Atlas Shrugged: The Mocking

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Paying The Piper

A while ago Seymour Hersch said that he had seen photos of the abuse at Abu Ghraib and it was much worse than was being described at that time. Now that "much worse" is out, at least in part. It is perfectly obvious that if people were abusing the prisoners in sexual ways (the lightsticks, the humiliation), they were most certainly sexually abusing the prisoners as well. Any attempts to deny physical evidence will just be pathetically self-serving, so the right will probably waver between trying to ignore it and trying to forget it . But the rest of the world is not made of Americans accustomed to forgiving themselves and giving themselves the benefit of the doubt.

I don't believe in forgiveness and repentance anyway. It leaves too much damage behind, damage people would rather ignore. It's easy to focus on God's joyful gift of convenient amnesia and absolution of guilt. It's a lot harder to clean up the mess you made and deal with the consequences. Sure, we didn't torture anyone--we didn't even vote for someone who ordered torture. But we benefited from these actions, at least for a while. And now, after hundreds of years of making other people pay for our mistakes, we are finally starting to feel the effects as well. I only hope we are half as strong as we think we are.


Righteous Bubba said...

Sure was wise to keep Gates and Petraeus on. They can't have any knowledge of what happened, can they?

Susan of Texas said...

Of course not. It was just a few bad apples.

Geither and Bernanke, Gates and Petraeus--they're killing us. And we are still better off than with Bush et al.