Saturday, November 20, 2004

The bonfire of the American morality Nov. 20, 2004

The bonfire of the American morality
11-20-04 Arab American Media Services
Permission granted to republish

By Ray Hanania

America is a nation that is in transformation. Once the pillar of America’s greatness, the righteous values of justice are slowly being consumed by a national rage based on lies, racism and hate.

Many Americans would rather embrace the lie so they don’t have to come to terms with their own ugliness or hate. Ugliness becomes relative. It is acceptable when you can make the person you hate seem even uglier.

Today’s Americans are cultivating principles based on "New Speak." Atrocity becomes justified with the clever use of labels. The killer is acceptable as long as the victim is someone designated as a the unacceptable, or today’s "terrorist."

"Horrors of war are unavoidable," Americans scream as they dance around the flames of hate. As long as victims are "the other people."

Even the meaning of the word "terrorist" is redefined in the "New Speak." It is no longer about humanity, morality or righteous principles of justice. It is a mob-like hate-vision.

We see evidence of this in America everyday as we divide the world not in terms of right and wrong, but "us" versus "them."

An American soldier kills a wounded Iraqi in cold-blood, clearly the tip of an iceberg of atrocities unreported by the media. Rather than disgust, many Americans want to punish the people who made this atrocity public.

In stark contrast, there is no limit to their moral outrage against Islamic terrorists who have committed similar acts of butchery by beheading hostages. There are no limits to the atrocities and injustice that can be wiped clean in the new American equation of "us" versus "them."
We are at the bonfire of American morality. Nothing burns brighter in this hate than justice, righteousness, morality and principles that define human dignity.

Atrocity is judged by the races and politics of the victims and the victimizer. When the victim is one of "us," Americans are outraged. When the victim is one of "them," the atrocity is justified.
The sickness becomes the norm especially when the media surrenders to the mob and embraces rather than challenges the lies.

The American news media is in a voluntary bondage and worse, in widespread denial. The absence of ethics becomes promiscuous. Professional journalism is replaced by entertainment news that is based on viciousness and cruelty. Emotional fantasies replace hard facts.

From there, it is a mere half-step to a future when the mob will demand even more in Roman-like glee.

At some point, they won’t even pretend. The "guilty" will be fed to the lions of our hatred.

Justice will be replaced by public entertainment. The new judges will stand behind the microphones fanning the bonfires of American morality, cheering on the viciousness. Gleefully dancing around the bonfires of a corrupt morality. Spewing hate-talk and fomenting greater racism as New Speak. Listeners will scream mental chants of "Death! Death! Death!"

The evidence is there everyday. The icons of the new media allow people to foment hate. On one recent show, Palestinians are described as "filthy animals" encouraged by the talk show host who declares to the coliseum that it is acceptable to dehumanize those with whom we hate.

But you can never satiate the hunger of the mob bonfire. Just calling someone a "filthy animal" will not be enough. If you can dehumanize a human being, you can then obliterate that human life. And then sit with your family and bounce a child on your knee and even speak of greatness and a great world free of fear and violence. Once you have destroyed all of "them."

The first casualty becomes the obliteration of the line between right and wrong. Morality is redefined based on but on the racial and religious origins of the dehumanized victim.

It’s in the nature of racism and hatred.

America is a nation fast becoming a coliseum of uniformed minds. The New Speak is spreading. We wave our American Flag with an emotion that is weighed both by love and hate until hate becomes equal and even surpasses what is right.

The glow of the bonfire of American morality is a crematoria of hatred where the slaughtered vanish in smoke.

And when the smoke is gone from the skies, we can pretend it never happened.

Unless a new Moses comes down from the mountaintop and destroys the idol of the calf fashioned from the charred remains of a once golden morality.

END

1 comment:

Ray said...

Follow-up on American morality going up in a bonfire ...

Jan. 2, 2005
Reuters
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A reported U.S. plan to keep some suspected terrorists imprisoned for a lifetime even if the government lacks evidence to charge them in courts was swiftly condemned on Sunday as a "bad idea" by a leading Republican senator.

The Pentagon and the CIA have asked the White House to decide on a more permanent approach for those it was unwilling to set free or turn over to U.S. or foreign courts, the Washington Post said in a report that cited intelligence, defense and diplomatic officials.

Some detentions could potentially last a lifetime, the newspaper said.

Influential senators denounced the idea as probably unconstitutional.

"It's a bad idea. So we ought to get over it and we ought to have a very careful, constitutional look at this," Republican Sen. Richard Lugar of Indiana, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee said on "Fox News Sunday."

Sen. Carl Levin of Michigan, senior Democrat on the Armed Services Committee, cited earlier U.S. Supreme Court decisions. "There must be some modicum, some semblance of due process ... if you're going to detain people, whether it's for life or whether it's for years," Levin said, also on Fox.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The State Department declined comment and a Pentagon spokeswoman, Lt. Col. Ellen Krenke of the Air Force, had no information on the reported plan.

As part of a solution, the Defense Department, which holds 500 prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, plans to ask the U.S. Congress for $25 million to build a 200-bed prison to hold detainees who are unlikely to ever go through a military tribunal for lack of evidence, defense officials told the Washington Post.

The new prison, dubbed Camp 6, would allow inmates more comfort and freedom than they have now, and would be designed for prisoners the government believes have no more intelligence to share, the newspaper said.

"It would be modeled on a U.S. prison and would allow socializing among inmates," the paper said.

"Since global war on terror is a long-term effort, it makes sense for us to be looking at solutions for long-term problems," Bryan Whitman, a Pentagon spokesman, was quoted as saying. "This has been evolutionary, but we are at a point in time where we have to say, 'How do you deal with them in the long term?"'

The Post said the outcome of a review under way would also affect those expected to be captured in the course of future counterterrorism operations.

One proposal would transfer large numbers of Afghan, Saudi and Yemeni detainees from the U.S. military's Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, detention center into new U.S.-built prisons in their home countries, it said.

The prisons would be operated by those countries, but the State Department, where this idea originated, would ask them to abide by recognized human rights standards and would monitor compliance, a senior administration official was quoted as saying.

© Reuters 2005. All Rights Reserved.

END