Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Morality is the Botox of Our Society

The previous Pitts-linked post of course echoes the sentiments of many of us who screech about deception, corruption, and a value bucket that hardly runneths over. We are right to ask these questions on torture, and we are right to call the answers 'bullshit". Questioning that which violates not only multiple charters and articles, but also our sensibilities, SHOULD be a priority of everyone in America. Challenge is the only enemy of corruption, culpability only comes from an assertion of truth. The media will continue to fail you, folks, and propaganda will prevail unless people speak out. Even if you do it here, or express it wearing a hat and sunglasses- now is not the time to demand purity of our dissenters. Speak with force or speak with futility, but say something. Anywhere. Urgency compels you.

We know that our history is riddled with both a distrust of the populace to which we also simultaneously owe our gratitude as much of what we credit ourselves with was bourne of citizen initiative. America must reconcile the paradox of "government by the people, for the people" and a detached, arrogant "representative system" that suggests these "mandates" on policy and direction- that suggests a blind trust and obedience to elected leaders who allege to altruistically and benevolently serve. But our founding fathers could not have foreseen the degradation of our social-scape. Did they envision a society so numb and disengaged that the checks and balances, the Constitution, would become so contested? Consider the conservawhores that are willing to publically state their scorn for the First Amendment! Hard to believe that people came here for freedom of religion when even our money proclaims our affinity for self contradiction. And inherent to contradiction is distrust in authority, right? Hypocrisy yields resentment? We've seen that play out. What is powerfully unique here is that fear cancels this out. And we remain in fear, our vulnerability has been shown in hundreds of clips from 9-11.

Election results do not constitute statements of consensus. They constitute elements of machinery that force people into 'issue camps". Many believe that Bush won re-election not because of the war or approval, but because the determination to prevent gay rights trumped everything in people's paths to the polls in some states. Is it not possible to mentally multi-task, America? Chew gum and hatemonger at the same time?

Is it not possible to consider innocent children being killed in Iraq while we contrive this "pro-life" agenda? Is it not possible to look at the fact that we have not had another 9-11 and suggest that maybe, JUST MAYBE, it has something to do with the fact that we have more involvement with these groups than we care to admit? We know that logic forces us to look at rampant incompetence. So how is it that we view Bushco as sources of safety, not puppetmasters? Because suggesting that we are that depraved is unpatriotic? Those that can protect in the face of incompetence must have more control than we realize. Logic: they are very competent but choose to ignore disaster and global problems. Or, they are grossly incompetent as evidenced by the responses we've seen and there is another explanation for why there has not been another attack even during vulnerable times. If they are so determined, why not then? These groups that are so hellbent? Are we supposed to believe our loose borders, chaotic ports, and intelligence" have saved our asses? You be the judge.

I might have thought so. But facts speak volumes over pundits and opinions. So many arsenals destroyed in the Middle East were easily read because they were in fucking English. Fact, not opinion. I want to know why we were able to use Bin Laden effectively against Russia, but to suggest an unholy alliance later amounts to treason? Speculation, but the relationship is based on documented fact. You see?

The question of American moral authority only exists in America (and Tony Blair's ass). Just like we view war in glossy sunrise photography, sans blood and limbless babies, we also have a glorified self congratulating sense of morality that much of the world cannot share. True, we have purchased some love and gratitude over the years. But we have no "authority". Pitt writes:

We ignore our lying eyes, I think, because we are afraid, because we saw what happened Sept. 11 and we never want to see it again. I'd never suggest we ought not fear terrorism. But we should also fear the nation we are becoming in response. We should fear the fact that we have abrogated moral authority, retreated from moral high ground, become like those we once chastised.

Becoming? Far be it from me to question such lucid commentary, but I maintain that we retreated from the moral high ground years ago. Morality has been the fucking botox of our society! A rationalization to police and dominate. We killed the native Americans, we dropped the bomb, and covered up intelligence failures resulting in massive death in Viet Nam. We turned our backs on famine, genocide in Rwanda and Darfur. We had children languishing in factories, boatloads of people brought to a life of servitude, rape, and inhumane treatment. Are these opinions?

Morality is a tool for the wicked- as touted by slave owners that claimed they looked after their slaves and 'gave them God'. Morality wants a girl to have her father's baby. Morality wants to define love, trust, law, and parenting.Morality supposedly brought us to liberate the oppressive Taliban and certainly the pipelines were just coincidental. Need I go on about mythic morality? Grin, America, and plump those lines with lies.


Meteor Blades said...

