Tuesday, March 19, 2013

We petty men

Tomorrow is the Tin Anniversary of the Third Gulf War.

I wish I had something to post better than Charlie Pierce, but I don't. So I will merely direct you to his scathing reminder that we petty men will - now and forever - creep between the broken legs of the statue in Firdos Square and peep about to find ourselves dishonorable graves.

The war may have killed thousands but completely spared the lives and even the public careers of the wretched, greedy, cowardly liars that summoned it from the depths of the Eblis of national fear, violence, and hubris. And we have chosen to accept that without demur. That is our shame. That is our crime; not that we committed the wrong but that we did not punish it when we saw that it was wrong.

The persistence of these Tin Gods in the public life of our nation is, and should be, a great enduring unbearable shame to us, all of us, us the We the People who were entrusted with the honor and truth of this nation. We have chosen to be a nation of Men rather than a nation of Law, chosen comfortable dishonor above painful rectitude, chosen the deaths of others rather than to sacrifice ourselves.

When our generation is remembered it should be for that, and for that above all. Whatever good we have done, whatever kindnesses we may do, the crimes for which we hung the defeated leaders of Nazi Germany, the crime of making aggressive war, the "crimes against peace" of Nuremberg; the crimes of others that by our acceptance and indifference we have made our own, will remain with us always. Like the unquiet ghosts of the dead of Baghdad, Ramadi, and Basra, like the mournful fragments of the GIs flown home inside plastic sacks, and like the cries of the headscarved women, weeping for sons and fathers and lovers vanished in the morning mists that rise above the Tigris as the merciless dawn floods the watermeadows with light as red as blood.


Syrbal/Labrys said...

Thanks. I could not make myself post on the anniversary. I am so disgusted, a steady stream of profanity kind of lacks eloquence, you know?

FDChief said...

I do know. This is my version of profanity.

Syrbal/Labrys said...

You know how literal minded I am....I actually have to say 'Fucker!'.....course, is it a bad sign that I hear it in the voice of "Roy Batty" from "Bladerunner"?

FDChief said...

But remember that at the end Roy had his moment of introspection: "I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain."

With a betrayal this vast, with a crime this savage, simple profanity just isn't enough for me. There aren't enough tears to weep for the lost.

Syrbal/Labrys said...

Yes, and did you know, the actor ad-libbed those lines?
They were not originally planned at all. Yes, that is my favorite movie. There are never enough tears.

And my post...belatedly about the anniversary, will be tomorrow. With a totally pissed off to biting nails and spitting blood and bullets bit, too. Yes, someone 'lit the tampon string' and I am as unstable as the poor Marines' 60 mm mortar round right about now.

FDChief said...

My dear, I would be disappointed with anything less. We ALL have to be the best at what we do; pissed off to biting nails and spitting blood and bullets is something you do tremendously well.

I will look forward to reading it.