Wednesday, June 09, 2004

HIERARCHY, Hierarchy, hierarchy

Uncommon Thought has an interesting post ("Abuse, Torture, Denial of Rights: Policy not Pattern") I want to point out. While Rumsfeld, Tenet, and their underlings have been scrutinized, this has in many ways protected Bush from similar scrutinization - lest we forget who's ultimately in charge, setting policies. Or become satisfied with a few of the emporer's toadies served up as a side of froglegs.


At 7:20 AM, Blogger Goesh said...

Exhuming Ghosts:
It gets very complicated stopping the continum to focus on one particular juncture of political history, especially with something as nasty as war. We are repeatedly haunted by our own collective Histories and become enmeshed with blocking out the past in order to focus on the present.

When 'Rummy' and his lads launched the assault on Iraq, they coined the phrase " shock and awe", but I wonder what the phrase was employed during Clinton's 30 day bombing campaign of Kosovo? Operation Blunt Force Trauma? Techno Head Bashing? I do vividly recall several civilian convoys splattered by our high tech weaponry, in particular some tractors pulling flatbed trailers loaded with civilians - a common means of transportation in many areas of the world.Then there was that train filled with civilians crossing a bridge that got bombed. It seems in war it is a mere matter of policy to prevent the movement of enemy combatants, and a matter of policy to set the standards for determining what constitutes the movement of enemy combatants. There were several other instances of high tech bombs landing in civlian areas far away from potential military targets as well.

One could surmise that smashing the will to action of a people is no more brutal than torturing for information to prevent action on the part of a labeled enemy. It's a toss-up, like the hangman asking a person on the gallows if he/she prefers hemp or nylon rope around the neck - either way, we get a proscriptive solution.

Given the incredibly violent and aggressive nature of the human species, I reach for the alka seltzer when from certain camps comes the cry, " we are better than that!" Says who, a piece of paper called the Constitution? Tell that to the piles of dead children battered to death each year here at home. As sirens wail to the scenes of homicide and domestic violence, we stand with fingers in our ears blocking out the noise and say we shouldn't be mistreating Iraq prisoners. We don't create a Public Sociology in this manner - the redundancy of dredging up old ghosts drives the Public to Wal-Mart instead, where there they can at least put fiction in their hands.


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