Monday, November 10, 2008

First Things First. Weapons Of Mass Instruction. John McCain's Chance For Redemption. Ours Too.

With eight years of George W. Bush's failures as president and an avalanche of bad policies and ideas laid out for him like rows of gumdrops, President-Elect Obama is the country's Chief-kid-in-the-candy-store as he ponders his first moves as president.

So many wonderful choices! What to pick first?

The GTL has the following priorities in mind: stop the torture before you do anything else. Restore due process. First thing. It is not only the right thing to do, but it will earn Obama immeasurable gratitude and appreciation - love, even - not only here at home, but around the world.

Before he calls an energy summit to discuss new infrastructure, before he meets with military leaders plotting our next strategic moves in Afghanistan and Iraq, before he unveils new plans for a health care overhaul or new tax legislation, there is one and only one action the GTL believes he should take:

Close Abu Ghraib prison, Mr. President-Elect. Close Guantanamo Bay. Restore habeus corpus rights to every individual held in U.S. custody. Begin to undo the damage to our wounded national psyche and our ravaged reputation around the world. Undo the stain to our national identity that has brought new words into the lexicon of American conversation: water-boarding. Stress positions. Extreme rendition. Sexual humiliation. Fear techniques.

Close our prison camps and take down the horrible apparatus of secret detention programs.

If you ask me whether it's worth it to leave our ravaged constitutional protections unaddressed for some weeks while we bring to a halt the sadistic (and ineffective) torture techniques which we as a people have somehow allowed to thrive in secrecy over the past seven years, I say: we'll wait.

First things first.

Obama can prove that American values still exist, and still matter.

Obama should call upon John McCain to lead a campaign against torture as vigorous and far-reaching as possible, and McCain should take the olive branch and run with it. At seventy-two, with a fortune behind him in the hundreds of millions, McCain can rehabilitate his own scarred image whole at the same time showing America and the world our great ability to embrace change, our nimble capacity for dancing to new ideas quickly and with great zest for freedom. Then he can retire the hero many already believe him to be.

Now that we as a people have re-discovered our own most powerful weapons of mass instruction in the global war of ideas, we must share them now, in real time. It's time to begin exporting our best products - justice, equality, sanity.

Close Abu Ghraib.
Close Guantanamo Bay.
Let the water-boards dry.
Let our prisoners see the light of day, and give them due process in real courts.

Show the world our greatness. Show them what we are like when freed from mindless fear. Only then will we be the beacon of freedom we have always been to oppressed peoples everywhere. Only then will be the America the world knows, loves, and has been waiting with baited breath for for the past eight long years.

2 comments:

Brandon said...

Bravo! Incredible post sir. I agree with your point, while it won't impact a large amount of people here, it would further improve Bam's/America's standing with the rest of the world.

Flamsey said...

And best of all... it won't cost a penny. Which is good because we are just about out of money!