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Saturday, April 22, 2006

Bush's ghosts 

Digby writes about how the right-wing has gradually jettisoned more and more of the taboos which kept American society civilized:
First, they declare that the taboo against wars of aggression, formed in the blood of more than 70 million dead people in the 20th century's two world wars, is out. Not even a second glance at that taboo. They simply repackage it as "pre-emptive" war . . . Then there's torture. This society used to teach its children that there is no excuse for torture . . . We didn't make exceptions for "except when you suspect the person is a really bad person." We said torture is wrong. Now we have sent a message far and wide that torture is necessary and even good if the person who is committing it is doing it for the right reasons. Those right reasons are usually that we "know" that the victim has information but is refusing to tell us what it is . . . Finally, we seem to have crossed the rubicon with respect to nukes. We are openly discussing using them on television, much as otherwise decent people tossed around the idea of torture after 9/11. . . . just as with torture, once you start talking about how it might be ok in certain circumstances, then you have begun to break down the taboo against it . . . For the sane among us, letting the nuclear genie out of the bottle is simply unthinkable. It's not and never can be "on the table" because once you start talking about it as if it's just another form of warfare somebody is going to do it.
One of the saddest things is watching America slide into a pit of its own making -- sometimes I feel like I'm watching Marley's ghost, whose description of the chain he dragged is surprisingly apt to America's present situation: "I made it link by link, and yard by yard; I crafted it of my own free will, and of my own free will I wore it."

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