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bear by san

March 2017



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bear by san

Texas did one thing right today.

Andrea Yates gets a new trial. 

In other news, Jesus fuck. We are the evil empire, man.


She may get a new trial, but that doesn't mean that she won't have to deal with more lying "expert witnesses". Considering the lax standards used in most Texas courtrooms, they could call me as an expert witness.
(I'm probably prejudiced by not being USian. That just makes me feel helpless; I already helped keep my government out of the damned war, I can no more ... )

Dear God, you think those of us in the States *don't* feel helpless? We vote, we petition, we go to rallies, we write, we talk....we live in a nation that keeps doing things like this anyhow.
First, I think it should be a stated goal of United States policy to not melt the skin off of children.

Damn. That second link is...I'm not sure I'm glad I read it. But then, I'm not sure I'm not, either. I would not have expected a post on this subject to make me laugh, even if it was in a pained, horrified kind of way.
If I may be my usual "dampening the outrage" self, there's a world of difference between using Willy-Pete and accidentally hitting civilians in the line of fire, and deliberately doing so in the finest traditions of Evil Empires everywhere. The former, and probably the scenario here, is a case of the much-lamented, but almost impossible to avoid "collateral damage." Sucks that we use such a cold term to talk about melting the skin off children, but it's been the case since time immemorial. As Daily Kos points out, we've done much, much worse on a much, much broader scale. Dresden, Tokyo, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Vietnam. While any non-zero value of skin melted off kids is intolerable, there's gross neglect for the lives of innocent civilians, and then there's less gross neglect.

I think Daily Kos gets to that, deep in the article there somewhere, amid all the "melting the skin off of children."

As I heard on NPR today, with regard to the whole issue of military tribunals and judicial review for terrorism suspects. In The Evil Empire, none of this even sees the light of day. The Supreme Court never entertains the arguments. Senators don't promise to keep ammending bills until the President is forced to sign an anti-torture ammendment. And you don't get servicemembers, like me, sharing their thoughts on the use of White Phosphorous, which is this:

I think it should be stricken from the arsenal. The benefits of using it appropriately are outweighed, by a wide margin, by the horror of using it at all.

The difference between us and the Evil Empire is that we can correct ourselves, without running the streets red.
The difference between us and the Evil Empire is that we can correct ourselves, without running the streets red.

Dave, I'm in utter agreement with you. Historically speaking.

This time, we are not doing it. Yet. And with the current administration in power, I don't believe it's likely to happen.

And you know, I'm a patriot. In the sense that I believe in America. I believe in what she stands for. I believe in "liberty and justice for all." It probably surprises anybody who reads this blog today, but I was a registered Republican for six years. I'm really *not* a blindly partisan soul.

I am raising my voice exactly because this is wrong, it's shocking, it's unjust--and if this is the America I believe in, we will do something about it if enough voices are raised. If it's not my America anymore, then I'll go down swinging. This hurts me on a personal level, as if I just found out my lover was a child molestor.
There is a difference between using WP to burn buildings, and illume, and killing people as a side effect, and using it as a primary weapon.
It has uses, and there are those uses for which it is the only good tool, but that difference is the one which crosses the line from moral to heinous, which moves from acceptable actions to unjustifiable.

For the latter, whatever your definition of chemical weapon is, we do make them. A friend of mine recently spit out of the army spent part of her stint at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Maryland. She told me her specialty was making mustard gas and other things she wasn't allowed to give me the names of because, she explained, officially we didn't have them.

An attempted debunking

This post questions the truth of the incident you all are discussing. I take no position, but the truth is probably less incendiary than the Daily Kos post.
Forget the WP. That's icing on the cake (and all things considered I am more prone to accept it than not).

The real crime in Fallujah was our refusing to let males of "fighting age" leave, and then declaring that all who had stayed were combatants, and making the place a free-fire zone.


I'm afraid that

I have to say, I did [try] to tell y'all so.

From January 2005 - how we made a man who had signed off on war crimes the President of the United States. Crimes including torture and targeting of civilians en masse. (But they were Moslems so it was okay, plus we were liberating them.) Even though the use of water torture on POWs had been made public in congressional hearings.

From May 2004, when we had a chance to step back from this brink - explaining the long history of our offenses and outrages in Fallujah prior to the reprisals against the Blackwater mercenaries, after the first siege of Fallujah was broken off.

And from Nov 2004, as the crime was unfolding - with mention of the ongoing reports of I-Can't-Believe-It's-Not-Napalm!Mark77 being used - like something out of the Renaissance, or antiquity, that an entire city (the size of Worcester, MA) should be put to the torch and the sword, because the leader of the mercenaries was a personal friend of the king--

--But Oedipus calls in Tiresias to explain why their country is under a curse, and then gets angry when he gets his answer, and accuses the seer of being corrupted and working for his rivals - of being a Thebes-hater, so to speak; and then a decade or so later, his brother-in-law (who is also his uncle) who saw all that go down the first time, reacts the same way when Tiresias tells him that far from being the Good Guy, he's the one who's dooming Thebes by his selfish vengeance, and Kreon doesn't admit it until his wife and only son have committed suicide in protest of his policy.

And the chorus - stands on the sidelines and goes "Oh shit, this can't be happening/again" all through it. Which is why we speak of Greek Tragedy in ref to current events, to this day.

Appalling. Beyond appalling, really, into a place I think literature may go but I know I can't.

What have we done?
There is a crack in everything; does it have to be so damn huge?
"that's how the light gets in." :-P