19 December 2014

Pure Evil


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There is no way to put this in perspective. There is no way.
One of the things that history teaches is that there is no justice. Never. The good guys get crushed and the bad guys triumph. Or the bad guys get crushed and the good guys triumph. It doesn’t matter. There is no force minding the wheel of destiny—no matter what historians like the anonymous fellow we call the Deuteronomist likes to say. Our present island of (relative) progress—the end of slavery, for example, of legal sanctions against people of the wrong gender or caste or race or whatever—is a brief bubble in time fueled by millions of years of stored energy that we are expending at an unsustainable rate. And no replacement in sight.
Okay, our country—the good old USA—never had the moral stature we like to think of it as having, but at least in the past you could say that it made the attempt. On this torturegate thing the US hasn’t even made a token effort. Villains in high places—people who (in my book anyway) ought to be facing the death penalty for their crimes—are feted and honored. I’m thinking in particular of Dick Cheney, John Ashcraft, John Yoo, and Donald Rumsfeld. These guys, these war criminals, threw away America’s moral high ground—what was left of it anyway—on a two-bit hood whose crimes were petty in contrast to real villains we’ve faced in the past.
So now—what have we got when the thugs murder school children in Pakistan? When a vacuous gang kills women in Iraq who refuse them sex? When another bunch of criminals sans ideology or sense bombs a mosque in Nigeria and guns down the survivors as they try to escape? I hear the dumbass whiners say this is poverty or oppression or Islam or what-have-you. They say this even though the people who do it aren’t necessarily poor, or oppressed, or Muslims, or whatever—quite the contrary. “This isn’t militancy or unrest or extremism,” as Ophelia Benson puts it. “It’s sadistic slaughter for its own sake, by people who take pleasure in sadistic slaughter.” And the same can be said for the vacuous gang of thugs who thought torture was the answer to America’s problems in the wake of the relatively minor atrocity that was nine-eleven. The absolute horror of that act in no way justifies the horror of the motherfucking city on the motherfucking hill torturing helpless and sometimes innocent people for no reason whatsoever. It isn’t even vengeance. It’s just mindless sadism.
And that’s why I think the US should be cleaning house. Dick Cheney’s head ought to be on a pike somewhere as a warning to those who would pull the same crap in the future. If the US is going to pretend to be the shining city on the hill, the example to everyone, then we should treat our war criminals like the scum they are, to set an example for the rest of the world. Maybe then it would have some moral authority when it condemns foreign barbarians for their atrocities.
As it stands, we got nothing.

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