Friday, July 20, 2007

Impending Doom

This kind of worries me. From what I've seen, which isn't all that much, the reactions of the people who know about it have been rather extreme. I guess that isn't all that surprising seeing how the other big news lately is that the Under-Secretary of Defense thinks that Sen. Clinton and anyone else who talks about anything to do with ever withdrawing from Iraq, or mentions anything critical of the war, is basically committing treason. Some people, including the guy I got the original link from, a poster at, think the Bush administration is laying out the groundwork for freezing the assets of people who dare to disagree with them in public. The more paranoid who responded compared these actions to the takeover of Germany by the Nazis in the 1930s.

I would be more skeptical if Glenn Greenwald hadn't just outlined for me the way the President and his cronies have been setting up a legal doctrine that prohibits prosecution of anyone in the executive branch, ever. Executive privilege is turning into a pretty scary beast pretty damn quickly.

So just in case the betrayal of the American Revolution is right around the corner, I'd like to say a few things.

President George W. Bush has betrayed the American people, and most particularly the American military, with his incompetence. He started a war that he should have known was a damned stupid idea, and he not only continued that war out of stiff necked pride and willful blindness, but he condemned America to a hugely wasteful disaster through his inability to run a practical operation. There were a lot of people pulling for this war, some of them for very bad reasons, and there is enough blame to tar the multitudes who had a hand in this farce. Certainly people like Cheney, Wolfowitz and so on are not blameless. But the ultimate responsibility lies with George W. Bush.

When you become Commander in Chief, Bush is fond of claiming, it means you can do any damn thing you want to. And that's true, in a limited arena. You have the power of life and death over every soldier the US can put on the field. Soldiers take a solemn oath to obey your commands, an oath hundreds of thousands of them would rather die than betray. President Bush has seen that as a liberating condition; he has claimed the power those oaths give as an absolute power, that frees him to do whatever the hell he pleases. What he has missed is the terrible responsibility that comes with that power. When you can order a good man to his death, you absolutely must be right. Your decisions must be perfect. Any mistake, even a well intentioned and carefully thought out mistake, damns you. The oath of every American soldier requires the President to take serious and sober responsibility for his orders. Not only must he try hard to get things right, he must also get them fucking right. And really, he hasn't done either.

More eloquent and accurate people than myself have outlined the case against Bush, so let me just say that I support it. He ought to be impeached; there are a dozen things to impeach him for, every one of them more significant and serious than the last impeachment our country undertook. This administration is so corrupt, so rotten and foul that no one who has ever worked for our current President should be allowed to work in a government position ever again. The stench of Bush's betrayal of my beloved country must be washed out.

I believe this because I believe in America. Not the swaggering Texan version of America that is nothing more than a group of people who are 'my' group of people just because they are, just because they live next to me and look like me and talk like me and I'm unable to grasp concepts larger than basic primitive tribalism. My America is an idea. An idea about a government that can be fair and just and designed for the benefit of every citizen, not just those few who happen to be rich and powerful. My America is place where there are no royalty, there are no kings, and the country is held together not by some personality cult but by a rational system of law. In my America, thought is not dangerous. Punishment is not meted out before a crime is committed, there is no state of emergency that can justify indefinite imprisonment and torture of those who have been convicted of no crime. In my America, you can speak without fear and be secure in your freedom.

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