Friday, April 24, 2009

Shock & Awe... American Terrorism and Torture

Over the past weeks I have been listening to the information about TORTURE committed at the hand of Americans... I have been feeling the shame that comes with knowing that the government of MY country... the ones who talked about how much better America was than the rest of the world... the ones who said that the terrorists were animals... just allowed ME to feel that I am part of that animal world... that MY country is now a part of the group of THEM... the one's who perpetrate inhumane behavior... simulated drowning... putting people in small boxes with rodents or insects... forced nakedness... extreme heat or cold... being hung by chains from the ceiling... forced to stay awake for days on end... sensory deprivation for days followed by sensory overload... repeated beatings... and more...

What kind of human beings believe that this type of behavior is acceptable in ANY situation? Why would anyone ever choose to perpetrate these crimes against humanity repeatedly in the name of freedom? What kind of freedom is America selling anyway? Shock and Awe!! Disaster Capitalism!!

I have been an American my whole life. I recall traveling abroad as a young teen and feeling proud of my heritage. I remember the pride I experienced when young people in Europe looked upon my citizenship with a mixture of envy and curiosity. Much has changed in the forty years since I was a teen.

America has become a country of arrogance where the term democracy has been replaced by corporate greed and congressional lobbyists. Now when I travel outside America I feel the hesitance of foreigners who wonder if I too am an arrogant American. The eager hand of friendship I once enjoyed during my travels is gone. It has been replaced by the cold shoulder. Can I blame people for feeling this way? They don't really know me, they only know the politics of the most recent American government and the arrogance displayed in it's policies.

I feel a great loss. I was once proud to be an American. I now hesitate. I would like to be proud once again, but that would take humility on the part of my government to admit that the policies of the recent administration were a massive mistake. The arrogance that was displayed was a huge error. Allowing ourselves to think that somehow America knew best and that our government had the right to impose our way of thinking on other peoples. I am doubtful that this level of humility is actually possible. I would like to believe that the current administration has the capacity to reach out to heal the giant rift created over the past years of divisive policies.

I don't know if other countries leaders are willing to trust America again. We have betrayed their trust. Instead of being part of the solution, we became the problem. We might have printed on our money... In Greed We Trust... it would have been largely the truth. I hope with all my heart that this horrendous mistake can be corrected. Those who have perpetrated it must be permitted to feel the full responsibility for their crimes against humanity.

It must not be said that America is no longer the land of the free and the home of the brave. We must punish those who have tarnished the face of the Statue of Liberty. We must cleanse ourselves of these horrific criminal activities and purify our nation once again. If we are to be the light of the world, we must walk the talk.

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