by Tom White by Tom White
I believe one is supposed to watch out for Schadenfreude; it is thought very wicked to enjoy the discomfiture of one's enemies. It is also extremely difficult to avoid it while still human and afflicted with the weaknesses involved in being conditioned by Original Sin.
Ever since it ran in the New York Times April 30, 2003, I have saved a front-page color photograph of the man I call to myself "Donald of Arabia." Somehow it seemed a veritable icon of our crazy adventure in the Middle East. It is a masterpiece of portraiture: the title might be simply: "The Conqueror." There he is in his lonely eminence, midst a crowd.
The entire Bush outfit is now discredited. I know because I was in the Navy and learned that whatever happens in the military, the responsibility belongs to the man in charge. Hitler understood that and checked out as the Allies closed in. His fellow German "leaders" were rounded up and stood trial and were held responsible for the whole batch of crimes the Nazis perpetrated. Long jail sentences, further suicides, universal obloquy. No rehabilitation yet.
I do not see how those utterly awful, damning, outrageous, sickening photographs are going to be lived down by any of the lot who oversaw the enterprise of which they are now the single most famous element. And they are likely to remain so as long as the memory of man runneth over these years. The strongest nation in the world's history is caught in the most disreputable postures of the modern era. Gross, tasteless, cruel, pornographic torture engaged in for "intelligence."
What was needed was precisely some intelligence, but it was and is not available to this bandit Bush regime. True intelligence is spiritual insight, and that is what is entirely wanting at our top levels, because the Spirit bloweth where it listeth; and it is plain it listeth not in the direction of our Eminences these days. We are hoist as a nation. We are shamed in the world's eyes, every one of us, for complicity in this whole awful thing. It is cousin-german to the murder of Christ. Who did it? We did it.
Where is the Congress when we need it? When shall there be a motion to impeach one or more of the posturers at the top of the political heap? When shall there be a rising up of the people with a mighty rejection of our so-called Establishment? When, in the name of God, will there be a retreat from Iraq and an apology issued to Iraq and the world for a terrible transgression?
Tom White [send him mail] writes from Odessa, Texas. He is the author of Bill W., A Different Kind of Hero: The Story of Alcoholics Anonymous (2003).