Monday, January 3, 2011

Right and Wrong in the USA

the title could have been hypocrisy, but it seems a far too brazen for that. what IS the right term for people in public life who boldly, unapologetically do precisely the same things they condemn in others? the ruling class must be looking at the rest of us as uniformly stupid and uninformed, since their audacious shamelessness is so abundantly celebrated in the media.

take, for example, tonight's headlines that california rep. daryl issa, one of the new oversight honchos in the GOPper house or reprehensibles, is planning to ceaselessly investigate the "corrupt" obama administration. looking back to the 90s, we can surely relate to what's in store -- with the whole sordid psychodrama from vince foster's death to monica lewinski's dress being merely preamble to what's in store for the big 0 for the next two years.

forget tom "the hammer" delay and jack abramoff for a moment, and the whole, rampant pay-to-play K Street con game the last GOPper majority ran on the government. that's nothing compared with the get-out-of-jail-free cards the Big 0 handed out at the beginning of his shameless, spineless tenure in the white house to the previous war criminal occupant and his sociopathic, malignant, inhuman crew. it was time to look forward, rather than back, that compelled this naive and malleable cipher to excuse the inexcusable -- crimes for which they deserved to swing from the gallows, and not be enjoying a triumphant, lucrative retirement as honored citizens.

to put it plainly, those responsible for the war of aggression against a country that posed no threat to ours; who manufactured false reasons for an invasion and then used the aftermath to advance the financial and ideological agendas of its sponsors in business and industry; who killed countless hundreds of thousands of people in pursuit of profit and personal satisfaction; who even today brazenly recount their crimes with pride, and without any regret -- these very people deserve at the very least to be brought to justice in the international court of justice, along with all those who aided and abetted them. this includes the media cheerleaders who, contrary to their claims, did not simply convey the government's case for war, but used their professional situation and the prestige of their employers to make a persuasive case for war to a gullible populace.

okay, okay. you couldn't kill the bastards enough times to extract justice from them... besides, i'm against the death penalty even for monsters such as these. simply treat them as the government presently is treating bradley manning -- which is to say, apply the same methods of torture they so enthusiastically endorsed for others to them, for as long as they can endure it; then do it again, twice as much. bush, cheney, rumsfeld, wolfowitz, abrams, rice... you get the idea. while we'll never see justice done to any of these, we can state unequivocally, in every possible venue, how much they deserve it.

but that's old news now. more up-to-the-minute are reports from raw story (here) about how a number of prominent neo-cons from the bush years appeared in paris last month at a forum sponsored by supporters of  Mujaheddin-e Khalq (MEK), an iranian opposition group that's also on the US state department's list of terrorist organizations.

it's the old story: the enemy of my enemy is my friend. and the US is legendary in its support for unsavory groups and individuals that are useful in advancing the current agenda of those in power in DC. saddam hussein was one such friend of america, for waging a particularly harsh and bloody, 10-year war with iran (who do you think, incidentally, gave saddam all those chemical weapons he so notoriously used against his own people?). the MEK happens to share our dislike of the rule of the clerics in iran, so even though they have "killed innocent life", in the peculiar vernacular of W -- even american life -- we can do business with these people, you know?

so rudy guiliani, tom ridge, michael mukasey and fran townsend flew off to paris to lend their moral support to this most malign organization -- no inconsistency there, you know. so while the Big 0's justice department may go after anti-war protesters or activists who try to raise consciousness about the suffering of the people of gaza under military occupation -- charging them under the statute for giving "material support for terrorism" -- you'll see a miraculous double standard applied to these booster of the MEK. not only are they not apprehended and incarcerated, but given positive coverage in the national press. about the only exception, it happens, is a spoilsport who wrote an op-ed for the NYT, pointing out the more or less glaring inconsistency in how neo-cons are treated by the authorities, compared with terrorist-sympathizing bleeding hearts.

as i said at the beginning, it's not hypocrisy, and it's not a double-standard. in the good ol' USA it's what we call business as usual: wherever the money and power line up, that's how we distinguish the white hats from the black hats. and even if the Big 0's got to take it in the ass as a sacrificial victim in the service of money and power, to be never-endingly investigated by the GOPpers in congress, you can count on this: those who take the payoff always triumph over those who follow their conscience.

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