depressin night. lecram shot me a phone call to talk about a site he had found that is incredibly offensive and disheartening. it's not lecram's fault that i am depressed. he knew i would want to see it. he was right.
but it got me to thinking. do we, as americans, really believe that we are always right? do we believe that (no matter the cicumstances) if someone shoots at us they must be a terrorist? an enemy? are we so set in our self-rightiousness as to know the inimitable truths of the world? when we invade a country for whatever reason we are told by our government that it is being done to defend our freedom and way of life. when we topple a government we are told it is because that entity was corrupt and an enemy of democracy. when we question the reasons we are told that to question is un-american and we can't understand the ways of global diplomacy. when we stand up and argue back we are called traitors and worse.
i can forgive a government that sees farther than i do, but can't comment because of sensitive negotiations or undercover spies who are ferreting out people who want to kill at random. i know that they have access to information i never will and it could prove to be important in defending my country. i can live with that. i, also, know that our government does things which are less than nice to others or myself in order to further an aim which it believes will make me a safer person in the long run and i can accept that, too.
what i can't forgive is a government (any government) that actively defies the will of the people in order to further its own agenda and capitulates to a small segment of a society. that depresses me and infuriates me. but i can only speak to my own.
and speak i will. saddam hussein ran iraq for decades. he was a ba'athist. they were the minority, but held power through force and murder. a bad man. not to be exalted, not to be condoned. and, yet, somehow he held onto power even as the majority hated him. why? because he controlled the military? because he held the currency? for over ten years he was castrated as a world leader by the UN and the USA through sanctions. the kurds starved. but the shias and the sunnis did not. the sunnis had no political power, but they were tolerated enough that they had no real complaints about living. their complaints were about power and the civil war that got a lot of them killed. and the fact that if they complained they might be killed.
the civil war in the USA was about representation and taxes. the south felt it was underrepresented in congress and overtaxed on its goods. it rebelled. it was eventually crushed.
the north then moved into the entire region it had burned and called its taking over of the south "reconstruction". in fact, it was an invasion. the north had beaten the south, but it wasn't enough. the north wanted to make sure that the south could never rise again. and, so, it sent "emisarries" who took and brokered land; told the south that they couldn't have slaves anymore, but to call them niggers and treat them as they wished; sent slaves back who didn't have paper proclaiming them to be free; razed farms so that the north could better prosper through less competition; hung young southern men who were merely accused of having seditious thoughts. and much more. whole islands were burnt to the dirt, because they could harbor traitors. even though the natives never had anything to do with the war.
north/south. hutu/tutsi. shia/sunni. palestinian/israeli. what gives my government the right to tell another that it can no longer exist? my government has excused or supported idi amin, general pinochet, ho chi minh, south africa, post-war russia, all of the central american dictators that it put in place, any government that put my government on the fast track to exploiting and raping. my government's hands are so, so dirty. they have been for a long, long time. just like every other government's. no government maintains its authority without bloodshed or an aquiescence to. this is the rule of power. no one is innocent. no one can point a finger without having to look in the mirror.
which is why i think we as americans find ourselves in the predicament that we do. we fucked up. we invaded a country that had nothing to with what happened on 9/11/01. our leaders either needed to go to war to show the world and us that we can't be beaten or our leaders found an easy excuse to take out a president who we hated. or it was, as the president put it, "we hit the trifecta". then, it became "you're either with us or against us". "those who claim we shouldn't be there are as good as terrorists". "mission accomplished". propaganda, propaganda, propaganda. we are hutus being seduced into thinking tutsis are animals. when we will we learn that those who hate us do so out of their own blindness, not because of nationality or skin color? just as we hate them, because we're told to and it's a hell of a lot easier than thinking as an individual? especially when my government doesn't want me to?
i prefer a populace that talks to one another even if it disagrees.