It’s been said that we live in a world of dualities. Left – right, up – down, you know the routine. There are things that are acceptable to say in public and things that aren’t. These two “truths” coexist, though separately, in our minds partitioned from each other like keeping anti-matter particles and matter from annihilating into sweet oblivion.
The dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki is a tale twice told, indeed there are many aspects of Truman’s decision that are debated today though the overwhelming majority of Americans likely believe the official version why the atomic weapons were used that version is problematic in many aspects. But you see it doesn’t really matter which version you believe because the sheer horror of such an act is monstrous. It’s hard to imagine the sheer evil of instantly snuffing out so many lives, mostly civilian, that I don’t think any words can do it justice. Why ever it was done is not as important as that it never should have happened. So we recreate the past to our liking and everyone is happy dappy discarding the obvious for the nebulous.
So here I am wondering how we’ll reinvent the past for Iraq. And considering the amount of imaginative material that entered us into that conflagration I’m sure we’re in for a real treat when explanations for why we are still there in 2059 are bandied about by the long-beards and textberts. Lately I’ve read quite a few “you break it you buy it” types of philosophy when it comes to leaving Iraq. And I’m sure that’s just the beginning of ever more complex fair and balanced thinking leading to ever more imaginative ethereally glowing vistas of corpusculating grandeur that would awe H.P. Lovecraft himself. But then like always we’ll have been there for so long it only seems natural to stay even longer. Just think of Iraq as the newest state in the Union.
Maybe the doomsayers have it correct, we’ll self emolliate before we can keep the empire going that long. Who knows? I feel emolliated already, how about you? We see similar patterns when it comes to U.S. torture as in discussing whether torture actually works or not. It doesn’t matter if torture works or not, all that matters is that it is wrong in every sense of the word. Even if torture “worked” it would still be wrong. But then the practice of torture has never been about “working” it’s an act of terrorism, State terrorism sanctified from the highest level. The message is always clear, challenge us and this is what will happen to you. Forget about whether it works or not, the point isn’t, or ever was, about gathering intelligence it’s about control through acts of terrorism by the State. After all who wants to be grabbed by some federal goons to be disappeared into a hidden labyrinth of torture chambers populated by ghoulish figures with gargoyle grins as they prepare your new set of electrodes? Torture is an act of State terror pure and simple. And how will historians treat torture by the U.S.? A pimple on the otherwise airbrushed American buttock according to popular lore. It’s a classic case of good cop – bad cop. Bush was too brash, he crossed the acceptable line of national etiquette by so openly admitting to and relishing the use of torture so Obama was inevitable. If Obama wasn’t the Democratic candidate then someone else just like him, a solid centrist Democrat, would have ascended the throne and proceeded much as Obama so predictably has done. Get some Brasso out and polish the brass, spiff things around the edges, restore the illusion of wholesome goodness so lately stained by the impetuous Bush and once again anti-matter and matter can defy the laws of physics to coexist in the American collective.