Thursday, March 22, 2007

Whither Canuckistan?


I remember the old days.

It was 2004 and despite all that had already happened many folks, myself included, still believed in the basic tenets of American exceptionalism.

Now to believe that you had to buy into the possibility that, viscious political tactics and ideological extremism notwithstanding, Mr. Bush and the folks that run him, are, at the most basic level, actually trying to do the right thing.

And so, back then, even after Abu Graihb broke, the most progressive and thoughful of American bloggers often held back.

Bloggers like Billmon.

Clearly, Billmon had a great admiration for Seymour Hersh, and while he gave the original Abu Ghraib relevations great play you could see that they also gave him great pause.

Because, while the initial revelations were an indictment of BushCo, as a thinking person who still believed in all that
could be good in an implied American exceptionalism, Billmon could not bring himself, at least in the beginning, to believe that the entire system was rotten to the core.

As a result, he really let fly at any and all posters who suggested that it was. Kate Storm, who we wrote about last week, was one of the ones that got hit in the cross-fire.

But then the deluge came, and even very skeptical people like Billmon came to realize what had truly become of their country.

....the revelations kept on coming, day after day, until the White House torture memos and the dead ghost prisoner wrapped in saran wrap finally came to light.

To his credit, Billmon changed his tune and let the posters go. But he himself started to slip when it became clear that most of the American ruling class, the So-Called-Liberal-Media, and a good chunk of the electorate just didn't give a damn.

And then he really lost his footing when he was forced to watch Colin Powell, up close and personal, soil himself, his State Department, and his country over and over again during a speech at a Davos meeting in Jordan.

After that Billmon disappeared, only to reappear a few months later with a vengeance just before the 2004 Presidential elections, at which time I wondered, perhaps in a slightly wild-eyed way, if what had happened there could ever happen here:

(Billmon first reappeared with) with a short, viscious rant on the OpEd page of the LA Times that was followed by a weird, HST-inspired, Mojo-Rising image on his site that came down almost as fast as it went up.

And now it looks like he's climbed the ladder to roof and has stepped out into the void once more.

This time around he pulls no punches, directly comparing the BushCo Loyalty oath that is being administered all over the U.S., and especially in swing states like Florida, to similar bouts of fascist flim-flammery that were so prevalent in pre-war Germany.

But what really scares him now is not so much the fact that the Rovians have stooped to this level of play acting, but rather the fact that the rank and file is lapping it up.

So, the question for us 'still feeling superior' Canadians is, if BushCo wins and the Anschluss
comes, will we roll over and play the lapdog too?

Now many among us still have grave concerns about that ever creeping, ever crawling Anschluss.

But, clearly, that is not our gravest concern at the moment.

Because, instead, the greatest danger is currently coming from within.

The evidence?

The very recent words of our sitting Prime Minister:

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Stephen Harper accused the Liberals of showing "passion" for the Taliban and not supporting Canadian troops Wednesday during a bitter exchange in the House of Commons after Grit Leader Stephane Dion called for the resignation of Defence Minister Gordon O’Connor.

"I can understand that the leader of the Opposition and members of his party feel for Taliban prisoners. I just wish occasionally they’d show the same passion for Canadian soldiers," Harper said in the House of Commons.

Why is this important?

Because it was tactics like these.........

Tactics like these, in which anyone who questioned fundamental policy decisions - decisions that, for example, could result in the banishment of captured prisoners to black holes of torture, were branded as traitorous or worse.

And it was tactics like those, everyone now realizes, that the Neocons used to start pushing the the snowball rolling towards the fires of hell down south.

And Dave, he of The Galloping Beaver, who knows of what he speaks. explains why this really, matters to us, right now, up here in Canada.

If prisoners are being handed over to another power and our commanders in theatre cannot confirm that those prisoners are being properly treated, then a war-crime is being committed.

Only Harper could translate a concern for protecting our forces from possible involvement in a war-crime as not supporting the troops.

Go and read Dave's entire post, it is very, very good indeed; but be forewarned, he does not mince words.



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