Saturday, December 23, 2006

The fright before Christmas

The Christmas bombing of 1972: James Carroll wrote about it for the Boston Globe back in 2002. People my age don’t need to read about it. We remember being called traitors for our disgust with a massive anti-civilian act of unbridled terrorism.

“American pilots flew nearly 4,000 sorties, including more than 700 by high-flying B-52s. Those ''area bombers,'' incapable of precision, had never been used against cities before. That they were used now was a sure sign that this was terror bombing pure and simple. . . . Everyone could see that the bombing was a final venting of frustration and rage by a superpower faced with ignominious defeat.”

Carroll’s point though, is not to point out the massive brutality this country can dish out without questioning its morality or that patriotism can be used to glorify murder most foul, but that years of war and flag waving and supporting the troops and making Americans with a conscience the scapegoat for our relentless defeat, the moral sensibilities of our leaders had declined to the level of panic and animal viciousness. Anything to win – anything at all.

“Those who ordered and carried out the brutal attacks against population centers at the end of the Vietnam War would never have done so at the beginning. What Nixon commanded in 1972 he would have condemned in 1969. . . The war transformed America's moral sensibility; the war deadened it”

As Christmas approaches once again and as the Pentagon apparently plans to move additional warships and strike aircraft into the Persian Gulf region to join the carrier Eisenhower in striking range of Iran, is it silly to make comparisons? Bush insists that Iran prove that it has no nuclear weapons program, just as he demanded of Saddam. Bush would love to make that bit of idiocy seem rational and honest. Is he planning to attack Iran to prove in his twisted way that it was reasonable to attack Iraq? Has providing some kind of victory – any kind of victory become a plan to save face and provide some sort of ghastly “legacy?”

It’s not the sort of thing to bring visions of sugar plums to my slumbering brain in the nights before Christmas.


Anonymous said...

im·peach (ĭm-pēch')
tr.v., -peached, -peach·ing, -peach·es.

1.a.To make an accusation against.
b.To charge (a public official) with improper conduct in office before a proper tribunal.

2.To challenge the validity of; try to discredit: impeach a witness's credibility.

[Middle English empechen, to impede, accuse, from Anglo-Norman empecher, from Late Latin impedicāre, to entangle : Latin in-, in; see in–2 + Latin pedica, fetter.]

Capt. Fogg said...

Unfortunately the Bible condones genocide and the slaughter of civilians in wars. It is probably unthinkable to impeach a President today without his having violated some Biblical BS and besides the people killed were all the enemy