Tuesday, October 30, 2007


In two previous posts we reviewed some candidates to accept responsibility for the tragedy that we have created in Irak:


We focused on different individuals or groups who might be responsible for this:

All told, I have only presented 31 out of over 800 photos I have collected since 2004 of children in Irak. Even a single case of a mutilated child should cast a pall over any person with a grain of humanity. Instead, we over and over justify this carnage as "collateral damage."

Bull shit. Just BULL SHIT. This is outright murder and will be seen as such by any sane world that emerges from the chaos we have created. (The possibility that we are on the fast track to creating an uninhabitable World making this emergence moot has certainly occurred to many of us. As for Americans being oblivious to it all, see the spirited comments of Arthur Silber.)

We came to the conclusion that WE, most of you and I, the "American People," are to blame for this (The Growlery, feels that the British may carry some responsibility too. See his Comment to Responsibility-II.) Now there comes the task of predicting how this will work out in the future; an impossible task at best.

First and foremost we Americans need to accept this awful mantle. We need to internalize the responsibility, be aware of the connection between our actions (or non-actions) and the maiming and death of children in that unfortunate land. It is not enough to say that "Well, I didn't vote for George W. Bush." No, it is not enough. Because when we learned that we had been lied to, we looked away. Because when we finally got it through our thick heads that it was all about oil, all about greed, all about MONEY, we looked away.

We learn nothing from History. Wilkie Collins, who wrote The Moonstone, one of the first modern mystery novels, also wrote an obscure novel called Antonina (1850). Not a good read but interesting in that it describes the final days of Rome in 476. One cannot help but be struck by the dissipation and indulgence of the citizens of Rome as compared to the barbarians at the gate. As sophisticated as the Romans were, the were unable to prevent the dissolution of their society. (Collins also has some pithy comments on how organized religion, in the Roman's case Christianity, plays into the farce.)

I am not for a moment suggesting that militant Islam is the barbarian at the gate of the new Roman Empire. But I am suggesting that our "American Civilization" is in internal crisis. In particular, there is a high degree of possibility that the economic system that has held it together is much more fragile than we could have imagined. It is, to my mind, inconceivable that the division of wealth can continue at its present pace; it is just not sustainable.

Is it possible for us to somehow stabilize and then expiate the responsibility for all the horror that we have created? Sadly, I doubt it. It would take a massive reorientation of American Society. It would require complete reversal of that trait of "Exceptionalism" that so drives us, inculcated from birth. It would take an honesty looking at ourselves that we have never displayed.

Maybe our children will do it:

Flower by Mikaela on 10/30/07.....

1 comment:

Felix Grant said...

DrC> The Growlery, feels that the
DrC> British may carry some
DrC> responsibility too.

And every other liberal democracy which has elected a government which supported the US in this adventure.