The idea that war crimes and civil liberties violations are strictly conservative affairs is particularly comforting to wide-eyed Democrats in awe of America’s First Black President ™, and it affords the heirs to the same liberal establishment which brought us Vietnam and Hiroshima another opportunity to grandstand about their commitment to human rights even as the noble humanitarian Barack Obama continues to extra-judicially murder foreigners with unmanned drones. Unfortunately for partisan Democrats – and even more so the victims of U.S. exceptionalism – American imperialism and its associated evils have long enjoyed bipartisan backing, though liberals tend to be somewhat more sheepish about their support for killing, torturing and maiming poor people overseas.
Nancy Pelosi is no Dick Cheney, nor a George W. Bush. She was neither the author of a systematic policy of torture nor has she been, like Cheney and most top Republicans in Congress, an enduring apologist for its practice.
But what she, and anyone else who went along with this evil, as lackadaisically as she now claims, should be confronted with are the serious implications of their passive acquiescence. Why did she not speak up, or if it were a matter of a lack of reliable information, demand an accounting from the executive branch, as befits a leader of the loyal opposition in Congress?
Is it ever acceptable to compare Israelis to Nazis? When does criticism of Israel become anti-Semitism? And who should make these calls?
Is it anti-Semitic or merely factual to say that Hollywood is controlled largely by Jews? (Remember: Most of the big studio chiefs are Jewish.) Or to note (as some critics of the Iraq war did) that many of the neoconservatives who helped devise the war's intellectual rationale were Jewish -- and possibly harbored a dual loyalty to Israel? Or to point to the existence of a powerful "Israel lobby" that wields substantial influence on Capitol Hill?
For sixty years Israelis have been stealing Palestine from Palestinians. There are maps available on the Internet and in Israeli publications showing the shrinkage over time of what was once Palestine into what Palestine is today--a small number of unconnected ghettos or bantustans.
Palestine became "the occupied territory" from which Palestinians were ejected and Israeli settlements built for "settlers." Jordan, Syria and Lebanon are full of refugee camps in which Palestinians driven off their lands by Israeli force have been living for decades.
Wherever one turns, whether it is on the broadcast news or the Internet, we are bombarded with Swine Flu stories. Government tells us not to "panic," while it simultaneously engages in activities meant to spread widespread fear.
Indeed, as Robert Higgs has written, the very basis of government rests upon cultivating human fear:
Here are some shocking little-known facts from the sources here reviewed:
Five years after the Abu Ghraib revelations, we must acknowledge that our government methodically authorized torture and lied about it. But we also must contemplate the possibility that it did so not just out of a sincere, if criminally misguided, desire to “protect” us but also to promote an unnecessary and catastrophic war.
Instead of saving us from “another 9/11,” torture was a tool in the campaign to falsify and exploit 9/11 so that fearful Americans would be bamboozled into a mission that had nothing to do with Al Qaeda. The lying about Iraq remains the original sin from which flows much of the Bush White House’s illegality.
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