Saturday, March 26, 2005

America, Land of Bombs & Money

"Easter is the victory of light over darkness. In this season of renewal, we remember that hope leads us closer to truth, and that in the end, even death itself will be defeated. That is the promise of Easter morning."
U.S. President George W. Bush, National radio address on Saturday, March 26th. (CNN)

Yes, Pres. Bush. Death will be defeated by praying to Jesus. Perhaps the thousands of marines in Iraq can say hail marys as their unarmoured humvees get shot at by stray AK-47 and RPG fire.

When 16-year old Jeff Weise decided to shoot up his school, he was taking the path of violence and destruction that most of us would abhor. He should have joined the U.S. Army. That way, he could have killed as many "insurgents" as he wanted without risking a murder charge.

"A senior (U.S.) Army legal official acknowledged that the Iraqi colonel had at one point been lifted to his feet by a baton held to his throat, and that that action had caused a throat injury that contributed to his death.

The Army accounting said the Special Forces Command had determined that the use of force had been lawful 'in response to repeated aggression and misconduct by the detainee.'

Despite recommendations by Army investigators, commanders have decided not to prosecute 17 American soldiers implicated in the deaths of three prisoners in Iraq and Afghanistan in 2003 and 2004, according to a new accounting released Friday by the Army."

"Pentagon Will Not Try 17 GI's Implicated in Prisoners' Deaths" (NYT)

Killing is wrong any way you look at it. When you're the most powerful nation on the earth, you have a moral duty to limit the spread of violence and the distribution of arms.

Instead, America is the biggest purveyor of weapons on the globe. Just days ago, they announced the sale of F-16 multi-purpose jet fighters to Pakistan, no doubt due to Pakistan's half-hearted attempts at catching Bin Laden, America's Emmanuel Goldstein. Never mind the fact that India has protested that this will only escalate tensions in the region.

If there is a point to all of this, America's establishment will recoil in horror when one of its own sons decides to pick up a rifle and begin killing his classmates, but they think it's just fine to spread violence elsewhere in the world by selling kill-machines and bombs to other nations. Don't they see the relation between having weapons and using them?

U.S., do us all a favour. Sign on to Kyoto, sign the Landmines ban, join the International Criminal Court, and stop thinking that you're some sort of empire. Your downhill slide is already apparent to many independent observers, anyhow. While you're at it, start teaching Mandarin or Japanese in your classrooms. They'll own you before the century is through.

Oh, and Happy Easter!