November 16, 2004

An Amazing Four Years

It just occurred to me gathering up some links to post here how many truly unbelievable states of mind I've experienced during the first four years of this administration. Things that, if you'd told me would happen in the year 2000, I would have said you were out of your tree. A sample:

Found self agreeing with Pat Buchanan. On Iraq, as it happens, but that's no consolation.

Have missed Gingrich, Reagan, Bush I, wondered why country isn't lucky enough to have somebody like Richard Nixon in office.

Often questioned paying taxes, because I no longer believe the government has any intention of doing something useful with the money.

Felt sorry for the CIA.

These dissonant thoughts don't begin to cover the numerous shocks I've become used to getting along with my daily news, often triggering a mantra of disbelief that begins "Are they talking about *this* country..."

Today's outrages included the revelation that along with sending the occasional deportee to Syria, it's become a routine practice to send detainees to Egypt, Syria, and Uzbekistan for interrogation. As if Egyptian and Syrian torture practices weren't bad enough, we now subcontract to Uzbekistan, where people can be boiled alive and their grieving mothers sentenced to hard labor for protesting it. They boil people alive, for gods' sake, and that's who the current US government funds and befriends. Then there was the unprovoked shooting of a wounded and abandoned man in a mosque in Fallujah. After Abu Ghraib, it's hard not to respond with the weary thought that well, this was just the one they caught on film.

Speaking of Abu Ghraib, I thought it was bad enough that several former Iran-Contra felons had been rehired into government by the Bush administration, The Sequel. And I thought I was outraged when they got tripped up in lunacy like the attempted coup in Venezuela and the (hopefully) abortive Total Information Awareness project, though relieved that incompetence seemed to have trumped bad intent. Now we hear that the guy who drafted the memo purporting to lay out the legal underpinnings for torturing detainees in Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib, possibly the worst human relations disaster in my lifetime, will be the new Attorney General. You just had to know they were capable of finding someone more infuriating than John Ashcroft, and true to form, Team Bush didn't disappoint.

Even worse, only in today's America could the man who drafted that now infamous torture memo be seriously referred to as a moderate in an article calling the legal fiasco 'controversial.' Salt in the wound of hearing supporters of torture praised for their morality and values.

I can't say I'm looking forward to it, but I'm interested to see what other previously unbelievable things I'll hear about over the next four years. No doubt I'll be experiencing a lot of another alien emotion to a news junkie like myself, the strong desire to know nothing at all about what's happening in the world. I can finally relate to that one, too.

Posted by natasha at November 16, 2004 10:46 PM | Random Mumblings | Technorati links |

Ignorance is bliss. It must be. Just look at
how many people may have voted for Bush. Or
take a trip to a red state. The red is for

Posted by: mikefromtexas at November 16, 2004 11:00 PM

While I understand, and have reconsidered Nixon in fresh lights, I don't miss him. He was better than Bush, but it's a comparison between degrees of diarrhea, imo.

Posted by: Kevin Hayden at November 17, 2004 05:38 AM

The last few years have been an INVERSE America in my eyes:

Posted by: TABS at November 17, 2004 12:22 PM