I was listening to NPR last night while waiting to pick up the wife and they were playing clips of some general (named Ryan) being interviewed about waterboarding and refusing to answer questions. No one – Democrat or Republican – ever answers anything hard. Sometimes they refuse to answer- which I’m starting to respect more than shit like this; how dumb do they think we are? That was a stupid question, but seriously when does someone besides the media step up and demand answers?
I think I’ve talked about this before, but since my boy Glenny just wrote about it, it bears repeating. My mother’s side of the family is all well-educated, liberal (except my cousin the Bush supporter), Jews and we enjoy good conversations about the political system whenever I go home. They are against the war, against tax cuts for the rich, and against most other things that the neocons stand for. However, a few months ago I wrote a blog after watching a documentary that took place in Israel and Palestine in which I criticized them both. There was a part where I talked about how unbelievable it was that after all the Jewish people have been through – including the genocide that directly lead to Israel being formed – they can do what they do to the Palestinian people. I got in trouble for that one; I got emails from numerous family members telling me how wrong I was and how if Israel doesn’t treat the Palestinians like that, then Israel will be destroyed. They said that Iran is crazy and the countries sole purpose is to wipe Israel off the map and therefore drastic measures should be taken. Then last night I was watching Democracy Now and they showed a clip of some Middle East meeting with a bunch of Middle Easterners and Robert(?) Gates. One of the guys asked Gates whether or not Israel having nukes was OK even though Iran is not. Gates said yes and then began talking about how Israel does not harbor terrorists and does not use their power to terrorize their neighbors; at which point everyone laughed. There is a lot of anti-Semitism in the world, but calling everyone who disagrees with Israeli policy one is the same thing as calling us un-American because we want peace.
Another shot yet sweet blog by A.L. this morning. He talks about Rudy G (we need to think of a good nickname for him) and how it’s all about national security with him. He compares Rudy calling himself a national security expert just because he was around for 9/11 to Ray Nagin calling himself a weather expert because of Katrina.
Arthur Silber (with some help from Hannah Arendt) hits the nail right on the head with another blog about obedience. This is something we talked about more than anything else in Peace Studies this year; obedience is what makes dictatorships, wars, genocide, and so on possible. Gandhi said it, Martin Luther King said it, a lot of people now are saying it- the people in power only rule because we help them, without us acknowledging that they have power, they have nothing. As Arendt says in the small section that Silber quotes (and other times in other amazing works she has written, including On Violence) the question shouldn’t be, ‘why do you obey’ it should be ‘why do you support’. If we can all understand these things then it may not be too late. While I think Silber might be going a little too far in saying that we have already lost all our liberty, they are be eroded on a daily basis. All it would take is a terrorist attack (probably before the next election) and things would change quickly and drastically and we’ll all be answering the question of ‘who do you support’. Please read this blog, whether or not you agree with his style of writing.
Now lets get to the current news; in this opinion piece by two guys whose names I can’t remember we are reminded why we can’t be obedient to people just because they are in power. Look at the people we have in power now. A two party system might be OK if each party truly investigated and tried to stop the corruptness of the other party, but when they join forces we have what’s going on now. This CIA tape destroying this (tapegate?) is like a snowball- could this be what ignites everything?
Michael Hayden testified yesterday about his roll in the tape destroying. Another article read and yet I still don’t totally understand what’s at stake here. Who is in danger of getting charges pressed against them? We know that the CIA destroyed evidence- that’s a crime, they are investigating whether or not congress knew about the waterboarding and the tapes being destroyed- and that’s a crime? Does it go higher up than that? Also, why is it that a special prosecutor was assigned to investigate a blowjob, but not one of the biggest cover-ups in recent memory?
I don’t have time to read Al-Jazeera today because I have to go to work and I spent too much of the morning talking to my mom about her accident. Don’t forget to comment with suggestions and opinions.
How’s this for a sign off- Who do you support?