Monday, May 10, 2004

Some will "hang," but the system will remain... and those at the very top will ride out the storm...

As the continuing saga about abuse of Iraqi detainees continues to unfold, I'm wondering who, exactly, will "pay" as President Bush has so clearly announced.

In the midst of reading Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States, I came across this observation about government wrong-doing in the 1970's. I thought it was, somehow, likely to be appropriate over the next several months:

There was also a need to satisfy a disillusioned public that the system was criticizing and correcting itself. The standard way was to conduct publicized investigations that found specific culprits but left the system intact. (page 554)

Here's the results of that first investigation, although certainly it wasn't intended in the beginning to be public.

As one astute observer has commented: If this ends with a staff sergeant, and everyone else goes home with a chestful of medals, then we've got problems.

And the news gets even worse...

I'll say it aloud: This is what happens when the Commander-in-Chief vows vengence. Since we wear the stars and stripes, we can do no wrong. When others do this shit, our government jumps up and down demanding redress. But the signal from the top was clear, if not in specific words, certainly in meaning: we will make others pay for 9/11 and hating America. I suspect the soldiers on the ground believed in their heart of hearts they were (a) doing the right thing and (b) doing what their Commander-in-Chief wanted.

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