“I’m embarrassed to say / The rest is rock ’n’ roll cliché,” she sings, and these clichés suit her.
Our military might, on which we spend more that the defense budgets of the rest of the world combined, has been demonstrably ineffective at achieving America's foreign policy aims. We are, at present, engaged in a "generational war" that has no end in sight with an enemy that has no army, no navy, no air force, and no military budget whatsoever.
Just a snippet from Jeff Huber's essay and pretty sobering for those of us who are serious about getting terrorism down to a simmer rather then those consistantly taking the path that leads to just more of the same. OBL hardly has to lift a finger, the Bush cabal and his cheerleaders are doing a superlative job of squandering victory and extending hostilities to the middle of the century.
During his confirmation hearing, General Hayden displayed his deep concern for human rights—embodied in the international covenant against torture, which we have signed—when he was asked about these renditions. The administration repeatedly claims that before it outsources these suspects, it gets assurances from the participating nations that they will not torture the prisoners we send.
How, the general was asked, do we validate those assurances? His answer—which I've not seen in any of the coverage of the hearing—was: "Our judgment is whether the torture is less, rather than more, likely" in those countries. If we get more information to the contrary, he added, "we assume more responsibility." (No one asked how he would define "less torture.")
"Which officials, then, go to those countries to see?"
"I don't know," said the general.
There is a dark humor about Hayden's confirmation. Like Bush, Hayden has reached that level of power where accountability and conscience are irrelevant. Actually beyond irrelevant, taking responsibility, either legal or moral is a hindrance to obtaining some ill defined goals. For those that live thier lives quivering like little scared rabbits in their jammys like most of today's conservatives this is all big gov'ment at its best, a fuzzy blanket guarantee of security. Can anyone think of some other countries past or present in which the leaders made the false promise of absolute safety at the expense of liberty and got away with it, at least for a while? I knew that you could.
Well, when I had been dead about thirty years I begun to get a
little anxious. Mind you, had been whizzing through space all that
time, like a comet. LIKE a comet! Why, Peters, I laid over the
lot of them! Of course there warn't any of them going my way, as a
steady thing, you know, because they travel in a long circle like
the loop of a lasso, whereas I was pointed as straight as a dart
for the Hereafter; but I happened on one every now and then that
was going my way for an hour or so, and then we had a bit of a
brush together. But it was generally pretty one-sided, because I
sailed by them the same as if they were standing still.
from Captain Stormfield's Visit to Heaven by Mark Twain