Wednesday, June 01, 2005
Pacific Commentary for May 27, 2005
The saddest words ever spoken were, "It might have been."
Our powerful nation might have led the world into abolishing nuclear weapons. We have all the necessary technology. We simply do not have the will. And don't let anyone say this is not realistic. The realists of the world know that nuclear weapons will either be abolished or used. There is no room for debate on this issue. It is our lack of leadership which is unrealistic. The entire world can see our duplicity in presuming that we can have tens of thousands of nukes as we point the finger at other nations who might possibly have one nuke.
Our powerful nation might have led the world in humanitarian law. With a leadership vacuum we have torture as an official policy. Torture is an international crime and the very definition of terrorism. Torture has never been a source of information; on the contrary, it is conducted to obtain false confessions, to terrorize those who have not yet been tortured or as a source of "entertainment" for psychotics. Some rebel groups in Latin America discovered the wisdom of treating their captives well. In some cases the captives not only spoke the truth but also changed sides.
Our powerful nation might have led the world in restraining the sale of weapons. On the contrary, we continue to sell arms to every possible dictatorship on the planet.
What might have been is America as a beacon to the world. On the contrary, we have become the disgust of the world by our lawless, mean spirited, violent, small minded, racist and stupid policies.
Amnesty International referred to the atrocious human rights violations of the Bush administration which diminish the moral authority of the United States and sets a global example encouraging abuse by other nations. The list of accusations which introduced Amnesty International's annual report in London mentioned crimes by the United States including: torture of detainees in Iraq, torture of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, and rendition of prisoners to a country known to practice torture. Amnesty further stated that the United States "thumbs its nose at the rule of law and human rights."
Rather than what might have been a light to the world, this group of war criminals has no legitimate claim to the tax money of our hard working citizens.
We don't have to focus on what might have been. But we must focus our attention on what is going to be and that means humane leadership for a humane future.