Inspection- Damn Straight We Should Go On an “Apology Tour”
Halloween, and if they took it serious this would scare those little religious Right and neocon spooks sheetless. Of course they haven’t got the brains, or the reasoning power, or the ability to comprehend anything but their own blatherings. And barely understand what they’ve just said, sometimes.
You’d never heard Barack say we should have one. Indeed he’s never really done an “apology tour,” despite that bunk filled talking point Barack should have countered during the debate. Too politically incorrect to address, or not in his nature to challenge it? You decide.
But let’s edit out the false partisan bickering, the phony accusatory, from the comment. Now let’s ask it as a question. Do we need to go on an “apology tour,” America?
In some cases I say, “Hell, yes.”
Let’s start with the obvious…
No person is perfect. We all have something in our lives we should apologize for. Everyone. And since nations are made up of fallible people: especially “fallible” leaders, yes, there’s always at least one thing to apologize for. WWII: the Germans should apologize? Obvious. Communism: the Russians? Obviously, yes. The French? Obvious: for the excesses of the revolution and just for being so damn “French.”
Yes: I’m kidding, but you bloody Canadians, apologize right now for all that overboard politeness! Oh, and maybe backing the English during our revolution. Let’s add that French only/English mess which only pisseth off both sides, when all that politeness suddenly doth disappear down a huge rhetorical outhouse hole.
But let’s get historically specific. We can toss back and forth atrocities from the beginning of our nation both sides might be accused of, but Native Americans were here first. Period. End of discussion. Some welcomed us with open arms, some for the invaders we were. “They are a conquered people,” is not even worthy of being a flimsy excuse, Rush Limbaugh. And you damn well know, if roles were reversed, you’d be screaming for their heads, like the French, not just an apology. Hell, those who would moan and bitch the loudest made a real bad movie about it, a movie some crazy person apparently thought was worthy of redoing: about to be released. It was, and is, called Red Dawn.
One hopes it’s a hell of a lot better than the trash from whence it came. If not: “apology due.”
Slaves? Well, we didn’t have to drag their asses over here, did we? Didn’t have to put them on crowded ships and throw them overboard to the sharks if they were inconvenient. Didn’t have to force them into servitude: some stark, nasty, cruel, “servitude,” some less so: but still slavery. Doesn’t matter how much of it was cruel, how much not. It was still wrong.
And we went far beyond that. Once they were supposedly “freed,” our prisons were given to former slave owners. Laws were loosened up enough that these same prison owners could simply make an accusation: false or not, and a very cooperative/good ole boy, justice system, kept former slaves in prison for the rest of their lives. They were forced into a different, worse, form of slave labor… all making these same former slave owners very, very rich. We kept them to the back of the bus after that system fell apart, lynched them, gave them their own very inadequate schools, and even different fountains.
And some of us dare bitch about some having “attitude?” You damn well know you would too.
Apology here, and apologies back where we took them from? Hell, yes… and Hell, yes.
Going on to WWII: a good portion of it was spent without America. Without America: little doubt, the Axis probably would have won, true. Or at least it would have taken a hell of a lot longer to defeat them. However: we took quite a while to get into the war. Strange to think of it now, but the Right, at the time, was filled with peaceniks. The Nazi movement was pretty strong in America, and Father Coughlin: the Rush Limbaugh of his day, was spewing antisemitism. Millions were listening. All the claims of popularity Limbaugh makes, Caughlin could have made: for his time, back when mass media was a tad less “mass.” Now, I’m not claiming all of the Left was better. No way. But how many people died, how many Jews and other supposed “undesirables,” were tossed into ovens while we diddled? Plain and simple: England and the other Allies were right, we were wrong: people paid for that fact with their lives, and the lives of their families, their friends.
Apology long overdue.
Depending on how you look at it, we didn’t need to abandon the people of South Vietnam, or get involved to begin with. These days I disagree with the first, and veer towards the second, though back then my views were a bit different. But no matter how anyone looks at it: we did wrong.
Apologies are in order. Not to the government, but to the families and people we left behind, gave false hope to.
How many young men and women, innocent civilians, died for invisible WMDs that we “knew” were here, there, but in reality up a lying misadminstration’s buttski? Died world wide, since we suckered other nations into joining that misadventure. It doesn’t matter “we got rid of Saddam.” Saddam certainly could have been “gotten rid of” without such massive bloodshed, and if we were to take out every vicious dictator: some of whom we still support like we did Saddam, we’d bankrupt the nation. You know: like we may have already by running two wars off budget? The jury’s still out on that.
Maybe we could apologize for arming Saddam, even for that gas he used “on his own people:” gas given by some former members of both Bush administrations? He was just in need of being “taken out” then as he was in 2003. It was just more politically convenient to sell him gas he could use on his own people, that’s all.
How about all the citizens from other nations we water boarded, took away from their families for years, kept incarcerated and finally let go because, well, they were innocent. As bad as that is, these were the lucky ones. The ones who lived.
Acts of cruelty, incompetence and depravity: some performed by employees of companies we continue to give contracts to despite the deaths they have caused, both overseas and at home.
I could go on, but point made. Before anyone gives me that snide, sniveling, “bleeding heart routine,” if any other nation had done any of this to us, you know hell you would raise hell.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with an appropriate “apology” tour, even if it’s addressing misguided perceptions.
The idea there should be no apology tour, ever, is the problem. Extreme American exceptional-ism is the problem. The idea we are perfect, and perfectly blessed by God, or any deity, to rule the while damn planet is the problem: the same nonsense has been pushed by the worst humanity has had to offer: Commies, Nazis…
To quote the belt buckle, “Gott mit uns.”
And when we consider who has pushed this nonsense in the past, and who pushes it now, one can’t help but wonder if they have similar: hidden, agendas.
Inspection is a column that has been written by Ken Carman for over 30 years. Inspection is dedicated to looking at odd angles, under all the rocks and into the unseen cracks and crevasses that constitute the issues and philosophical constructs of our day: places few think, or even dare, to venture.
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