Friday, May 15, 2009

Two Steps Back

I've mentioned before that I believe that the US took a significant step forward by electing Barack Obama as President. However, I would argue that this week we took two steps backward regarding the torture debate.

First, let me come right out and say that I am absolutely against torture (my fantasies of Dick Cheney, jumper cables, and a waterboard notwithstanding). Now, I watch 24 and I get how useful it is as a storytelling device. But just like clicking my ruby slippers together won't actually transport me back home from the mystical land of Oz, torture doesn't work as a method for interrogation. It is effective as a tool for vengeance, but that's a big reason why it shouldn't be used. Even if it did work as an interrogation method, committing an act of violence to prevent a possible act of violence is an immoral act, something conservatives of this nation don't seem to understand no matter how many times they are reminded that Jesus allowed himself to be tortured to death for the sins of the world rather than fight back in self-defense. But what do I know... I'm just an agnostic who was required to study the Bible from front to back while attending a religious college.

Having said that, I wish Obama had not backed down like a little bitch about releasing those torture photos. On his first day in office, President Obama pledged openness in his administration. Now, he shows a willingness to cave under pressure from the largely irrelevant and immoral Republicans while trying to hide behind "protecting the troops", a tired retread of an excuse from the Bush days. Secrecy almost never serves the greater good. And generally if you must hide the truth in order to "protect" someone or something, the only thing being protected is your own self-interest. And anything you'll need to hide tomorrow typically isn't worth doing today.

Which brings me to Nancy Pelosi. While I'm inclined to believe that the CIA may have lied to her about the use of torture (after all, how can you trust an agency which is paid to lie to people for a living?), I'm also inclined to believe that Speaker Pelosi is just trying to cover her own worthless ass! She, and the rest of the Democrats in Washington, didn't have the balls to stand up to Bush and Cheney when it mattered and now, as her reward for cowardice, she must back pedal like a juggling unicyclist on a tightrope!

America likes to pretend it is some shining beacon on a hill. In reality, America is nothing more than a degraded crackhouse in a ghetto. How can it be any more than that when conservatives pretend piety while promoting ideals like torture (ie., revenge) which are antithetical to the values of Christ, while liberals promote intellectual truth, equality, and dignity for all but lack the personal strength to stand up for those values when the political winds seem to be blowing against them?

I still believe in that hope that Barack Obama was peddling during the election season. But now I have to have hope that he will eventually learn to stand up for what I believe.

Have fun and keep living life... or some approximation thereof.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...