If you want to start your days with anger and/or tears you can revisit September 17th with a couple of the people who witnessed Blackwater “employees” kill 17 innocent people. I think I have finally realized that we are a truly insane culture; money is much more important than lives, especially when those lives are brown or black. When 7 people die in a couple church shootings it’s a national tragedy, but how many Iraqi’s die each and every fucking day because of us? I understand that we aren’t affected directly by the war (the closest thing is reading articles and maybe tearing up for a few minutes) but what are we going to do when Blackwater is out of Iraq and needs something to do? What are we doing to do when there is another “terrorist” attack or some sort of national emergency and these same insane mercenaries are roaming the streets of Colorado?
One of the most frustrating things about this insanity is that the few people who want change are alone in the cold. In most free countries, when there is a party in power who is killing innocent people, robbing the poor, and destroying the constitution, there is an opposition who is trying their hardest to stop them. (Usually the opposition is just as – if not more – corrupt, but that’s beside the point.) Here in the good old US, we don’t seem to have that. If Iraq and Iraqi’s were being exploited by the Republicans alone while the Democrats were refusing to fund it and walking out of congress and whatnot, we would stand a chance. If Blackwater was only making the Republicans rich, while the Democrats were refusing to give them contracts, I would wake up feeling inspired every day. Even here on the home front, where the Democrats are supposed to be about the working class families and were elected for the sole purpose of taking power away from the crazies in the Bush administration, they are failing miserably. Our “enemies” are all over the world – Iraq, Iran, North Korea – and yet we are the ones being spied on. Glenn Greenwald writes a blog today about the bill that is being brought to the floor today that would give the telephone corporations (the one’s who really run the country) amnesty. Are the Democrats hands tied? Do they not have enough support? No and no, they are the one’s who the votes put in the majority so they could stop the Republicans from doing shit like this.
Oddly enough, I got done writing that last paragraph, clicked on Chris Floyd and saw that he is talking about the same thing as me. Unfortunately it isn’t about the Democrats caving in the war, what to do about Blackwater, or amnesty for illegal wiretapping; instead it’s about something new. Yes, that’s right, the Democrats have caved again. It seems they were about to pass a bill requiring that oil companies pay more taxes and other great things that would help slightly slow the corporations from taking over the country (if they haven’t already), when a couple Republicans (read: a couple oil company lobbyists) asked them not to. What did the ‘opposition’ do? What do you think?
It seems that everyone woke up feeling like I did about the Democrats today, even the Washington Post who ran an article about Democratic infighting. The House blames the Senate who throws the blame right back on them, while the Republicans stick together and laugh. If this were a true Democracy and not a 1 and a half party system, then the more left leaning Democrats who truly want the war to end and the poor (wo)man to have a say, would break off and form their own party.
Rosa Brooks reminded me about another key topic the Democrats have folded on- torture. It’s pretty amazing that we are even debating what is and isn’t torture- another sign of our insanity. She points out that the reason the CIA destroyed the tapes and then admitted it is because the trouble they will get into for obstruction of justice is a lot smaller than what would have happened had prosecutors gotten their hands on the tapes. Some Democrats saw the tapes when they were first made and did nothing, some Democrats were told the tapes were going to be destroyed and did nothing about it, and now the Democrats in charge of investigating it (who also happen to be a few of the Democrats who saw the tapes and knew that they would get destroyed) are refusing to assign a special prosecutor to look into it.
Speaking of torture, the UN has declared that they suspect the US of torturing prisoners being held at Guantanamo. In reality, this doesn’t mean anything since the UN can’t do anything with the permission of the US, but it’s still making a statement. The whole world knows what we’re doing.
As I’ve said before, change has to start on the local level first. Maybe working on something local is a task we should all take on. For example, the people working on the Washington St School petition have been busting their asses for the past few months, and have finally gotten enough signatures to (probably) get it on the ballot either next November or in a special election. Doing something like this – although not ending the war or holding murderers accountable – shows that hard work pays off and maybe gets more people involved at things on a bigger level. If we were able to join together and fight against all injustices on local levels (like in New Orleans) the power structure we have in place would collapse.
How’s this for a sign off- “In a time of universal deceit telling the truth is a revolutionary act”.