Friday, February 6, 2009
The Hypocrisy of "Morality"
Obama claims that America is taking the moral high ground in the fight against terrorism by disavowing torture and closing Guantanamo Bay. To date, there are no concrete plans with regard to where the suspects will be tried, freed, or shuttled off to. The recidivism rate for Al Quaeda's band of merry men once back in their homelands, is enough to warrant underground bunkers for all of us.
"This is me following through on not just a commitment I made during the campaign, but I think an understanding that dates back to our founding fathers, that we are willing to observe core standards of conduct, not just when it's easy but also when it's hard," the president, with Vice President Joe Biden at his side, said before he signed the order.
A common theme in the announcement and coverage regarding the closing of the Guantanamo Bay detention camp has been the desire for the United States to reclaim its "moral high ground." I must say, as a devout fan of history, I find this kind of puzzling. "Moral high ground"? Really? But then I thought more about it.
Firstly, I am a proud American . That said, I must dispute this "moral high ground" folly, for there is no validity to it. One does not need a Ph.D in history to know that this nation was founded in the 18th century by slave-owners, the same ones quoted by Obama, justifying the closing of Gitmo. Also, one does not need a Ph.D to know how the 19th century was often dominated by the forced expulsion of Native Americans from their homes, most famously the Trail of Tears. In the 20th century, Franklin D. Roosevelt, one of Barack Obama's heroes after whom he has modeled his economic plan, ordered the SS St. Louis carrying Jewish refugees from Germany, to be shipped back to Europe where many would later perish in the Holocaust. In 1945, the United States directly targeted civilian populations in the firebombings of Japan, killing more in those raids than the combined casualties of the atomic bombs. And the decision to use the atomic bombs? Well, maybe another time. Why mention these tragedies? Because every instance cited above led to the direct mistreatment, persecution, and killing of unarmed civilians during a time, apparently, when America held to its "moral high ground", before the Bush administration supposedly ruined our reputation.
Now, am I suggesting that egregious acts of the past are a ringing endorsement for similar actions today? Of course not. The fact is, Gitmo is not a place where innocent, unarmed civilians are being massacred. Quite the contrary. 779 prisoners have been held in Guantanamo, roughly 240 remain. The only deaths reported have been a few cases of suicide and one due to cancer. It is not as if these men were kidnapped while walking the streets of Dearborn, Michigan and then murdered. They were all captured on the battlefields or in Pakistani safehouses and remain alive.
And let's be realistic, does anyone seriously think that a terrorist group determined to kill Americans will think twice because we closed a detention center? Does anyone believe that a terrorist group whose sole mission is to kidnap and harm Americans will have a change of ideology because the US engaged in random acts of kindness? How many people were the Clinton administration torturing when Al Qaeda began plotting and funding 9/11? The argument that our "torture" endangers Americans is another delusion. Bottom line- those who are indoctrinated to hate Americans, will always do so. We cannot risk our national security during perilous times or any time for that matter.
Finally, as I have stated, while I formerly found this morality a bit puzzling and nonsensical, there is clarity now. From a belief in an unsubstantiated "moral high ground" used to close a legitimate military facility that could lead the likes of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed to be tried in front of an OJ Simpson jury, right up to the false hope placed in a man of no noteworthy accomplishments, Barack Obama, to execute such an order. It is quite obvious that delusion, both national and global, is the name of the game. People want to believe in the inherent force of good trumping evil but in this case, false hope and believing in something that is but a mere fantasy, can have very real consequences. A little over a year ago, former President Bill Clinton described the BO charade as the "biggest fairy tale I've ever seen." He was correct, and now, the fairy tale is unfolding before our eyes with the real possibility that it will end in a nightmarish cloud of regret.
"Guantanamo has been described as a national embarrassment. Mass murder in America is embarrassing," - Donald Arias, father of 9/11 victim.
I'd like to thank my fellow patriot and friend, JT, for his understanding and intelligence. Being a PUMA's friend can be quite daunting, as he has found. The above was written and submitted by him,(with a tweak by me), and was prompted by the many illuminating discussions we have shared on the topic. Thank you for your unyielding support, J.