Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Morality Was A Hot Topic This Weekend

At least in the blogosphere. In between all those posts this weekend I read my whole blogroll. One thread stood out. The morality of the United States policies appeared on several blogs. The ultimate responsiblity for Haditha is heating up conversations, with most feeling that it goes all the way to the top. As several people put it "what did you expect? If the leaders feel the Geneva Convention is "quaint" aren't the troops are going to feel the same way? Our American arrogance and hubris prevents us from seeing people in the rest of the world as our equals. They are human just like us, with the same feelings of love for their families that we do.

It started innocently enough with Badtux who is traveling through Louisiana and wrote a post about "honest" corruption and rebuilding after Katrina. Pretty good stuff. There's another great post up this morning, one written in 2002 which was ahead of its time.

The Daou Report had a great post on the ethics of Iraq and the differences between the left and right on moral versus material strength.

Paradox over at The Left Coaster asks if the war dead sit in judgement and wonder if it was worth dying for and are we making the best use of their sacrifice?

Just a sample of the thoughts and feelings of people who really care about this country. For the last few months I have been grateful that this country doesn't have to shave. If it did, looking in the mirror every morning would be a real bummer. How could you look at yourself day after day, knowing that you had willfully taken or caused to have taken innocent lives? While the President was trying to look patriotic by giving the commencement address at West Point, real soldiers and the people who try and report the news were killed in a war whose justification changes with every speech.

As the Haditha incident heats up we need to ask ourselves "Is this what I had envisioned when I thought it was okay to go to war?" For me the answer is yes, I did see this coming. Others, not so much. Since Sept 11, 2001 I have watched this country change into a paranoid schizophrenic. We think everyone is after us, that they are going to hurt us. We make decisions based on fear instead of rational thinking. We reward those who don't need it and take from those who do. A reverse Robin Hood syndrome if you will. I keep hoping that we will come up for air but we don't.

In Babylon 5, an extremely prescient sci-fi show from the 1990's, the character of Delenn tries to explain why her world tried to exterminate humans after we had mistakenly killed their leader. She says "we went mad together" and that is the only explanation I can come up with for our continued decline in moral behavior.

Cold-blooded murder of children and old people? There will never be a justification for taking an innocent life. If we can convict the driver of a getaway vehicle for a murder that happened inside a bank while he was outside, we can take responsibility for our country's actions and change before it is too late.

After Abu Ghraib one would hope that our servicemen had been given a little instruction in the proper behavior of a soldier. Instead, they have been put under more and more pressure. Two tours should be the maximum, but since there is no one to replace them we have to keep sending the same poor people back to fight in a country that is devolving into civil war, while expecting them to pay for their new uniforms (but no battle armor, that's a "government" contract item) on the paltry amount we give them for dying for nothing. We are creating human killing machines. Once you view people as objects it is easy to kill them. They could just as easily kill Americans in the future because they were "just following orders".

Morality and ethics? We have none. We lost the moral high ground when we lied and invaded Iraq. Now all we have left are dead and mutilated bodies, post traumatic stress syndrome and a reputation that is as tarnished as 100 year old silver that has been left outside the whole time. Meanwhile, people continue the routines of their lives in the futile hope that this won't affect them. It will.

Rot always spreads.

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