Sunday, April 20, 2008

General Disgust

I bring to your attention the following article in the New York Times, which I find noteworthy mostly because I have simply lost my capacity to be amazed by the actions of this administration. It is about the Pentagon placing, scripting and rewarding former generals they send forth on network television to spew administration lies about Iraq under the guise of independent expertise.

I blame not the Pentagon – although Congress may want to investigate the use of public funds for domestic propaganda – but Fox, CNN, MSNBC, NBC and the rest for becoming “television of the stars” – the four-star masters of mendacity.

One of them, Barry McCaffrey, you may recall, led that successful “war on drugs” after his service in Gulf War I, where his actions were reported by Seymour Hersh to be border on war crimes. (photo credit to New York Times)

Following is a reaction to this Times article by an ex-colleague who makes comparisons that I would not make, if only because of differences in degree, not in kind.

  • In the end, sad to say -- whenever that is, there'll be no Nuremburg Tribunal to hold to the fire the feet of those in the White House, the Pentagon, the military-industrial complex (the Halliburtons) responsible for the Iraq debacle.
  • Unless we lose, since it's the winners who get to put the losers on trial. In such a case, I wonder what laws/constitution would be used to give what kind of "process" -- as in "due process" -- to the perps. The Koran, f'rinstance, does not give such as we understand that term to mean. And the so-called World Court lacks the teeth. Since mankind makes whatever "justice" exists in this life on this planet, who will be around to mete out the justice that this Nazi-like adventure of GWB deserves. The parallels between the Third Reich and Amerika are, IMHO, staggering:
  • We have an autocrat in the White House -- one whose thinking is as delusional as Hitler's ever was.
  • We have a politicized military, as much so as the Nazis were ever able to make of the Wehrmacht's Officer Corps and its Waffen SS and SS, etc.
  • We have a propaganda machine the rival of anything Herr Goebbels and Leni Riefenstahl wrought.
  • We have a marriage between arms manufacturers (the Halliburtons) and the
    government that is the equal of anything the Krupps and the Thiessen's and A.G. Farben were part of.
  • We have a military within our military (the Blackwaters) that is as exempt from the tenets and text of the Uniform Code of Military Justice as the SS was exempt from ANY law except its own under Herr Himmler.
  • We have the cancellation of domestic privacy via computer circuits the rival of anything the Gestapo did using old-fashioned gum-shoe techniques.
  • We have a gulag of "black-ops" detention and torture facilities and the "rendition" of suspects to them that is, admittedly, not up to the standards of Holocaust death camps or concentration camps. Yet. (Yes, this is egregious hyperbole ... but what the hell!?)
  • We have the ability of the executive -- GWB -- to declare someone to be "an enemy combatant" and have him/her "disappeared" into a Kafka-esque netherworld where NO contact with the outside (not even a lawyer) is permitted. Indefinitely. Similarly, Hitler declared at least 6 million Jews to be "vermin," and ended their existence on Earth. He also summarily ordered countless executions of people he considered his "enemies," such as those Wehrmacht officers who tried to bomb him in his "Wolfschantz."

    In view of this, it would appear that a helluva lot of people in and associated with the Bush Administration are eligible for another Nuremburg. But it couldn't be at the hands of a "victorious" Amerika, since that would mean no trials. Who, then?

Perhaps a Clinton or Obama administration with substantial majorities in both houses and a Supreme Court in the hands of an angry God?

As I say, I do not subscribe to the “egregious hyperbole” of my ex-colleague (e.g., the Nazis were much better at propaganda that Bush is), but it is unleavened food for thought this Passover.

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