A Blog devoted to progressive politics, environmental issues, LGBT issues, social justice, workers' rights, womens' rights, and, most importantly, Cats.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Iraq: War Crimes

They're coming to light. U.K. troops have apparently participated in some hideous crimes against humanity, and the details are now emerging.

Much as we despise this sort of thing, we have to confess that we are not always able to handle knowing about it. Sometimes we have to force ourselves to read about man's inhumanity to man, and then we despair of the human race. If you're of a sensitive nature, please take it easy in reading the linked article. Read it slowly, or a bit at a time. Keeping one's sense of perspective is difficult. We have to know what they did because we have to take action against it. Failure to act makes us complicit in these crimes. But immersing oneself in this depressing information can render us unable to act.

So, perspective is important. Crimes have been committed against humanity by troops of all nations who have fought in Iraq and Afghanistan. Yet, not all soldiers are devoid of humanity. There are good and bad, or strong and weak, people everywhere. It is our duty to uncover the crimes and acknowledge them, bring them to daylight and trial, and make reparations for them. And then to forgive the criminals and rehabilitate their victims.

The bill is coming due for the terrible things that we inflicted upon the helpless populations of two small, poor countries. If you don't want it visited upon your children's heads, and their children's children, act now to stop this unjust and immoral war of occupation in Iraq. We need the truth about what is happening there, not happy-shiny babble about "progress" and "success" even as people are tortured and killed on a daily basis, some of them by our own troops. Who then come home to torture and kill our own.

Lent is coming &mdash for many, a time of reflection and penance. Perhaps you could consider joining NTodd in his protest against the war. Perhaps we could all set a goal for ourselves, to write one or more letters each day to a select group of people, such as our congressional representative, our Senator, our state legislator(s), the mayor of our town, our city councilmembers, the editor of our local paper, the editor of one or more national papers. We could give up food, or entertainment, or our cellphones, as some are doing. Perhaps you could join the Freeway Blogger, or the doughty Michiganders of Wyandotte, bundle up, stand out on a street corner, hold a sign. Perhaps you could talk to your neighbours, your State election officials, volunteer to monitor the vote.

We all have to do something. Because that's what a democracy is &mdash a government of, by, and for the people. That means us!

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