Rest of world turns as usual
It's been all Honduras here for the last month because for once I feel I can actually contribute something by blogging. I'm no expert, but fifteen years of Central American solidarity work and my (weak, weak) Spanish still put me far ahead of many people likely to be mildly interested but unable or uninclined to seek out information. Connecting with posters who are experts in one way or another, and who're using their skills to provide a solid alternative to the superficial and zombie-lie-filled old media, reminds me that another world is possible.
But maybe, reader, you're looking for an update on how our own democracy continues to be threatened by an out-of-control military in a permanent-war national security mindset, impunity for torture, and an overweening oligarchy. A Lovely Promise is here to serve:
- Peaceful and law-abiding people and organizations continue to be massively spied on by the U.S. military and "fusion centers" that connect the military with intelligence and law enforcement agencies and completely unregulated, unaccountable private database contractors.
- U.S. troops are never going to leave Iraq. The ones who've come home are assaulting and killing other people and themselves, and those who stay alive and out of jail are heading off to that other war. Which is unwinnable and on its way to becoming permanently unpopular.
- No one who ordered or had command responsibility for torture (always illegal) is going to be prosecuted. At most, cases might be brought against some more scapegoats, underlings who went beyond what was "authorized" (impossibly, illegally) in spurious opinions written by Justice and Defense Dept. lawyers.
- Corporate rule of our politics and media means that the very best we can hope for in the way of health care reform is the House bill, H.R. 3200. And it sucks.
- The banks and financial companies own us. That very much includes Pres. Obama, who's helping to keep us from being able to see what's being done with the trillions we've handed over to them.
But there are occasional bright spots: Mohammed Jawad, who was twelve when U.S. soldiers took him prisoner in 2002, has been ordered to be freed next month and returned home to Afghanistan, won't face charges there, and probably won't face U.S. criminal charges (in part because much of the "evidence" against him was produced by torture). Huzzah! [Hat tip Gary Farber]