When British marines were captured by the Iranians, we were told they were in Iraqi waters, as though that was completely natural. Several thousand miles from their own country, sailing an area subject to border dispute, their captain having told British TV that they might be picking up intelligence about Iran; nothing unusual there. Especially for an arrogant former imperial power reduced to snuggling up to the USA and acting as its junior partner in arousing hatred for the western world.
Photos that showed them smiling and looking healthy, and messages they sent apologizing for being in Iranian territory were treated with suspicion. They were released after a posturing show in the diplomatic theater, where such performances make TV wrestling look honest.
Upon returning to their homeland, they were immediately transformed into a group of sobbing sufferers who claimed they were forced to smile and confess under threat of death. One of them sold her sad story for big bucks and a mini-scandal erupted after which it was ruled that none should profit from stories of their dreadful treatment at the hands of their sadistic captors. These demons seemed to have force fed some of them so they would appear heavier than they were before their capture. What monstrous fiends.
Those who have tortured and abused their own prisoners registered indignation at the treatment of these captives. And they did so without blushing, or even laughing once the cameras and microphones were turned off. This is life in the civilized west, where news is reported without bias, and truth and justice reign supreme. Sure.
The man depicted as an anti-Semitic genocidal demon was shown smiling and making jokes as his nation freed military personnel captured in their waters. The imperially self-chosen world featured the dreadful toady, Blair, making threats he couldn’t possibly carry out without his U.S. bodyguards, and the even more dreadful Bush making macho noises in the background. This pair would give a bad name to cross dressing female impersonators, but they play the roles of tough hombres in the movie we are shown that supposedly represents reality.
Have any of the thousands of prisoners taken in the frantic war on terror, all found guilty without trial and very often with no evidence, ever been spoken to or photographed with the American or British leaders? Even when found innocent and set free, has there been any public gesture towards them by any leader? Yet the release of military prisoners, accompanied by handshakes and jokes from the president of the invaded country, is treated as an outrage by him, not them.
Is it any wonder that we are among the most ignorant people in the universe? When we have media presenting fairy tales as reality, and when our political leadership lives in a nightmarish dream world of demented lunacy?
A presidential candidate was photographed walking through a Baghdad market, with a small army protecting him, claiming that things were going smoothly and safely there. And he was a veteran of actual combat in Viet Nam. Well, he did his killing by bombing from the sky, so the dead bodies and rubble on the ground probably never came to his attention. This experience and his years in a military prison, along with more years in the U.S. senate, may have helped cloud his vision so as not to notice troops and helicopters creating his benign tourist pleasure. This is a candidate for the nation’s highest office. And why not? Given the murderous dingbats who run it now, he might offer an improvement.
None of this is really funny, and in fact it’s really tragic. We must deal with a reality in which we directly, if often unconsciously contribute to the ever more miserable lives of millions of people. How long can we assume that those who willingly sacrifice themselves in suicide bombings in other places will refrain from doing so here? The tragic attack of 911 may have been beyond anyone’s imagination, save for those who performed it and the dunderheads who let it happen, and we might assume that no such airline hijacking will happen again. But a suicide driver in a car filled with explosives could inflict tremendous death and damage here, and the longer we are governed by forces operating in our name but out of our control, the more likely it is that lack of control will come home to us, with a devastating vengeance.
As long as we allow rich and powerful minorities to control our media, our government, and our minds, we face a future that may rival the dreadful experience of millions the world over who suffer because we lack majority rule and tolerate minority domination.
We have called ourselves a democratic nation for much of our history, but that democracy was founded and flourished in great part by stealing the nation from its original inhabitants and building its economy with slave labor from Africa, and cheap labor from Europe, Asia and Latin America. The prosperity and abundant lifestyles enjoyed by millions here have been achieved by directly and indirectly adding to the misery and suffering experienced by hundreds of millions elsewhere. If we don’t create political and economic democracy soon, we can expect greater and more rapid environmental destruction, especially of our social organization.
Democracy is not something given to us by a benign outside force, material or spiritual. It must be created by the people, as it has been in much poorer nations, by populations with far less material wealth and creature comforts than we enjoy. How have they been able to bring about profound social change, while we still work for minimal and too often cosmetic appearances of change that only maintain the status quo?
We have no excuse. If we continue to accept this twisted farce and call it democracy, we will surely get the future it promises.
And predicting that such a future will not be pleasant is an understatement.