The latest news via ABC News Online:
Ninety-eight prisoners have died in US custody in Iraq and Afghanistan since August 2002, the US-based Human Rights First organisation says.You know, I hate to say it but gut-wrenching shit like this is just keeps coming out of Bush's USA day after day after day... Seriously, it makes my heart physically ache. It is like an illness upon the planet.
Speaking on BBC television, the organisation says a report to be published by a group of US lawyers details at least 98 deaths, with at least 34 of them suspected or confirmed homicides.
Their dossier claims that 11 more deaths are deemed suspicious and that between eight and 12 prisoners were tortured to death.
One has to begin to wonder whether the USA has always been as immoral and bloodthirsty as it appears today, maybe ever since the crazed, land-grabbing murder sprees of the Wild West?
Maybe few people in the rest of the world ever really noticed the full extent of US depravity until modern communication methods, like blogs and a digitized global media, allowed people to document the abuses and comment on them in real time, day after day after day...
Can you imagine if such instant global communication had existed during the Vietnam War or the Korean War? Imagine live-blogging from My Lai? Images reproduced on TV screens around the world before US political spin-meisters had time to formulate a canned response?
Let's just take a look at Bush himself as a symptom of the social illness affecting the USA today. Here is a man who is so totally out of touch with common citizens that he simply cannot understand, much less anticipate, widespread outrage at his Big Business policies. Here is a man whose failure to master English was surely a pretty clear warning of the abyssmal incompentence he would display as Dick Cheney's Puppet President. Yet the citizens of the USA elected him... TWICE!!!
I think you have to go back to Gordon Gecko's "greed is good" credo to understand what's wrong with the USA today (and maybe for the past 500 years). That may be the individual viewpoint from which all this other craziness springs...
In the USA today, everything can be justified in the name of profit. Big Business is necessarily (and obviously: there is no discussion) Good Business. Ethics are for losers, unless they are not going to impinge on the sacred Profit Line. And Foreign Aid??? Forget it!!! The USA is Number One (whoo hoo) and everybody else in the world, every man, woman and child, is somehow a lesser form of human being. Why should I care about homeless kids on the rubbish tips of Manila when my SUV is sucking gas at over two bucks a gallon, dammit!???
"The American Dream" is to make it rich (and powerful) - how you do it is your own business, buddy! As long as you don't get caught, you are a hero. And even if you do get caught (Richard Nixon, Oliver North, etc) there will still be millions willing to worship you.
Surely it is time for all the citizens of Bush's USA - even you Democrats and Independents and apolitical spectators - to take a long, hard look at yourselves.
Here in Australia, the "dream" is to own your own house. That's it. A simple and not ignoble ambition, surely shared by billions around the world. What's wrong with that? Why is that not enough for people in the USA?
I am struggling not to unfairly stereotype people here, of course. There are good and bad people everywhere, and like most countries in the world, John Howard's Australia is hardly un-touched by this US disease. Our kids, like yours, grow up with Hollywood, McDonalds and FOX...
One day we will all be dead, whether we die gently in our sleep, surrounded by a loving family, or in shocking pain, shrieking for mercy during a military interrogation. And when that moment comes, if God grants us just a single moment's grace, we will all look back upon our lives... and what will we see? How will we judge ourselves?
For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?
America, have you lost your soul? It sure looks that way...