I’ve been trying to figure out why there aren’t people in the streets constantly, riots every day, and how we can just go on living normal lives while people are being killed, seriously injured, tortured, and disappeared in our names. One of the conclusions that I’ve come to is that we see the people that this is happening to as other people. They are outside our circle of family, friends, and people we see at the store or at work and school. We hear (every single day) that a car bomb went off somewhere 1,000’s of miles away, killing 75 brown people who we probably would have never met and we’re sad, but it doesn’t really feel like a loss. It also happens in groups – 80 people died in a car bomb, 17 people died when Blackwater shot at them, 66 people died when a bomb went astray – and we don’t get to hear individual’s stories. Imagine if, in every story we read about a suicide bomb or misguided missile, they focused on at least one of the victims. Salon had an article today interviewing someone who survived 19 months in secret CIA prisons. He is a real person who really suffered and is still suffering because of things that our government did to him. There are 100’s or 1,000’s of other individual human beings with wives, husbands, parents, children, and friends who are going through the same thing right now as you read this. Maybe that’s part of the reason the CIA destroyed the torture tapes; maybe if they were shown publicly people would start getting angry enough to actually do something about it.
If we were able to see these people as people and the hardships that are being put upon them by us, and the fact that the reasons we are doing things like this are all based on lies, maybe we would decide to hold people accountable. Three members of the house have drafted a bill that would require hearings to be held for Dick Cheney on charges that he lied to get us into a war, outed a CIA agent, and illegally wiretapped innocent Americans. The Nation has an article breaking it down a little better than I can. It obviously won’t have any results, since there is no real opposing party, but maybe it can be used to send a message. Maybe if these three representatives get a lot of support and a lot of votes during the next election, while Democrats that did nothing lose votes and possibly seats, they will begin to see the value in listening to their base.
On a pretty much unrelated note, The Anonymous Liberal writes (again) about Mike Huckabee and how he is 2008’s version of Howard Dean. Most Republican pundits seem to be pretty down on him because he has no foreign policy and is pretty much made up of sound bites. A.L. points out that Bush didn’t know a thing about foreign policy and still has great trouble forming full sentences. Most Republicans seem to be rooting for Rudy G, who is advised in foreign policy by a guy who admits to having dreams about wiping Iran off the face of the world, and also is a guy made up of sound bites – “9/11, 9/11, be afraid, 9/11, terrorists, Islam, 9/11…”
The NY Times has a pretty decent article about how tactical the Republicans are and how dumb and spineless the Democrats seem to be. I disagree with this; I think the dumb and spineless thing is just an act. I think they put bills, like refusing to fund the war, up for vote knowing that they are going to lose. Then when it gets vetoed or just doesn’t get enough votes, they can back down (or do what they originally wanted to) and claim that their hands were tied.
I was sitting in school yesterday and for some reason I began to think about the downfall of the US. Not hoping that it comes (per se), but more like being afraid that it is imminent. Things are building and building and we are pissing off more and more people and getting more and more into debt; eventually things are going to crash. I’ve been keeping an eye on Pakistan and wondering how much of the same tactics our government will use after the next terrorist attack or national emergency. We have to be ready. Although revolutions and uprisings are not something that can be planned, it is key to have an imagination. If we cannot imagine scenarios like Pakistan or Burma, and what we would do, then we’ll be left scratching our heads if/when it happens here.