late accidental president, Gerald Ford, was eulogized for being a
"healer," for bringing the nation together after Watergate, and for
pardoning Richard Nixon before he could be prosecuted for his crimes.
Those like Mr. Cheney who praised Mr. Ford the most are, undoubtedly,
pressing their own cases for presidential absolution when Mr. Bush's
Conservative reactionaries have also used
Mr. Ford's funeral to stroke American liberals' soft spot for 'peace and
reconciliation'. Liberals beware: it is a ruse to avoid
responsibility for the devastation wrought by America, its leaders and our
The only praise that Mr. Ford deserved is for not being as god-awful as
his predecessor. His pardon of Richard Nixon was absolutely not
praiseworthy. Reconciliation can come only after the truth is laid
bare. After Mr. Nixon had been indicted, tried, bared the truth and
confessed the errors of his ways, only then -- perhaps -- could the nation
have begun the "healing" process.
The US did not "heal" after it lost the War in Vietnam because it never
got to the root problem: why was the United States in Vietnam in the first
place? Because the illness was never properly diagnosed or treated, the
agents of disease became dormant, survived, and finally erupted in lethal
sickness during the Reagan Administration's war on Central America and
during the current Administration's Global War on Terror. Indeed, the Bush
Administration is lousy with Typhoid Marys (both male and female) whose
history of geopolitical plague includes the carpet bombing of Cambodia,
the defoliation of Vietnam, the de-democratization of Central America, the
repeated attacks on Haiti, Panama, Grenada, Honduras, El Salvador and
Guatemala. Many of them recycled from earlier presidencies, these
disease-carriers have been some of the highest ranking officials in, and
outside advisers to, the Bush Administration.
That is why in post-apartheid South Africa there could only be
reconciliation after there had been investigations, full
disclosure, genuine repentance and repudiation of the government's
violent, racist and discriminatory policies.
You do not "heal" a boil on the body politic by just plastering over it.
You have to lance the boil, get the pus out, disinfect it.
The chorus of pundits calling for the Democratically controlled Congress
to "work with" President Bush and to lay aside "politics" want to poultice
a very large and dirty wound.
Remove the gangrene or it will spread to other parts of the body. In the
federal scheme of the US Constitution, gangrenous infections are expunged
by impeachment. There is no other way short of the more fundamental cure
described in the Declaration of Independence.
More than 650,000 Iraqis are dead with countless thousands more severely
wounded. Iraqi society, the most modern and secular of all Arab states,
has been utterly crushed through decades of deliberate, systematic US
foreign policy that spans both Republican and Democratic administrations.
More than 3,000 American soldiers are dead with another 31,000 GIs whose
war-related injuries or illness required them to be medically
air-evacuated from Iraq. Add to that thousands more civilians killed in
Afghanistan, hundreds more dead American soldiers in "Operation Enduring
Freedom" and thousands of GIs requiring medical air evacuation from that
theater of the Global War on Terror.
We need an answer: that "noble cause" that everyone and Casey Sheehan died
for, was it all so that America could hang Hussein?
But it is not just the human death and misery for which our leadership has
to account. It is also the murder of the American Constitution and the
Bill of Rights whose cadavers we demand that the 110th Congress raise up,
Lazarus-like, to life again. It is the death of New Orleans, the demise of
domestic comity, the evisceration of Americans' health care, the
strangulation of public schools and libraries, the assault on the aged and
the poor and the down-and-out, the billyclubbing of labor and small local
businesses, the rape of the environment, the brass-knuckled punch in the
face of privacy, all of which require full disclosure, truth, repentance
before there can be reconciliation.
It is not yet time for bipartisan cooperation. It is not yet time for
handshakes. First, non-partisanship, not bipartisanship is
the issue, because there is much more at stake than whether Democrats
and Republicans can "work together" as usual. The fact that they
"worked together" is what got us into Iraq in the first place. Second, you
cannot shake a bloody hand or it stains you, too, with its deeds. It is
not necessarily punishment we are seeking, and certainly not the
lynch law that Bush's America metes out. Rather, we are seeking justice.
We are demanding disclosure. We are asking that future generations be
spared our apoplexy, our collective amnesia and our afflictions by a full
airing of what has happened.
There are some reactionaries, however, who coyly suggest that we should
now turn the other cheek and embrace the Bush-demons who have tormented
us. This is a tempting appeal to the spiritual hubris that leads some well
meaning people to believe that even murderous, psychopathic despots can
experience apotheosis if only we shower them with the love and
understanding that stimulates 'good people'. Love might be the answer, but
it is the answer to a different question than that posed by the quest for
To paraphrase the famous line from Bertolt Brecht's Three Penney Opera:
First comes accountability, then comes morality.* In that
sequence, first justice and then reconciliation will facilitate the
eventual rejuvenation of the people.
Zbignew Zingh can be reached at:
Zbig@ersarts.com. This article
is CopyLeft, and free to distribute, reprint, repost, sing at a recital,
spray paint, scribble in a toilet stall, etc. to your heart's content,
with proper author citation. Find out more about Copyleft and read
other great articles at:
www.ersarts.com. copyleft 2007.
* "Erst kommt das Fressen, dann kommt die Moral" (loosely translated:
First comes eating, then comes morality). Die Dreigroschenoper
by Kurt Weill/Bertolt Brecht (1928)
Other Articles by Zbignew
Deep Tooth: A
Mol(ar) in the White House
* The Iraq Study
Group Study Group
* Zamole Zingh:
One Size Fits All Universal Politician for Every Office
* Ask Not For
Whom the Wall is Built (It's Built For You)
Pakistan's Musharraf Have His Ears Trimmed by the Bush Administration?
* Plan C -- The
People's Morning-After-the-Elections Contraception
* Snakes On a
Plane, Bush in the White House
* Prepare Your
Stakes and Fires
* How the Left
Repeatedly Gets the Wind Knocked Out of Its Causes
* The Daze of
the Living Dead
* Garden Variety
* The Subsurface
World of Inflation, Cannibalism and the Plight of the Squeezees
* Cracks in the
Coalition of the Crackpots
* Dear George...
Have I Told You How Much I Appreciate You?
Dialectic: The Irony of the Super Bowl in a Supercilious Nation
* The Nuclear
“Threat” At the End of the Age of Petroleum
Rules of Order
* Project for
the New American Colonies (A Neoconned American Revolution)
Pat Robertson's Fatwah and the Emergence of Medieval America
* The Neocon
Cookbook: Savory Recipes for the Power Hungry by the Power Elite
Bush Supports Alternative Fuels Research Instead of Conservation
* Bush Wants
Answers: Did Chavez, Castro and Bin Laden Lead Embassy Siege in Iran?
University's Biocontainment Lab: Coming to a Neighborhood Near You!
Political Descent of Mankind
* Soviets “R”
* GOING OUT
OF BUSINESS SALE!
* New Dogs for
the New American Century
* Vive la
We Hardly Knew You
* The 2004
Political All-Star Game
Bush, Destroyer of the Faith
* The Statue
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Monuments To The New American Century
* What Are We
Trying To Achieve?
Administration Relents: American Style Elections Promised for Iraq
Researchers Publish Findings of Widespread Mad Cow Infection