Tuesday, December 27, 2005

All Of These Things Have Happened

Robert Steinback, Miami Herald:
One wonders if Osama bin Laden didn't win after all. He ruined the America that existed on 9/11. But he had help.

If, back in 2001, anyone had told me that four years after bin Laden's attack our president would admit that he broke U.S. law against domestic spying and ignored the Constitution -- and then expect the American people to congratulate him for it -- I would have presumed the girders of our very Republic had crumbled.

Had anyone said our president would invade a country and kill 30,000 of its people claiming a threat that never, in fact, existed, then admit he would have invaded even if he had known there was no threat -- and expect America to be pleased by this -- I would have thought our nation's sensibilities and honor had been eviscerated.

If I had been informed that our nation's leaders would embrace torture as a legitimate tool of warfare, hold prisoners for years without charges and operate secret prisons overseas -- and call such procedures necessary for the nation's security -- I would have laughed at the folly of protecting human rights by destroying them.

If someone had predicted the president's staff would out a CIA agent as revenge against a critic, defy a law against domestic propaganda by bankrolling supposedly independent journalists and commentators, and ridicule a 37-year Marie Corps veteran for questioning U.S. military policy -- and that the populace would be more interested in whether Angelina is about to make Brad a daddy -- I would have called the prediction an absurd fantasy. ...

What is there to say now? All of these things have happened. ...

I evidently have a lot poorer insight regarding America's character than I once believed, because I would have expected such actions to provoke -- speaking metaphorically now -- mobs with pitchforks and torches at the White House gate. ...
Meanwhile, the Republicans believe that the fan club of Bill Clinton's cat Socks was more worthy of investigation than George W. Bush's public admission of guilt regarding hundreds of crimes against the Constitution.

Wait a minute --

I have to post that paragraph again, this time in bold.

Meanwhile, the Republicans believe that the fan club of Bill Clinton's cat Socks was more worthy of investigation than George W. Bush's public admission of guilt regarding hundreds of crimes against the Constitution.

What a country.

5 comments:

L-girl said...

One wonders if Osama bin Laden didn't win after all.

This reminds me of something else I read. Many conservative columnists finally see the junta for what it is.

Lone Primate said...

What a country.

Hey, if you don't like it, move to Russia.

Oh yeah... you did. :)

L-girl said...

LOL :)

Al S. E. said...

I have little doubt that US journalists were just as aware of the nature and methods of their government in 2001 as they are today. That nature and those methods (irrespective of which party happens to be in government) have not changed. What has changed is that, for the first time, they are common knowledge, threatening the legitimacy of both government as such and the media, which is why I view this type of article as an extreme form of damage control (to protect both the journalists and the government).

Jim Royal said...

Why are there no mobs with pitchforks and torches at the gates of the White House?

Simple: Fear.

The American population -- and I say this from the perspective of watching from nearby, but outside, the US -- has been simmering in terror for over four years. And that warps perceptions.

The average American does not know why 9/11 happened. The average American does not know why the war in Iraq happened. The press is delivering this information in disconnected bits and pieces, and none of it makes sense.

All the people know is that Bush took action to defend them. Never mind that he acted both criminally and immorally, never mind that he invaded the wrong country; he kicked a dictator's butt, and that makes him the Great Protector. And anyone who attacks the defender of the nation must automatically be a traitor.