Andy Rooney: Our darkest days are here
The image of one bad young woman with a naked man on a leash did more to damage America’s reputation than all the good things we’ve done over the years ever helped our reputation.
What were the secrets they were trying to get from captured Iraqis? What important information did that poor devil on the leash have that he wouldn’t have given to anyone in exchange for a crust of bread or a sip of water?
They weren’t trying to get secrets, they were deliberately inflicting pain and humiliation, trying to destroy a human being – for no apparent purpose except that they could do it.
In the history of the world, several great civilizations that seemed immortal have deteriorated and died. I don’t want to seem dramatic tonight, but I’ve lived a long while, and for the first time in my life, I have this faint, faraway fear that it could happen to us here in America as it happened to the Greek and Roman civilizations.
Too many Americans don’t understand what we have here, or how to keep it. I worry for my grandchildren, my great-grandchildren. I want them to have what I’ve had, and I sense it slipping away.
Americans are stunned and repulsed by these tortures, which are an obvious symbol that something has gone deeply and seriously wrong with America. Even those of us on the left, who assumed such things probably were happening, are sickened by the senseless barbarity of it all.
But, there’s no smugness in leftie circles, no I-told-you-so’s. Things are too serious for that. What just a few months ago would have been considered ‘radical’ politics, is now seeping into the mainstream. The war was about oil and dominance, with democracy as the cover story. There never were WMDs, the excuses for the invasion were lies. The US has committed stomach-turning atrocities. Two months ago those were radical sentiments, now they are passing into the culture at large.
So, I don’t quite agree with Andy Rooney. Yes, these are dark times, but then the darkest hour really is just before dawn. The country, slowly and painfully, is awakening from its slumber. Most people really didn’t know what was going on. Now they do. And I genuinely think most of them will now do the right thing.
Serious upheavals are ahead. Things may get downright apocalyptic in this country, and sooner rather than later. However, the darkness will not stay. This country is on the verge of enormous change, change that can easily be for the good. Let’s make it so. History will thank us.