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Entries in torture (1)

Wednesday
May122004

Backsliding

Man, I felt like... well, I don't know how I felt today. Numb? Disgusted? Sad? Overwhelmed? Deceived?

I already had a long few months here, with school and all. Been busy. Lots of mental energy, lots of physical action. That much I was beginning to handle okay. But then yesterday happened, with that Nick Berg story. Now, I saw the Daniel Pearl video two years ago, and have seen some crazy stuff in books or magazines or on the web, so I was primed to see this video. I didn't.

The tragedy at hand is one thing. Dude got his head cut off. It's bad, no doubt, but the thing that scares the living shit out of me is that, at least to me, in my life, we have crossed this threshold in the last few years (and even in the last few days with the prison pictures). I was sort of sheltered from a lot of stuff, as it seems we all were, but the realization that we have fucked up so badly as a nation that we now can count on seeing some payback. That is alarming. I don't know who to pin the blame on. Sure, the government has its share of idiots, but these losers who were humiliating the Iraqis were free agent losers, acting on their own behalf, for their own enjoyment. If not, they wouldn't be taking pictures and smiling. No, these are people who obviously were enjoying themselves. Good going, fucksticks. Your little bit of recreation has now really secured our national fate as a target for those who hate us, and are determined to prove it. Oceans don't stand any longer between us and them, and now no one needs a military to put us in fear. I find myself pining for the good old Cold War days when we knew who the enemy was, what he was capable of doing, and what he was likely to do, and that maybe he cared enough to save his own people. It all seemed so simple then.

Oh, for those little twits, they will lose their jobs, get public shame, but for all Americans, we will be branded as targets, no matter where we set foot in the world. Everyone is playing dirty now.

Kelli and I talked briefly about the beheading, and she told me she had to pull off the road to cry. Even I found myself not able to hold back today. These are still rather small acts of brutality, but these, in the last week, are just loaded with symbolism. I wasn't crying so much for Berg. I know it's sort of heartless sounding, but I don't think it was too wise for an American Jew to go to Iraq in 2004 for any reason. I was upset that there will be more of that sort of stuff. It will take a lot of getting-on-knees and begging for forgiveness to even hope to erase the debt we ran up with the release of these pictures. I'm not certain it would work, with tensions running so high. I can easily see the remainder of my lifetime being poisoned by the fallout from these events.

Today, I got a feeling of my old depression. It was the feeling of there being no future worth living. Kelli and I used to joke about moving to Canada. The more I think about it, the more I like it. I am totally ashamed to be an American now, in light of this news. I really am. And everyone should be. America never was innocent, but we did at least fool the world into believing that nonsense, and maybe, just maybe we really did occupy some higher moral ground in our principles. It might have happened. Now, I fear no matter what we say, the lie won't be taken like it was before.

Killing our little idiot MPs would be too easy. So would putting a Scarlet Letter on them. They should be made to go on tour to give lessons about the Founding Fathers and our national documents, and the ethical implications they carry. Oh yeah, and they should do this naked with their hands tied behind their backs, in a pyramid.