Posts tagged ‘democracy’

In Praise of Our Torturers

In these troubled times, a crazy-superficial balance can be constructed by marrying two unlikely elements.

Such as the pretext-inspiring Washington Post newspaper and the deeply inspiring poet-songster Leonard Cohen.

Wherefore I offer you the following, provoked by http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/the-hidden-history-of-the-cias-prison-in-poland/2014/01/23/b77f6ea2-7c6f-11e3-95c6-0a7aa80874bc_story.html

 

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In Praise of Our Torturers

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What??!!
Am I nuts?

Of course I’m nuts.
I live in the greatest democracy in the history of the known world.
I live in the shadow of the Holocaust, slavery, and those who lived here before us.

I live in the shadow of Franz Schubert and Wilfred Owen.

Wanna come live with me, and be my love?
Or with the folks who got wash boards and surfboards and waterboarding confused?
Who told the soldiers and patriotic geeks that the world was our oyster,
and we’d better crack the goddam shell before bad actors got there,
before it is too late.

It is too late for KSM, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed
the “self-declared mastermind” of 911, waterboarded 183 times,
and it is too late for you and I, whether
we want to extract intelligence,
send a message,
crush his soul,
or none of the above.

As I’ve heard,
and Leonard Cohen sang:
Democracy is coming
to the USA.

 

 

 
            -- David Almaleck Wolinsky

 

 

Democracy: We get what we (sort of) deserve

Disclosures

1. For Marc Ash’s essential “Are we ready for change?” use the  Truthout link or http://www.truthout.org/article/are-we-ready-change. My (edited) response appears below

2.  For someone who is more optimistic about how we and Barack Obama may evolve than I am, Nancy Pace’s  thoughtful “epharmony”  can be reached from my Blogroll on the right.

HOPE? Michelle Obama spoke about this….

what should be, from what is

what should be, from what is

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Now… The Bush administration almost self-destructed in 2004

Dear Marc Ash:

Tanks so much…oops, an honest typo is more real than “reality”.

Besides, you hardly need thanks for your 9-15 piece in Truthout. It happens that I read it after seeing Part 2 of the Washington Post’s excerpts from Bart Gelman’s Angler.  Now all of “us” know that we almost got a self-destruction of the Bush administration just before he was elected to another term. Here’s my summary: The Prez was out of the illegal wiretapping loop, as Cheney led the charge  for uncritical “renewal” of the President’s authority. The director of the FBI, along with the entire leadership of the Justice Dept.was about to resign over this. Bush was saved at the last minute when Condoleeza Rice, herself mostly out of the loop, managed to warn him via a top reluctant resigner, aka a high Republican official with principals. Read the original at

washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/09/14/AR2008091401974.html?hpid=topnews

You cut to the “real” chase saying we will get from Obama only what we demand. Shakespeare, as usual, got there first, when Hamlet tells a scheming courtier “use every man after his desert, and who should ‘ scape whipping?”

A lot of good it would not do to be “right” about a country that votes against its own democracy and prosperity. I guess I’m just frightened. I’m the guy who thought Obama was good enough to take his cue from people like you, me (included for comic relief) and Cornel West — and the person who thought issues like your “Why 4,153 US Soldiers are dead and tens of thousands maimed for life? Why hundreds of thousands of Iraqis are dead?” could reasonably be an important part of this election campaign.

But I’m also one of the folks you had in mind when you wrote “Washington is Washington so don’t expect miracles.” Problem is, I’m not sure much less than miracles can prevent a version of what 1911 -1945 represented for so-called Western Civilization. The shadow of nuclear weapons, America as the new bully on the international block, and Dick Cheney have been nightmare enough.

I’m posting this — and inviting the advice of anyone who reads it. How can we help get a President Obama who does not represent the pragmatism and truth-avoidance of the campaign as it now stands. If issues like the basics of the economy or war goals are not seriously debated during the campaign, how will Barack be much more than a useful update on Bill? Granted that is “devoutly to be wished” (Hamlet again) but perhaps far less than an environment-economy-multipolar-world conjucture requires.

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