I read today’s HuffPo article about the currently unexplained death of an indefinitely detained Yemini in Gitmo, and proceeded to trade pointless snarks with those cave-dwelling, sister-dating trolls that such articles bring out like bats from a cave at sunset. After a vigorous exchange one asked, “Exactly what is it you want?” For a sub-literate Neanderthal with proto-simian reasoning faculties, he asks a pretty good question. Answering it (which I do here—I’m too long-winded for HuffPo’s word restrictions) helped bring some long overdue clarity to my thinking. I also now understand exactly how it is that Obama has failed me and the rest of us, why I reacted to that failure so viscerally, and why it has been so incapacitating. I think I can skip my next three therapy sessions and send the money I save to FDL.
I simply want my country to stop adopting the values and methods of our enemies or using the atrocities and abominations of our enemies to justify illegality, immorality AND hatefulness.
I know, believe me, I know holding to the highest standards of ethics, truth, and principle comes at a high cost–some times at the highest cost of the loss of a life. Yet, I see us wallowing here in the US and all over the world in the basest manner of behaviors and policies and STILL daily we mourn the senseless killing of our own men and women by the “enemy” as we ourselves seem to take an innocent life for every enemy we kill. We do so rejecting the abundant evidence that most frequently those who once might have been our friends have been forged into enemies in the crucible of injustice, death, and cruelty whose flames we have stoked for over ten years.
Indefinite detention is a life sentence to hopelessness. Without hope there is no humanity, and to destroy one’s humanity is an abomination in the extreme against our Creator and our Constitution.
Torture, too, is meant to diminish the humanity of those powerless to resist it. For them there is no refuge except in the mercy of their captors, and if there is no mercy in them, there is, again, hopelessness and a destruction of the humanity of all of us.
With the use of drones we have sunk to an even more grievous level of ignominy as we, as if the hand of God, reach down from the sky to strike those whose names, intentions, and histories are unknown to us merely because their recently observed movements, watched thousands of miles away through drones high over head, conform to a “pattern” which we in our vast omnipotence have deemed “suspicious.” (The usually comic line, “Don’t you judge me.” takes on a whole new meaning here.) Needless to say, we also dispatch to oblivion anyone with the misfortune of close proximity frequently those in cradles, at their mother’s breasts, or at play. Simply put “Terrorist” is now the default setting.
To paraphrase a line from ANOTHER COUNTRY, it is NOT that these beliefs come to me because I am a Christian and a Patriot. It is THESE BELIEFS MAKE ME A CHRISTIAN AND A PATRIOT. When Jesus Christ and the men and women who fought to found this nation sacrificed their lives, they created for us a single truth that we were meant to learn and remember for all time:
To live as Christ taught AND to value the liberty and sanctity of humanity above all else is now, always has been, will always be, the most dangerous way to live. Security?! Neither Christ nor our Forefathers promised us security but proved with their deaths that it is something we must live without. Choosing to do so is the most trying test a man or woman or a nation faces in their lives, and it is faced EVERY SINGLE DAY. Yet, it is a choice we make not for ourselves but for those who come after us for they deserve nothing if not a world in which that choice is still theirs to make.