War Crimes, Democracy, and Redemption
I was encouraged to repost this OP from a thread on the US bombing of a hospital. It's about the need for personal and collective atonement:
Let us weave our national psychopathy into a single, tragic narrative.
We tell ourselves John Wayne tales about the inherent goodness and manifest destiny of a righteous nation that protects the meek and mild women folk with god's own christian soldiers...and from the beginning as Zinn points out, we are blind to the holocaust we brought to the first nations, conflicted on our slavers history, dismissive of women's sufferage, defensive about white privilege...at every cross roads unable to face our brutish past or our criminal nature. Over the generations the song of ourselves became increasingly narcissistic and deranged. Hunter S. Thompson marked the high water mark of our political attempt to stem the tide. It's been hippy punching and debauchery in the coliseum ever since. Corporations have co-opted every aspect of public discourse. By their leave, every thread of human concern from global warming, to peak oil, to decaying infrastructure, to neo feudalism...to guns and to our never ending war...is encapsulated, discussed in isolation so as to permanently fragment the big picture...where we are chained to the wall in the allegorical cave...never to find our feet, or the path to social justice, or our own community.
We are numb to the point of moral catatonia, and complicit in our ruin. The empire is dead, rot from within. Long live the shadow empire.
Respondeat Superior. Yes, We (the U.S. military) knew what that building was and who was in it. Don't insult our mechanics and bag men. There is a chain of command and the blood rises all the way to the top. And the top is us (The vox populi). We are guilty, the president is guilty, the military is guilty... indeed, the hand on the trigger carries the least guilt...just an extension of the blameless gun. We talk ourselves into believing that we are not a party to it. We talk ourselves into believing our leaders have the best intention for the doctors, the ones we turned into red mist and concrete dust. No, our leaders did it for shadow empire. Our shadow empire - the one we tacitly support in our piggish consumption, self-serving discourse, and deep, deep, deeply rooted ignorance and fear.
We sit before our screens and the blood is on our keyboards as well. There is one hard and honourable path forward: Lead with our democratic values; organise for collective good around action inspired by those values; and do so at every level, on every issue, networked and pushing always forward over many years of social learning. But before that is possible, we must face and atone for the evil within. Clean your own house first, and walk humbly into the future.