"We have the greatest opportunity the world has ever seen, as long as we remain honest -- which will be as long as we can keep the attention of our people alive. If they once become inattentive to public affairs, you and I, and Congress and Assemblies, judges and governors would all become wolves." ~ Thomas Jefferson
The Geneva Convention
Donald Rumsfeld defies belief. Here he comes, right on cue, after American prisoners are shown on Iraqi television, to scream that the Geneva Convention has been violated.
Would that be the same Geneva Convention that the U.S. has given the finger to so dramatically in the last year and a half, with the same Donald Rumsfeld leading the way?
My heart goes out to the U.S. Servicemen, and women, who were captured recently, and to the families of everyone who was killed. Your children should not have died, and should not have been placed in harm's way for capture. I wish for those still alive an early release from the hell of your present existence as Prisoner Of War in a hostile regime.
And my heart is filled with rage against the evil men who made this happen.
Saddam Hussein is an evil man. The list of his crimes is posted everywhere, and needs no review.
Donald Rumsfeld is also an evil man. It gives me no pleasure to say this about a fellow countryman. Because we share a nation of birth, his evil tarnishes me in a way that Saddam's does not. But it would tarnish me much more if I failed to speak against his actions.
Donald Rumsfeld, you shook Saddam's hand in 1983, as an official representative of the United States of America, which at that time hated Iran so much that it was willing to work with thugs like Hussein, and to supply them with every form of weaponry imaginable. You knew he was using poison gas, and you said not one word against it. You knew he was obtaining biological agents; you encouraged it. Now you're point-man in parroting Bush's litany of half-truths and outright lies about why we "must" invade Iraq. Shame on you!
But our list of Rumsfeld's crimes is just beginning. Fast-forward from 1983 to the war in Afghanistan, which began shortly after 09-11. We took lots of prisoners. We could have respected their rights according to the Geneva Convention, to which the U.S. was an enthusiastic signatory. But no-o-o-o-o-o! Instead Rumsfeld and his cronies invented a fantasy name for the people captured, "Illegal Enemy Combatant." All were paraded before television cameras, bound, shackled, hooded, tied, humiliated. Some were then spirited off to "Camp X-Ray" in Cuba, there to be held under inhumane conditions, with no contact with lawyers, family, or indeed, any other human being in the world. Others were held in Afghanistan, where we know they have been subjected to torture while in U.S. control; two recently died and their official death reports specify "blunt force trauma" as the cause.
It would have cost us little to make a big show of adhering to the Geneva Convention. True, we would have had to let some people go, people for whom we could provide no evidence whatever of any guilt whatsoever. Uhhh, what's wrong with that, again? How does that cost us? Instead, we're locking up an endless number of people, many of whom are in all likelihood completely innocent of any crime. And what's that gaining us, again? Other than another sink-hole for that unending stream of tax dollars I'm expected to provide each year? And another ratcheting up of the anger of the world against us?
But Rumsfeld and Company decided that the United States is SO strong we'd just tell the rest of the world to f*** off. We're holding these people; we're calling them "enemy combatants", and we're NOT going to adhere to the Geneva Convention. None of you piss ants can stop us!
So it came to pass, despite the protests of some Americans.
Now we're reaping the fruits of our arrogance. Now it's OUR boys who are in chains, now it's someone ELSE's television networks showing pictures of them (pictures our own networks are refusing to air, in order to give additional support to the American Propaganda Machine, but that's the subject of another column).
Donald Rumsfeld, you are a hypocrite of the first magnitude. You are, in my opinion, a traitor to this nation. You are in the front lines of making every American hated around the world, and I damn well resent it! I repudiate your actions. I support our troops: Bring Them Home!! Stop the spilling of blood, on all sides, in this ridiculous pursuit of Empire.
A wise man once said, "As you sow, so shall you reap." Donald Rumsfeld has sown, and continues to sow, the seeds of deceit, death, and wanton destruction around the globe. Every American, and indeed every citizen of every nation, is reaping the bitter fruits. I very much hope that the madness will be ended soon, that our prisoners will be returned to their families, and that people like Mr. Rumsfeld will be banished to the wilderness of their own twisted thoughts.