Those who perpetrated the Iraq War are still at large, we are reminded by Attytood blogger Will Bunch. “The good people who made a few tiny mistakes back in those crazy post-9/11 times [haven’t] turned over a new leaf.”
CIA Director nominee Gina Haspel allies say she has learned from her mistakes (torture of Cat’s Eye detainees). George W. Bush’s Iraq War cheerleader John Bolton insists he’s not that guy anymore. The former president channels his “inner Rembrandt” to rehabilitate his image by painting portraits of military veterans. Barack Obama turned a blind-eye to prosecution for war crimes in the interest of partisan harmony.
A boundless faith in American exceptionalism–the belief that the United States is a uniquely virtuous nation that “loves peace, nurtures liberty, respects human rights, and embraces the rule of law”–doesn’t help to acknowledge the dearth of accountability for crimes of government in our name. Nor does the “collegiality among elites who all went to the same overpriced universities–people who could never acknowledge that the guy at the next table at the Capital Grille who looks just like them might have committed war crimes.”
The 20th century philosopher George Santayana wrote “those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” In this sense America truly is exceptional, concludes Bunch. We, in our time, cannot ignore the lessons of history. That which we will not resist and mobilize to stop, we will learn–or be forced–to accept.
We must not reassure ourselves that a form of radical authoritarian nationalism seen in 1930s Germany couldn’t happen here.
“The different strains of fascist demagogues and movements in this country see in Trump and Pence their ‘last chance’ to achieve their reactionary program,” says the Call to Action by RefuseFascism.org. “They will not listen to facts or reason; they have already and will continue to change rules and manipulate elections, and they will not give up…
“We must confront the reality that the world as we have known it is being torn asunder. This requires getting out of our comfort zones and not allowing our differences to stand in the way of rising together in an unprecedented, unrelenting mass struggle to confront the danger of a Trump/Pence fascist America.” Sign up here.