Thursday, February 16, 2006

we have met the monster

"The monster that had resorted to arms must be put in chains that could not be broken.
The united power of free nations must put a stop to aggression, and the world must be
given peace." President Woodrow Wilson, address to the Senate, July, 1919

In his remarks, President Wilson was, of course, referring to Germany when he used the word "monster," and the "united power of free nations" was an allusion to the nascent League of Nations, precursor to today's United Nations. It is terrifying to think that Mr. Wilson might just as well make that same statement today, only "the monster" he would have in mind is the United States of America.

Every American who considers themselves a "patriot" should hold their head a little lower after today's release of the United Nations report detailing the travesties known collectively as Guantanamo Bay, and the flag should be flown at half-mast in honor of the framers of the Constitution who would be appalled to think that this world body calls for America to shut down what amounts to an internment camp at this naval base in Cuba. According to the Associated Press, who broke the story, the U.N. calls for us to "either release the detainees or put them on trial," a victory for human rights groups around the world, and a major defeat for an administration who has, yet again, introduced us to a most perilous age.

What our government likes to regard as its territorial imperative, and the dubious means by which it can circumvent due process, international law, and the Geneva Conventions in denying prisoner of war status to detainees, namely using the rationalization that Gitmo is a "protectorate" or colony of the U.S., has also met with unequivocal denunciation by the U.N. While the allegations made by the report, released today, are not new, the idea that this world body which for decades has represented "the united power of free nations" would call upon the United States to stop torturing people is, in and of itself, horrific and egregious.

That an organization which was the brainchild of an American president should receive an immense reprimand from a world organization, such as the U.N., is an irony, and one that must resonate in the heart, mind, and conscience of all reasonable men and women, regardless of nationality, but especially those of us who, in our formative years, pledged allegiance to a flag that is, daily, being disgraced, soiled, and undermined by those who continue to hide behind it.

Indeed, We have met "the monster," and it is us...