The Insanity of the Republican Party


America is headed towards a very dark place if they choose to believe the likes of Sharon Angle, the Republican candidate for US Senate in the state of Nevada.  Like so many others of her ilk, now running for public office she is able to make up statements to scare, intimidate, frighten voters into believing  her acts of demagoguery are what will save this Republic or that she alone, and the rest like her have the best interests of the people of America at heart.  I can’t imagine how or why anyone can think lying to make one fear their neighbor or fellow citizen is in the best interest of social order, but Angle is doing it and with gusto.

“My thoughts are these, first of all, Dearborn, Michigan, and Frankford, Texas are on American soil, and under constitutional law. Not Sharia law. And I don’t know how that happened in the United States,” she said. “It seems to me there is something fundamentally wrong with allowing a foreign system of law to even take hold in any municipality or government situation in our United States.”

 

This seems to be a recurring theme among racists Islamophobes, that a group of people can somehow take over the US,  supplanting the US Constitution with Islamic law.  Such beliefs should be enough to disqualify a person for public office because it shows an ignorance of the US political system; how detailed and involved a process it is that takes the participation of the entire electorate; that changing the Constitution cannot be imposed on people, yet Angle et.co are able to get people to fear that possibility.  Simply look at the city council of Dearborn, Michigan which has no Muslim members on it to consider the possibility what Angle suggests even more ludicrous.

What did happen that Angle failed to mention is what could very well happen, no doubt has happened in her state and at every level of government power and authority; the law enforcement arm of authority over-reacted in making an arrest because someone failed to adequately satisfy the arresting officer they were obeying his/her orders fast enough and with sufficient obsequiousness to avoid arrest. This has happened if officers are responsible for any event that puts them in contact with the public in any place in America.  The blogger Will Griggs has written extensively about this interaction between police and the citizens they are supposed to protect; routinely police see themselves as the sole authority when in contact with non-officers, without any allegiance to any ideology except their own.  The idea that the excesses made by Dearborn police were done on behalf of Islamic law, is as irresponsible as claiming torture or police brutality is done in the name of capitalism or democracy.  Moreover, the court system remedied the plaintiff’s arrest by finding them not guilty of the charges brought against them.  This finding of innocence was done by a local court by the way which further undermines  the spurious charge made by Angle of some vast Sharia conspiracy taking place in Dearborn.  None of that matters to the forces of demagoguery like Angle who presents a focal point for other like minded racist Islamophobes who despite all the evidence of their prosperity in ways far greater than the very people they want others to fear continue to play the victim game suffering from the interminable weight of Islamic sharia investing America’s shores.

An interesting aside to the talk about torture


Will Griggs who writes excellent pieces on is blog, Pro Libertate addresses frankly what it is people in the military are to do when confronted with commands from superiors that they commit illegal acts. Stopping along the way in his argument to point out that putting our soldiers in harms way is something they must expect when they enlist in the military, Griggs thinks there is no excuse for not releasing the photos.  He writes:

Yes, it’s entirely likely that releasing the photographs of torture and sexual assault — including homosexual rape and, God forgive us, the defilement of children — would lead to dangerous and potentially lethal complications for armed government employees who are killing people and destroying property in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere, countries they invaded and continue to occupy by force.

If our rulers were genuinely concerned about danger to “our troops,” they would release the Abu Ghraib documents and bring the troops home. There — problem solved! Instead, they are illegally suppressing the photos and keeping the troops in the field — and now letting it be known that the U.S. military will remain mired in Mesopotamia (which is the more tractable of the two ongoing conflicts) for another decade or longer.

Well stated and let’s not forget several commanders of troops in war theaters have already averred that decisions regarding the “interrogation”, read torture, of detainees have put American personnel in danger with the indigenous societies they occupy, yet we hardly hear any objection to such tactics raised on those grounds.  What the release of those pictures would entail is the inescapable conclusion that US personnel must be prosecuted for war crimes, or at the very least criminal behavior, as it did in the case of several army personnel currently serving time for their part in actions caught on camera.

Griggs takes things a step further than any other writer I have read to date.  He chides and refutes the official reason for not releasing the photos, ‘the consequence would be to imperil our troops, the only protectors of our foreign policy’ by saying, ‘the foreign policy referred to entails open-ended entanglements in the affairs of nearly every nation on earth, as well as plundering huge sums from taxpayers to sustain a grotesquely huge military establishment and bribe political elites abroad. That foreign policy cultivates misery and harvests war and terrorism.’  Griggs thinks, as do I, that there should be consequences for illegal activity and if releasing the photos causes some to fear those consequences, so be it.

Although I wish harm or death on no human being, it seems to me a good idea to adjust the current set of incentives in such a way that at least some American military personnel, as they deal with another gust of blowback, will have an overdue confrontation with their conscience and decide unilaterally to end their service of the world’s largest criminal enterprise, the government of the United State (spelling intentional).

Am I trying to incite desertion? Reducing the matter to terms simple enough for Sean Hannity to understand them — yes, I am, where desertion is the only way to avoid upholding an immoral, unsustainable policy and serving a depraved Regime. Desertion is a moral imperative when continued service implicates a soldier in crimes against God and mankind.

Perhaps that is one of the consequences the military establishment is trying to avoid, i.e. the moral awakening of its enlisted corps and their refusal to support goals that are anathema to American values. It’s a particularly sticky situation for politicians to espouse American values which include life, and liberty while asking people to risk their lives to curtail those very things either on a foreign and distant soil or on our own here in America. The turmoil caused by an awakening that such requests are inconsistent with all we’ve been taught is probably more traumatic than fighting the war itself. I have often wondered whether this conflict in the soul of the military is the reason for such a high incidence of suicide in the military; if that were the case, desertion would be a far better alternative.  Griggs makes a very powerful and strong case for members of the US military not remain within the military as long as it asks them to commit illegal and morally reprehensible acts against people under its authority. I fully concur.  Well done, Mr. Griggs!