September 17th, 2008
Dictators do not appear overnight. They must gradually assume more and more power over time so that the population does not realize what is going on, or does not feel it is worthwhile to object.
But to maintain control, dictators “seduce” their population into greater and greater atrocities, over time. There is more than simply acclimating the population involved to the dictator’s agenda. By tricking the population into acceptance of greater and greater atrocities, the dictator will eventually reach a position where the people will be too afraid to examine what they themselves have become. Trapped by the fear of examining themselves, such people turn into the most fanatical of the dictator’s supporters. They dare not look at the dictator’s evil for to do so is to look at their own. Once the dictator can trick his people past that point, they are his slaves. Hitler used this tactic. So did Stalin.
The people of the United States stand at that point right now. That the US Government is using torture on POWs (just as Hitler did) is beyond argument. One can either stand up and denounce that torture and demand the firing of all who took part in it (and the end of the war), or one is by default complicit, an accessory after the fact, seen by all to condone such barbarism.
Anyone who steps across that line is trapped. Unable to look at what they themselves have become they will refuse to look at what the government has become, indeed will create or accept any justification, no matter how thin and transparent, rather than question that government. And indeed this web site gets email from people who have already crossed that point, and are trying to explain why torture is really necessary “this time”.
So, you are down to a choice. There is no more being neutral, or sitting on the fence. As Bush himself said, you are either with him or against him, and unless you are actively against him and his war machine, then he wins by default. Unless you stop them now, sooner or later, Bush and the NeoCons will succeed in turning this nation into the 21st century version of Nazi Germany, powered by fanatics so afraid to look in a mirror that they will inflict any pain on any people, rather than do so.
Time to decide.