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
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
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 mikes 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
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 nationís highest office. And why not? Given the
murderous ding bats who run it now, he might offer an improvement.
None of this is really funny, and in fact itís 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 anyoneís 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 donít 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.
Frank Scott writes political
commentary which appears in the
a monthly publication from Marin County, California, and on his shared
http://legalienate.blogspot.com. He can be reached at:
Other Articles by Frank Scott
* Honeybees Of The
* The Wall:
There and Here
* The Problem
is War, Not Warriors