The Writing Is On The Wall

The writing is on the wall.  It is self-evident that we immediately need to establish a commission to further investigate our torture policies in the Iraq war and perhaps take punitive measures against those responsible.  This commission must be nonpartisan, not bipartisan, because we all know that there is no such thing as bipartisan.  Mr. President, I am sorry if this process will detract  and derail you from your forward looking agenda; the fact is we can not move ahead unless we deal with what came before.

The usual, wonderful suspects all wrote intelligently, factually and convincingly today on this issue.  You know who they are, i.e. Frank Rich and Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times, Steve Weissman of Truthout, Arianna Huffington of the Huffington Post (I will include links to these articles at the end of this post.).  The general take seems to be that the Bush administration carried out their torture practices, after having gotten a “legal” opinion from the Department of Justice, in order to justify the Iraq war.  If ties between Al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein could be established, then our foray into Iraq, and our commitment to the over-generalized, all-encompassing fuzzy War on Terror would have been based on solid reason.  Twisted, and oh so backwards; a veritable “back-fill” of convoluted and manufactured logic.

But that is history.  The one burning question I have is: why did Bush and his cronies push so hard to enter a war with Iraq?  Could it have been because of oil?  After all, Iraq sits on a significant chunk of the world’s oil resources.  Could it have been because Cheney, in wanting to secure huge profits for his company, Halliburton (which did reap a ten-fold profit increase during this time), was so personally single-minded?  Could the reason for entry into this war have been Bush’s attempt at going one better than his Daddy did in the Gulf War and nab Saddam Hussein?  I need to find the answer to this question of purpose.

I may be delusional in trying to discover a rational basis for the Iraq War.  I do know that the attacks of 9/11 were atrocious and retaliatory measures were called for.  However, those attacks were used by the administration, coupled with a campaign to abuse and play on America’s fears, to fulfill their own agenda, whatever that may have been.  To justify our presence in Iraq would have given the Bush administration the votes and, following naturally from that consensus, further approval to use their time in office for personal and/or ideological selfish aims.  Our shock, anger and fear after 9/11 was so raw and painful that of course we were susceptible to our leaders’ wishes.  After all, they were our leaders, right?

Wrong.  This is the real frightening aspect of the mess that needs to be cleaned up now: distorted visions of truth and justice must not be used to fulfill personal vendettas and ideologies.  Thus, President Obama, no matter how decent he is in his wish to fix  America’s plethora of problems, must face this stain on our recent past and take whatever action is necessary to cleanse it.  I know, I know.  Multitasking can be a bitch.  But when President Obama released these ten telling memos to the public a couple of weeks ago, the chances were that the outcry would only escalate.  So it has.  The President is an intelligent workaholic; he will now need to move his multitasking skills up one more notch to include a serious investigation into our torture practices. Plus, if our President chooses not to proceed with this investigation, it would be not only a blocking of forward progress, but also a repudiation of our founding principles and laws that would invalidate our entire 200 year old existence.

As lucky as we have been since 9/11 in that there have been no similar attacks on U. S. soil, this luck will inevitably fail.  If and when an attack occurs, it still shall remain an abomination to our laws to use illegal tactics to gain information or retaliate.  Two wrongs do not make a right.  Never have and never will.

President Obama’s tenure is his alone, but the United States of America is, philosophically and ideologically, an ongoing entity that knows no artificial time constraints between administrations.  It is a wonderful continuum based on the phenomenal articles of our Constitution that can not be broken by any current person in power.  Our first loyalty is to this country and the ideals on which it was founded.  Then, and only then, may we subscribe to personal political loyalties.

Mr. Obama: the writing is on the wall.

For Your Sunday Reading:

http://www.truthout.org/042509A

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/arianna-huffington/the-torture-moment_b_190687.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/26/opinion/26rich.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/26/opinion/26kristof.html

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