Posted by The Cohen brother, a resident of the Old Palo Alto neighborhood, on Apr 24, 2007 at 5:07 pm
The footage is sickening, but it shouldn't surprise anyone. We are committing more and more war crimes as we lose more and mor of our democracy.
It is very difficult and arduous to create and sustain a democracy - but history shows that closing one down is much simpler. You simply have to be willing to take the 10 steps.
As difficult as this is to contemplate, it is clear, if you are willing to look, that each of these 10 steps has already been initiated today in the United States by the Bush administration.
Because Americans like me were born in freedom, we have a hard time even considering that it is possible for us to become as unfree - domestically - as many other nations. Because we no longer learn much about our rights or our system of government - the task of being aware of the constitution has been outsourced from citizens' ownership to being the domain of professionals such as lawyers and professors - we scarcely recognise the checks and balances that the founders put in place, even as they are being systematically dismantled. Because we don't learn much about European history, the setting up of a department of "homeland" security - remember who else was keen on the word "homeland" - didn't raise the alarm bells it might have.
It is my argument that, beneath our very noses, George Bush and his administration are using time-tested tactics to close down an open society. It is time for us to be willing to think the unthinkable - as the author and political journalist Joe Conason, has put it, that it can happen here. And that we are further along than we realise.
Conason eloquently warned of the danger of American authoritarianism. I am arguing that we need also to look at the lessons of European and other kinds of fascism to understand the potential seriousness of the events we see unfolding in the US.
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Apr 24, 2007 at 6:49 pm
I am alive and here thanks to the competence and ability of Forward Air Controllers, pilots who lived with the Infantry to help vector in close air support. In that clip, there was a battle in being and these targets were advancing in the manner of an enemy attack. The troops on the ground, who might well have included my grandson, called in support and got it. If there were civilian casualties it was regretable, but we know the enemy makes a point of using civilians for cover, and to hold fire because of civilian cover just makes more civilians be used for cover next time. I seriously question whether any civilians in a battle zone would be wandering around like that. [Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]
Posted by The Cohen brother, a resident of the Old Palo Alto neighborhood, on Apr 24, 2007 at 7:28 pm
The casual slaughter of civilians by our military under this administration is closely connected to our lose of demcoracy.
Creating a terrifying threat - hydra-like, secretive, evil - is an old trick. It can, like Hitler's invocation of a communist threat to the nation's security, be based on actual events (one Wisconsin academic has faced calls for his dismissal because he noted, among other things, that the alleged communist arson, the Reichstag fire of February 1933, was swiftly followed in Nazi Germany by passage of the Enabling Act, which replaced constitutional law with an open-ended state of emergency). Or the terrifying threat can be based, like the National Socialist evocation of the "global conspiracy of world Jewry", on myth.
It is not that global Islamist terrorism is not a severe danger; of course it is. I am arguing rather that the language used to convey the nature of the threat is different in a country such as Spain - which has also suffered violent terrorist attacks - than it is in America. Spanish citizens know that they face a grave security threat; what we as American citizens believe is that we are potentially threatened with the end of civilisation as we know it. Of course, this makes us more willing to accept restrictions on our freedoms.
Posted by R Wray, a resident of the Palo Verde neighborhood, on Apr 25, 2007 at 5:56 pm
The web-link is labeled from Fallujah 2004. Remember that we withdrew from Fallujah in 2004 because of our fear of civilian casualties. This cost us because we had to go back in 2005. The civilians (if they were that) were likely providing refuge to the insurgents. Their deaths are to the account of the insurgents.
In 2005 we allowed tens of thousands of people, including thousands of insurgents, to leave town before the battle began. This is one example why we lost the "war" in Iraq.