Yes. One benefit of the Dubyanocchio Administration is that the immorality was, from the beginning, so thinly concealed and is now being unveiled fully for all who are willing to see. Previous administrations managed a slightly better cover-up.

American exceptionalism - whether it's declared as divinely inspired or merely a product of the elitist slave-owners who compromised the founding document which likes of Nino Scalia says we cannot deviate from - puts the lie to "becoming," as you point out so cogently.

Just one missing item from your ending list: America's long-standing policy of crypto-imperialism that led to the slaughter of hundreds of thousands in Central and South America over the decades. Until Jeane Kirkpatrick and crew started talking about "restoring" democracy in Nicaragua (c. 1981), morality wasn't even mentioned as a part of U.S. foreign policy in that region.

Lily said...

Absolutely agreed that many examples were 'missing' from the list. I suppose the sad thing is that we could generate a blog based on such examples alone! They are indeed too numerous to cover here. I certainly did not mean to give Central and South America's history short-shrift! Your points are well taken.
In mentioning Central and South America, the notion of 'restoring democracy' without addressing the extensive human rights abuse records and the legal/political machinery that hindered reform was certainly not indicative of any moral authority. Amnesty International has not only documented the numerous violations in their summary Crime Without Punishment: Impunity in Latin America but the lack of pressure for accountability and corrective action from the International community even with the morally superior US supposedly at the healm, champion of Democracy.
I wonder what the implications are for American accountability now-in cases of documented torture/abuse of detainees- based for example on Europe's response to Pinochet in which they upheld culpability even in cases where domestic law might otherwise offer impunity and/or acquittal. Certainly the torture and subsequent death reported on NPR recently by the CIA would appear to qualify as it illustrated the practice of hanging detainees during interrogation. Many examples seemingly qualify. Without notice? As we continue to categorically snub conventions/charters and now openly violate articles of the UN as well, how would it play out for the EU to rally and pressure the US for accountability? Since there is, at least In Europe's view, precedent for International Law to trump domestic- why has this not been attempted? What is our history with inquiry into US culpability? Many of our own *publicized* violations are relatively recent, as in Yemen, Afghanistan, and Guantanemo. Have we not been accused before of HR violations, hence credibility to the mythic moral authority? Would love to hear some thoughts on this.
While at Amnesty, also check out "Oil in the Niger Delta: Threatens Lives" as well. Add that to the long list....

Lily said...

At TPM Cafe: Remember When Saddam Was Our Friend? by Jane Arraf and Senator Hagel Talks Truth to Power by Ivo Daalder. Snippet:
"The recent media reports of a worldwide American system of secret, black-hole jails, run by the Central Intelligence Agency, and developed explicitly to circumvent our obligations under the Geneva Convention, sullies everything that America represents."

Cantankerous Bitch said...

As usual, extremely well done, Lily.

The irony that our foreign and domestic policies are weilded by some of the most corrupt "leaders" ever, that identify their base as those most concerned with "moral values" amazes me every day. Worse, I'm stunned that it's not obvious to all. Again, I have to wonder who the hell that ~35% is. I wish I could say differently, but I don't recall a single day of my political awareness (dawning with Nixon) in which glaring hypocrisy wasn't SOP. That our government even pretends to have any kind of moral authority anymore is plainly insulting.

Lily said...

Well go back to Marketing 101. As long as we describe ourselves this way over and over, it begins to become so. As long as we repeat the same lines it becomes an embraced reality because people feel comfort when their reality matches what they hear, just like people enjoy songs when they know the damn words and cannot wrap their taste around new things until it is played on the radio until even macho men on the subway are humming "Ooops I Did it Again".
"We do not torture". Well yes we do. No we don't. Well YEAH, you do. Well technically we don't. We get others to do it. We don't torture. Yes you do.
I think I played this game with my big brother.

Cantankerous Bitch said...

I've been snickering for days over the "Yes we do No we don't Yes we do No we don't Uh Huh Nuh uh! that's developed. What a commentary on our state of affairs when THIS represents "political discourse".

Lily said...

Did you catch any of the Murtha-Furkers last night on the floor? We were howling. Sad when our state of affairs passes for comedy.
We will have order in the house!!!!!
The next time the household erupts into chaos I am going to jump up on a chair and yell WE WILL HAVE ORDER IN THE HOUSE!!

Cantankerous Bitch said...

You mean the hysterics after Schmidt's remarks? No, sadly, I didn't see the televised version, only read a transcript. I suppose that's what I get for not getting into a proper CSPAN habit, eh?

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