Sunday, January 02, 2005

Thoughts on Identity and Mutability

I've knocked this post around for a couple of days now... I have an idea of what bugs me, but I'm not sure exactly how to post it.
I saw this post in the blog of a troop in Iraq now (Dec. 30) musing on the frustrations of identifying one's enemy in such an environment. What caught my attention was her note that we bring in "enemy" wounded although they don't. Putting aside for the moment that they don't have a medical support system such as we have... it came to me that we don't bring someone to a CSH because of who they are but because of who we are. It's what we do.
I don't think Osama bin Laden staged 9/11 so he could one day dine in the White House. I think he did it to make an impact... and I think he succeeded and that his success continues every hour of every day since then. We gave him that when we started to change who we were and what we were about.
Putting aside the Patriot Act... speaking of a misuse of words... and the entire fact of the Iraq War... none of which would have happened without 9/11... I read this piece where we are making plans to incarcerate "suspected" terrorists for the rest of their lives without due process... these include people we could not try because of insufficient evidence. In the meantime the U.S. House of Representatives is advancing a plan to weaken its ethics rules in order to protect the Majority Leader, the Honorable Tom DeLay.
Yesterday I saw a newsbrief on CNN Headline News that I can't find the cite for... a judge in West Virginia blocked the divorce of a battered woman from her abusive husband because... according to the report... the child she is carrying would then be illegitimate.
None of this stuff is going to be happening... none of it... except that 9/11 knocked us off course and we haven't yet regained our balance. Personally, I believe that suits the ambitions of the Bush Administration, but that could be mean-spirited.
I advised the blogger in Iraq to try to find a moral rock... an immutable truth... and to hold onto that. I think we all need to do that... because it's really getting hard to put my finger on who we are anymore.
(P.S. on 1/3: This is a reference for the story on the woman denied a divorce because she's pregnant. It turns out that it's in Washington and not West Virginia... and the abusive husband who was jailed for beating her in 2002 and from whom the woman is separated is not the father. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that this case is an exception to my assertion that "none of this" would have happened but for 9/11.)

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Blogger J. said...

Great post. I am still surprised that the media hasn't jumped on this idea by the Bush administration that we should lock up alleged terrorists for life without hearings, without evidence, etc etc. Just appalling when you consider what this action must tell others around the world what America stands for. Just wrong.

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