Sometimes it feels like I’m in a small minority group of freakish people who’ve been slipped crazy pills in their water, non-stop.
I am not talking about Israeli genocidal barbarities in not only the Gaza Strip but in all of the Palestinian Occupied Territories, barbarities that the Israelis call ‘self-defense’ against a captive and tortured people. Those barbarities are clearly monstrous and in calling them that I am not in a small minority but standing with the absolute majority of humanity.
No, here I am talking about less directly militaristic items of news. Take for example the headlines and the news reports about ‘over-paying’ the banks while distributing TARP money (read, looted taxes), during the dying months of the former Bush administration, worth a whopping $78 billion.
The way this theft is reported, it is made to look as if nothing can be done about it.
As if some fly-by operation run by aliens from another planet had sucked the money right out of our earthly banking system, and disappeared into the outer galaxy. As if these banks were not huge institutions with registered headquarters located on our very planet, to which the U.S. government with all its resourcefulness can deliver a ‘You Owe Us’ notice; banks whose assets the U.S. Government can freeze.
I am sure that I am not the only one whose immediate question is: Well, why haven’t the banks been told to return the money already?
[Anecdotal evidence of alternative solutions already used: I once received, by mistake, a paycheck for an additional month of services not rendered, after I had stopped working for an educational institution. They contacted me and informed me of the situation, and I sent them a check for the amount. Done. Simple. Can’t the same simplicity be applied to the $78 billion overpaid funds? If not, exactly why not?]
Then there is the issue of canceling the ‘torture policies‘ of the former, very bad and ugly Bush administration that was supposedly reversed by the new, sweet hope Obama administration.
First, of course, as we all know, imperialists always try to cover their bases, so some implicit loopholes have been hinted at and other explicit loopholes stated, which together make the ‘reversal’ look more like a gentle bearing to the left on the winding roads of the imperial super highway, built mainly in the far right direction. Not a U-turn by any means, even if such were ill advisedly considered a good turn of events.
But, more importantly, even if we believed that some sort of reversal of rules has been attempted, the new Obama administration can only pretend that they have done something positive. In fact, though, they have merely reminded the world that the U.S. knows and recognizes that it was acting (egregiously) not so nicely for the past eight years; they can’t say ‘illegally,’ for that would be going too far, and would in fact render most of the history of the United States illegal.
But is that it? Just ‘change’ the law and move on? Yes. Quick; change the subject!
Yes, as far as real actions go, all is to be dealt with as if … well, as if all is fine; with a quick swishing scratch on the paper, a few swift muscle movements of the wrist, the stroke of the pen has made everything A-OK. “Smile! Now, keep that smile, and see? All is good. Just keep smiling and keep stepping away and past this icky issue; it’s done and dealt with, best be forgotten ASAP. Phew! So GLAD that’s over!!”
And my jaw is hanging very low, right above the floor.
‘Dealt with’? What, you mean, like it’s not an ‘issue’ anymore? Like, it has been resolved, all the legal ramifications clarified and the ship of the U.S. State can now move on, continuing to act legally? Of course only somewhat, due to all the ‘interrogation techniques’ that may be needed, just in case you know, so they must be retained or developed further, for security reasons that cannot be discussed publicly, for that would aid and abet the terrorists. Ahem!
So, yes, the U.S. is getting there, making progress towards that most difficult of all goal of all, i.e., acting in a civilized manner, continuing to scramble in that generally well-considered direction willfully, methodically and of course patiently, heavy-footedly, excruciatingly slowly. But, always making progress.
In fact, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Democrat functionaries and apologists making a positive and hopeful case for the necessity of moving very slowly in the direction of civilized behavior: the pace is to ensure that no mistakes are made in the undoing of badness; don’t forget it was the haste in the original arousing of evil that brought so many wrong and ugly consequences. In detoxifying the state apparatuses left behind by that frat boy Bush and his sadistic, jerk friends, we must be patient.
So, now the ‘supreme’ task’ becomes the clean-up efforts, for which we must be patient and undemanding, and in this task all Americans (not just Blue ones) must participate; unity of voice (can’t rock the boat) is of utmost import for the Obama sweet hope machine.
It’s as if there has been no egregious violations of the Geneva Conventions, the UN Charter, the U.S.’s own laws, including the War Crimes Act of 1996, not to forget the 8th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution prohibiting ‘cruel and unusual punishment’ (remember that?). It’s as if no crimes have been committed, and it’s all been just one big misunderstanding.
To use a Malcolm X-like analogy, let’s suppose that during the previous eight years, the administration of George Bush had made it legal for people to rob others’ houses, provided they met some newly legalized conditions. Now, after eight years of people getting their houses robbed, imagine they were told the new administration has reversed those rules, and it is no longer legal for people to rob others’ houses (although under some special conditions it may still be OK). This is then celebrated as huge progress in the restoration of the ‘country’s image’ and treated, in the corporate ‘news’ media, as a positive ‘change’.
But, the imaginary move above only and merely restores the status quo ante. It still does not address all the hundreds and thousands of cases of wrong done during those eight years. To those thousands and thousands who got robbed, this is the epitome of justice evaded, denied and not done. Getting their belongings back and getting compensated for having been violated all those years would be a good start; though not completely there yet.
People lost their lives and livelihoods due to those torture policies. Ask Jose Padilla, just for one case. And in matters of torture, one is already too many. How about prosecuting the perpetrators of torture, or those who authorized them? If those acts were reprehensible, then surely there must be some penalties handed out to those authorizing and carrying out such reprehensible acts. But, is there any? Is there even a hint of any?
Am I on crazy pills not seeing any, or are there really none to be seen?
The whole matter is being treated as if it was some kind of ‘mismanagement’ or a ‘foolish’ policy; something on par with a drunken fool acting stupidly and annoyingly, swearing loudly, disturbing the public peace, flaying his arms about wildly, catching passers-by in the jaw, in the eyes, showering spittle on children while in slurred speech spewing lasciviously about their mothers.
The way Team Hope Obama is behaving is more like reacting to an embarrassing moment, something over which you had no control yet must apologize for: “Well, well, well …” (nervous, broad smile) “Phew! Wasn’t that something! Well … Thank god the drunken fool is home sleeping off his hangover!” Or, like the police dispersing the onlookers hanging out at the scene of a crime after the crime evidence are removed: Nothing to see here, folks! Go on home! Be thankful the idiot’s gone. Something else, eh? C’mon, keep stepping!
Just like that?! And all the Obama zombies are like, ‘Well, what more do you want?! He changed the laws back, didn’t he? Duh!!’
‘Duh’, indeed … These crazy pills are something else!