Monday, May 10, 2004

as heaven is wide

blogger has changed. apparently, the redesign still rules in the dot-com world.

at the moment, it rules in my little world as well. regrettably. our office is being overhauled -- more cubicles, less open space. basically, it would appear from what's been built so far, a horror of overcrowding is brewing. but there is an up side. suddenly, sharing an actual office with two other people seems positively luxurious.

as usual, my attitude could use a redesign, but i feel justified in being depressed and angry right now. this whole tortured-iraqi-prisoners thing has had the designated demoralizing effect -- except, in addition to more iraqis than w & co. wanted you to think, also on this american citizen. i won't speak for anyone else. but right now i feel about as genuinely despairing of this nation as i did when bush first got "elected." just like, it is rotten to the core. there's nothing left to save, and nothing to fight for. "they" have already won; "we" are just the last rabble left, tossing molotov cocktails from the ever-shrinking barricades. is this defeatist? or realistic? john kerry does not seem to have much beyond the "anyone but bush" mantra -- it isn't even that his approach is lacking (although it is), it's ... like i said. everything is rotten. the well is already poisoned, mainly with indifference. only the rabid/devoted really care -- the republicans who are organized to Take Back This Nation, and the aforementioned rabble at the barricades. everybody else just believes what tv tells them -- and you know what those ads say. (kerry gets raked over the coals for being a WAR HERO! if bush had done a fraction of what kerry did, the republicans would trumpet it to heaven. he would probably be wearing a fucking uniform.)

and so i am tempted to believe no rational voice can get through to the vaunted People. except, a strange glimmer: today at work someone said howard stern is really humping that anti-bush message. that gave me a weird kind of hope. i would so love to see it make the difference. this "shock jock," the unintended architect of an LCD radio revolution? hey, the nation wrote about him this week.

on the other hand, all this torturing of iraqis also seems to be taking its toll. who knows how long before the plucky american people rationalize this away, or forget about it when the next celebrity scandal/decency uproar comes along. but maybe they won't. the price for this little spoiled-rich-man's adventure, perhaps, is becoming too dear. i am not sure the folks were expecting these things, although that was a bit naive. this war without visible casualties, injuries -- or atrocities? huh. wishful thinking, indeed. a wise woman said to me, "these are the dogs of war, and when you unleash them, you get all of them," and i understood what she meant. it isn't that i was so shocked that this torture/abuse occurred. in part i am again disappointed that the news media took so long to bring it to light. in retrospect it makes cbs news' decision to hold the story that much more disturbing. why did the CJCS ask the network to hold off? really out of fear for the american hostages' lives? two weeks? how many more iraqis were damaged or killed during that time? why wasn't that taken into consideration?

torture -- "abuse," mr. rumsfeld? i think that's weaseling of the first rank -- designed to humiliate muslim men. obviously part of the plan, in some way or another. (shock and awe -- was that this campaign, too? once upon a time? and even that insanity has become more twisted.) dehumanizing. perhaps desensitizing to those perpetrating it. i have mixed emotions about not blaming the rank and file involved. every soldier is charged by oath with not obeying unlawful orders. torture is kind of against the geneva conventions. therefore, not lawful. MPs aren't supposed to be used by military intelligence to "soften" prisoners up. on the other hand, this was being orchestrated by intelligence in such a way that the grunts' discomfort was blunted. and it isn't always easy or even possible to do the right thing, even when you know what it is. also, some of the soldiers did come forward, documented the events, maybe helped bring it all to light. indeed, what disturbs me more than the soldiers who went along with it is that they'll quite likely be tried and do time, while the ones who were running the show will avoid real punishment. people essentially forced to commit acts, then getting pilloried for it by those who compelled them in the first place. plus ca change...

ugh. there is no end to this, and no sanctuary. they have made this hell on earth. and god seems to be enthusiastically pitching in.

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