When British sailors and 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 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 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
Vietnam. 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 9-11 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
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
Copyright � 2007
Frank Scott. All rights reserved.
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Scott writes political commentary which appears in the Coastal Post, a monthly
publication from Marin County, California, and on numerous web sites, and
on his shared blog at legalienate.blogspot.com.
Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.