Wednesday, December 19, 2007

America's gulag, America's shame

Read, then come back here.

You're back? Okay. So who's to blame for allowing the President to open his own private gulag to disappear random people into with no evidence, no due process of law, nothing but sham "hearings" no different from Soviet show trials? I can't name him or her, but I can show you his or her picture. Go into your bathroom. There is a picture of this person hanging above the lavatory, generally. Or maybe on the medicine cabinet. Examine this person carefully. Does this person look familiar?

I don't exclude myself from this, of course. I can do the same thing. I'm just an average American, after all. The average American is too complacent, too comfortable, too… bought… to actually *do* anything. It takes about 1/3rd of the population actually *doing something* to effect any real change, until then it’s “oh my what a shame” then back to our sheep-like consumer-lifestyle grazing. Oh sure, we may blather and rant on the Internet, but actually do what it takes to bring democracy back to America? Uhm, no. Might get arrested. Might lose my job. Might have my car taken away. Whatever.

Note that this is also how Saddam Hussein stayed in power. Saddam was a nasty character. But Saddam was careful to not come down hard on ordinary Iraqis. If you were an ordinary Iraqi, the streets were safe, you had food and drinking water, and if you had no job Saddam found some work for you somewhere such as building a useless palace in the desert. Saddam came down on people who opposed his rule ruthlessly, but if you kept your mouth shut, life in Saddam’s Iraq was okay. So most people did not do anything about Saddam’s rule. It’s not because they lacked the capability — as we’ve now found out, every Iraqi home had an AK-47, an RPG, and the ammo for them — it’s because they simply *did not care*.

The average American today is similar to the average Iraqi in Saddam’s time. They *do not care*. Until the average American cares more about democracy than about his home, his car, his job, etc., democracy in America will no more happen than democracy in Saddam’s Iraq happened.

- Badtux the Subversive Penguin


  1. What you don't really touch on is this: Bush has arrogated to himself the power to decide, without review, who is an "enemy combatant." The Bush Administration has claimed that it can designate anyone in the world, in any location, as an enemy combatant and snatch them into the Gitmo Gulag.

    The main differences between George Bush and Josef Stalin are that Bush permits some level of dissent and Stalin was orders-of-magnitude more brutal. But they are, at their core, the same.

    It is no coincidence that Bush gets along so well with Putin.

  2. My friend, you've nailed it. We live under a velvet totalitarianism, and as long as it's not "us" being locked up, we just turn up the ipod. I want to scream at people that we should be in the streets demanding our constitutional rights, but the vast majority don't see the problem.


Ground rules: Comments that consist solely of insults, fact-free talking points, are off-topic, or simply spam the same argument over and over will be deleted. The penguin is the only one allowed to be an ass here. All viewpoints, however, are welcomed, even if I disagree vehemently with you.

WARNING: You are entitled to create your own arguments, but you are NOT entitled to create your own facts. If you spew scientific denialism, or insist that the sky is purple, or otherwise insist that your made-up universe of pink unicorns and cotton candy trees is "real", well -- expect the banhammer.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.