Molly Ivins: How fascism starts

Molly Ivins: How fascism starts

Syndicated columnist Molly Ivins is a left-tilting Texas Democrat who specializes in witty, humorous columns skewering the right, which makes her deadly serious May 20th column even more extraordinary. (These are excerpts, read the whole thing)

How fascism starts

Molly Ivins, May 20

It’s pretty easy to get to the point where you don’t want to hear any more about Abu Ghraib prison and what went on there. But there are some really good reasons why Americans should take a look at why this happened.

What seems to me more important than the “Oh ugh” factor is just how easy it is for standards of law and behavior to slip into bestiality.

The problems go all the way back to the administration’s refusal to abide by the Geneva Conventions

You may recall the military’s objections (broadcast, as usual, by retired officers) were on the excellent grounds that if we didn’t observe the Geneva Conventions neither would our enemies — the very reason they were signed in the first place.

According to Newsweek, Bush first signed a secret order granting new powers to the CIA, a directive authorizing it to set up secret detention facilities outside the United States and to question those held in them with unprecedented harshness. The agency also schlepped suspected terrorists off to other countries known to practice torture.

In addition to the fact that torture is morally repulsive, it also doesn’t work.

Meanwhile, Gitmo had been taken over by Maj. Gen. Geoffrey Miller, under whose loving care the “72-point matrix for stress and duress” was developed, laying out as ugly a set of rules for of-course-it-is-torture-stupid as anyone could dream up.

In this case, there is more than sufficient evidence pointing to the culpability of those at the top. But at the same time, the Pentagon is putting out the word that it was “only a few bad apples,” six low-level soldiers who have already been charged, with no one else involved.

This just stinks of cover-up. Damned if I think these six low-level soldiers should be hung out there to take the blame for a set of explicitly written and signed policies made by people wearing expensive suits, getting paid big bucks and bearing some of the highest titles in the land.

You can read all the memos and documents for yourself. It’s important to know how fascism starts.”

As Talking Heads said

“This ain’t no party
This ain’t no disco
This ain’t no fooling around”

When nationally syndicated columnists begin talking about fascism in America, well, things are kicking up to a whole new level, aren’t they?

This is not the time to sit home wondering what to do. This is the time for action. Get in the streets during the upcoming June 5 protests. Write your congresscritters. Talk with friends. Make some noise. Take action. Get involved.

Things are building to a crisis point in the US. This could be a politically explosive summer. As Ron Kovic says; we are living in historic times, what happens now will be talked about for decades to come, we can and will turn things around.

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”, Edmund Burke