Honor is something that’s hard to define in some respects; it seems to be cultural, at least to an extent. Wikipedia has an interesting article on the topic, one that seems to cover archaic notions as well as more modern ones, juxtaposing the concepts to show how things have changed — and how, some might suggest, they have deteriorated.
This graf from the Wiki article leapt out at me.
In contemporary international relations, the concept of “credibility” resembles that of honour, as when the credibility of a state or of an alliance appears to be at stake, and honour-bound politicians call for drastic measures.
In studying the above vidcap, we see two men face to face, one of whom appears to be smiling in a friendly or respectful fashion. Donald Rumsfeld was once on friendly terms with Saddam Hussein — and today, the two men couldn’t be more opposed.
Or could they?
In learning of Hussein’s death sentence, the thought occurred to me that we’re sending out a pretty bad message to other national leaders. Buddy up with the US, we’re saying, and in twenty years, if we’ve decided you’re inconvenient, we’ll depose and then kill you.
Where was all the moral outrage, I wonder, when Hussein was actually killing Kurds? What about the continuing problems in Myanmar or Sudan? Why was it that, when Clinton was trying to do something about the Bosnian troubles in the 1990s, he was accused by the Republicans of wagging the dog?
I suppose that’s not relevant now. Children are jumping up and down in glee at the news that Hussein is to be killed. Hooray. First they behead his statues, now they get to watch him twitch on the end of a line.
But back to our vidcap and the eerie doom which seems to have stalked both of its subjects.
The major armed forces mags are running an editorial calling for Rumsfeld to step down. It’s a good idea; the man is as incompetent as his boss. He’s shown a blatant disregard for facts from the moment he began dictating parsimony in the invasion and occupation of Iraq, and he was and is a goddamned fool for getting us into a two-front war (remember Afghanistan? That still ain’t over).
I expect the next step in this ghastly pageant of self-destruction will be for George to stage a photo op with him and say, “Rummy, you’re doin’ a heckuva job.”
In a way, I suppose it’s fitting that Rumsfeld will be brought to the same end as Hussein. Well, not the same end; Rumsfeld will not be put on trial for the killing of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis. Rumsfeld will not be put on trial for the killing of thousands of American boys and girls.
Rumsfeld will not be put on trial for anything, now that the US congress has nicely legalized torture for the Bush administration.
He will be dead of old age before history has a chance to really tear into him as he deserves, as the unqualified, pig-headed and entirely inadequate myopic ideologue that he truly is. Odds are that everyone in the Bush administration — except perhaps Rice — will be long gone before their legacies are truly shown to be disastrous.
In this vidcap we see two utterly dishonorable men appearing to be in collusion with one another. That one of them is “ours” should make no difference whatsoever. Scum is scum.
Hussein is doomed.
So is Rumsfeld; so is the entire Bush administration.
The difference is that Rummy et. al. haven’t quite stopped moving yet. They’re all just hanging there, twitching on the end of the line.
Unfortunately, the victim of their crimes — our national honor — is still just as foully murdered.
No related posts.
Related posts brought to you by Yet Another Related Posts Plugin.