More news on our country's violations of human rights amidst our dual wars for power and oil (and perhaps some form of democracy if that suits the two primary purposes). The headline reads, US ARMY SAYS PRISON DEATHS ARE HOMICIDES. The article goes on to say:
WASHINGTON - The Army has concluded that 27 of the detainees who died in US custody in Iraq or Afghanistan since 2002 were the victims of homicide or suspected homicide, military officials said in a report released yesterday.Now here is my own addition to that story:
The number is higher than Pentagon officials have previously acknowledged, and it indicates that criminal acts caused a significant portion of the dozens of prisoner deaths that occurred in US custody.
In response Tom DeLay spoke to Good Friday churchgoers in the mostly-white, wealthy suburbs of Houston that consistently vote him into office. He said with passion, "This act of barbarism can and must be prevented." Reporters followed him into the church parking lot - a large paved-over space packed with SUV's along a busy 8-lane highway across from a Wal-Mart Super Center where he added, "That Americans would be so barbaric as to tie a human being to a wall, kick in his chest until blood flows from his mouth, and crack his rib cage until he dies, without ever charging him with a crime or providing any sort of due process is intolerable."
OK, THE ACTUAL QUOTE FROM Tom DeLay was, "That Americans would be so barbaric as to pull a feeding tube out of a person that is lucid and starve them to death for two weeks." The first quote about "barbarism" was a real quote from DeLay, but it was about Schiavo, not America's torture victims overseas. The scene of the suburban church near Houston is my creation, but probably accurately describes parts of the conservative sprawl that surround that city. While the urban center of Houston is ethnically and politically mixed, the suburbs are more powerful, more wealthy and more white. I would describe them as the hub of the American right-wing - more modern than the deep south, fully-embracing of free-market economics, ignorant but powerful, Christian but stubbornly conservative and apocalyptic, pro-death penalty, pro-war, anti-union, hostile toward public transportation, consumerist and pollution-friendly.
Luckily most of DeLay's showboating is backfiring. Sadly, the Democrats aren't taking advantage - and why should they take any risks about matters of principle when they don't seem to have any? Unlike the Democrats, right-wingers have strong convictions and they're willing to fight for them. The glimmer of hope here, is that most Americans seem to be rejecting those convictions. But where will they turn?