimes are heinous and ugly, some are just petty and mean, but don't they all deserve resolution? Think of the biggest crime, the war in Iraq, many Americans dead, thousands maimed, civilians killed that no one will even dare to count. Think of torture, Guantanamo Bay, extraordinary renditions, think about the young people coming back from this war who are fucked up in ways that will take years to heal. Think about Valerie Plame. Think about Pat Tillman. Think about Cindy Sheehan. Think about all the the people who called you names, because you didn't support the criminal action of the Administration. Think about the legalization of spying on American citizens, and the pardoning of the Telecom giants.
I was cruising cable TV the other night, and I found this documentary on Showtime called "Shut Up and Sing". It was about another tiny little crime perpetrated against Americans, this one, the deliberate suppression of artists who had spoken out against the war a few years before the rest of the country realized that our leaders had embarked on a criminal act that would lead to a huge loss of national dignity. The Dixie Chicks were victims of a vicious media campaign to suppress an opinion that differed from the mainstream, and it cost them emotionally and financially. I know some bloggers who were brave enough to speak out against the war in those very scary early days of the war, and those five are still posting on TBV today. We had nothing to lose, we were not famous. But I want all liberal bloggers to remember the cloud of fear that we all wrote under, and I want Americans to remember just how close we came to a police state. I don't want to forgive and forget, to do so will enable future criminals.
I was finally able to write this post when I downloaded the song "Not Ready to Make Nice". Reaching across the aisles is great, but for crimes, there should be consequences. If we forget and forgive, and go back to our TV, it will happen again.
Don't let it happen again. Demand justice.
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No subject for immortal verse
That we who lived by honest dreams
Defend the bad against the worse."
-- Cecil Day-Lewis from Where Are The War Poets?
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