Thursday, September 14, 2006

Up on the Hill

I signed a petition to be forwarded to my senators and congressman yesterday, Bush. It was to ask that they reject the legalization of your wiretapping program--the one declared illegal by the Supreme Court. Your response was not untypical: if it's not legal now, let's pass a bill to make it legal. If I'm not right, let's do whatever it takes to make me right. My daughter sent me the petition as a forward, and I had no problem signing it and sending it on its way. I'm happy that she cares enough to send it.

But here's the question, Bush. Do we really want to validate the taunts of those you declare to be our enemies, who condemn us for our hypocrisy and what they see to be our double standards? Is our Constitution nothing but an empty promise, to be broken or modified whenever the world around us refuses to conform to our expectations? Because if the current legislation passes, those who mock us will have even more credibility than they do right now.

It's not only the wiretapping, of course. I hear you're up on the Hill today to talk to your Republicans. You're trying to persuade the recalcitrant ones to support not only the legalization of your eavesdropping program, but also your proposals to reinterpret our treaty obligations by redefining acts that constitute war crimes, and to implement those kangaroo courts for suspected terrorists, depriving them even of the right to know the evidence against them. As I've noted before, this kind of "justice" flies in the face of individual human rights since the time of the Magna Carta, eight hundred years ago. It flies in the face of the most precious traditions of Western civilization.

The other night you uttered brash words about the war on terrorism, which you described as the defining struggle of the twenty-first century. Conflating this war deceptively with your adventure in Iraq, you elevated your impetuous and misguided actions to the lofty status of "the defense of civilization." Would it not be something of a contradiction, then, for our country to institute, by legislative act of Congress, the abrogation of the most basic, sacred rights that are the very underpinning of our civilzation? Would we then not look still more hypocritical in the eyes of our "enemies" (I do so much dislike that word!) and the rest of the world?

I see where you gained a few points in the polls in the past few days--the result, I'm sure, of the 9/11 anniversary and the opportunity it afforded you and your people to suggest once again, on multiple occasions, that the Iraq mess is "the central front in the war on terror." Apparently, there are some amongst us who are still inclined to buy that story. I trust that there are not enough of them, however, to encourage your Republican folk to pass these new, repressive pieces of legislation. You have already proved yourself, in my view, untrustworthy with the powers you have already appropriated. Let those who represent us, please, not grant you even more.


den said...

P: Here's the question, which is implied amply, has been tackled here and there, but hasn't really been answered with exactness and greatness, not by Democrats, nor any of us. We've identified what we don't like is going on. We lament the injustice and wrongdoing. But as to where we should really go from here, in detail, has enough vagueness, that the average person isn't sure. Go back in time? to what? make things the way they used to be? Go back to the Clinton years? Get out of the war and everything will be fine? Get back to the Constitution, a document which has not safe-guarded us from what has happened? More laws to combat corruption and abuse? Get them out ot power and put our side in power? Ha. Did we learn nothing from Robespierre? These are all band aids on a gaping bloody hole.

It's no longer necessary for the Ariannas to profitably yap about what is wrong. What do we want? Much of the time it sounds as general and weak as "we should bring honesty back to government". or, " if we can just get off oil, we can then solve the other problems".

Rather than speak of my solutions which would dismantle our military empire and effectively bring world peace by joining with other nations, I pose the question for those who would lead. They are the ones who will speak or continue to fail and bring destruction.

Forget band aids. If Democrats are not to be the good intentioned, whining liberals they have so far proven to be, they had better start offering fundamental change based irrefutably, specifically, and clearly on the right things to do.

PeterAtLarge said...

Dennis, I'm a conservative. I say get BACK to the old values--social justice (including health care and education for all, fair employment opportunities), good government, good world citizenship, conservative stewardship of the earth, etc., and develop new policies appropriate to current and future contingencies from that core of values. I happen to believe there are Democrats who are proposing this (Gary Hart, a couple of nights ago, on Jon Stewart). They're just being continually maligned by those who see nothing but the bottom line for business--and themselves. We tend to buy into the Republican rhetoric too easily--that the Democrats are nothing but "good intentioned, whining liberals." I don't believe it. Cheers, PaL

GringoWithoutBorders said...

Peter, if you have not seen this I am sure you will enjoy. As will most of the other readers.

Brief Speech from Keith Olbermann:

GringoWithoutBorders said...

Not sure why the full link did not show in prior comment.

GringoWithoutBorders said...

Sorry for messing up your board Peter. Complete link will not show in comment area. Hummm. Sorry.