Uncivil Discourse

Because civility is overrated.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Those Goddamned Definitions

So, a team of GIs are missing in Afghanistan. Let's play with a hypothetical, shall we?

Suppose next week we get pictures of them in a cave. A few, maybe 3-4 Talibs are with them. In these pictures, the GIs are forced to simulate gay sex acts in front of their Taliban captors and some burqa-clad women? And what if those Talibs were standing there with their shit-eatin' grins, smiling and with their thumbs up, guns pointed at the soldiers' cocks?

What if we got reports about Bibles or Constitutions somehow having urine splashed on them, by some great fucking mysterious process that nobody can explain? What if they were chained to the ground, under the hot Afghan sun, and left there without food or water to shit and piss on themselves?

Do you think it would make a goddamned difference if the Taliban leadership said this behavior was anti-Islamic? Would Rush Limbaugh be sitting there talking about what a fucking resort that cave is, because the soldiers got lemon shishkabob and two, not one, but two, types of fruit? How lucky the GIs are to be able to defecate on themselves, because, shit, the Nazis didn't let the Jews do that? Would we all collectively shake our heads, sigh, and condemn those few bad apples who give the Taliban a bad name? Maybe Michelle Malkin would point out that prisoners get treated worse in the jails of Afghanistan! Or would we want to pull out of Iraq and send our entire army (or maybe just Rambo) in to fuck that country up its ass all over again, giving it a carpet bombing that made what we did to Cambodia look like a throw rug bombing?

And somehow, we're surprised or disgusted that this is the Muslim world's response to our excesses. Cause, see, we've defined ourselves to be better than anyone else. It doesn't matter if we fall into a decadence that makes Rome look like Geneva, Caligula like Calvin (other than them both being fucking insane). We'll still, by and large, be going around talking about bad apples and how we're the best nation on earth and how dare you make historical comparisons to anybody, you fucking troop-hating shithead? No, we're the greatest nation on earth, and if we don't act like it, that doesn't say anything about us; and a lack of outrage certainly doesn't say anything about the state of our national character. Definitions, man, definitions. We're not the greatest because we've had, enshrined in our fucking founding documents, notions of rights and freedoms that were completely revolutionary. How could we be when our leaders have done their best to strip that shit away? After all, we're still number one, right? Go team, etc.

The reason no one would go around shaking their heads about bad apples in the Taliban is because they've clearly demonstrated they don't give a shit, from top to bottom, that they hate and despise us and all that we care about. And when we look in the mirror, what do we have? A man who formulated an argument to get around the Geneva Conventions elevated to Secretary of Detainee Ass-Raping, otherwise known in this administration as Attorney General. A president who can't be bothered to take responsibility for anything while sucking up to the religious right, which has denounced Islam as a "wicked" religion and who has issued a document trail authorizing immunity from the law for certain accessories to torture, and then was fucking re-elected. A nation whose reaction to the Abu Ghraib pictures seemed to involve more masturbating than outcrying (are we that fucking sexually repressed as a country?). Motherfuckers like Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter polluting the airwaves and bookstores with their tripe, while millions of us lap it up. A (so far small but not insignificant) group of soldiers who lack the education and moral judgement to be able to say "No, I won't follow that order, and if you want someone tortured, do itself, you fuckhead."

And, in the end, maybe after staring in the mirror enough, we'll realize that there is no "we" and "them." There's just "us." We all hate the same, focus on ourselves the same. The only difference is that we can restrain ourselves better. Or at least we could. Welcome to George W. Bush's America, where freedoms are on the decline and rhetoric is cheap, like condoms at a whorehouse, and where we don't even need to bother pretending we've got the values we associate with the United States, because, by definition, we're better than all those other poor shitheads out there who don't get to be us.