Sunday, October 23, 2005

Power tends to corrupt...

"Because I am the President of Iraq."

This was the response of Saddam Hussein to the question, "what was the reason [you] killed so many people?" The question was asked by an Iraqi-American from San Dimas, California. Basam al-Hussaini, whose brothers were killed by Saddam's regime, was in the Baghdad courtroom the first day of trial and confronted the deposed dictator, face-to-face.

LA Observed

"...just because I could."

Bill Clinton, former President of the United States offered that explanation to the country Sunday, June 20, 2004. For the CBS program, 60 MINUTES, courageous Dan Rather asked Clinton, "The central question, if I may, and I know this is difficult, the central question is why?" After biting his lip as he does, Clinton replied, "I think I did something for the worst possible reason -- just because I could. I think that's the most , just about the most morally indefensible reason that anybody could have for doing anything."


"Power tends to corrupt; absolute power corrupts absolutely." Lord Acton, British historian of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.


dcat said...

Glad to see you are feeling better Indigo :)

It depends who is in power. Bosses are absolutely corrupt? Hehehehehe God tomorrow is Monday oh ick!

Don said...

Lord Acton was nobody's fool was he?

dcat said...

Indigo and Don the haloscan is not working this morning! Maybe this is the way to post comments.

This is a test

Newvictorian said...

I think Clinton's answer is interesting because it seems to be just another layer of coverup. The real answer is "because I have poor impulse control" but if he would have admitted that then we would be wondering about why he was President instead a moderately successful used-car dealer. Note how "just because I could" makes it a mistake of the moment instead of a deep-seated character flaw.

Sofocleto said...

Power tends to corrupt; absolute power corrupts absolutely. I do so agree with you!

Saddam Hussein's capture and the hope he will be held accountable for crimes against the people of Iraq and neighboring states is welcome news, no matter what one's position on the US invasion of Iraq.

But this doesn't vindicate the US invasion. It doesn't change the fact that the administration lied about Iraq's alleged weapons of mass destruction or that Iraq is undergoing occupation, not liberation.

Nor does it vindicate more longstanding US policy. It is crucial that Hussein's eventual trial cover the entire history of his crimes and of those who supported them. We need answers. Why did the Reagan administration provide Hussein with military intelligence to help him in his savage attacks on Iran in the 1980s? Why did US companies provide Iraq with chemicals and seed stock for biological weapons? Why did the United States continue to fund Hussein and provide him diplomatic cover, even after he gassed the Kurds of Halabja in 1988?

And, what did current Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld say to Hussein when he met with the dictator as Reagan's special envoy to the Middle East in 1983? Will Rumsfeld be subpoenaed to testify about it?

If the trial of Hussein is conducted openly and honestly, US crimes in Iraq and throughout the Middle East, through Republican and Democratic administrations alike, will be laid bare for the world to see.

More important, however, we must recognize that the key issue is the occupation, not Hussein. There is little indication that either the brutality of the US occupation, or the armed resistance to it, will end soon.

Resentment against the occupation goes far beyond the armed resistance. And, given the nature of the occupation, that's hardly surprising. After a brief period of freedom, the Coalition Provisional Authority imposed press censorship in June. The US military estimates 10,000 Iraqis are being held, most without charges, in camps under dehumanizing conditions. Many were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. Thousands of civilians have been killed by troops who, Iraqis are convinced, place little value on Iraqi life.

Beyond that, Iraq has been a laboratory for the administration's extremist economic ideas. With the stroke of a pen, US viceroy L Paul Bremer cut Iraq's highest tax bracket by a factor of three. He threw 400,000 people out of work, with no provision for re-employment. He laid the groundwork for rapid privatization of Iraq's industry, a fire sale not seen since the fall of the Soviet Union. And with all that, to this day, electrical power and basic services have not been restored to prewar levels. According to some surveys, infant mortality in Iraq is double what it was before the war.

Americans are left facing the same harsh facts we have always had to face: The conquest of Iraq had nothing to do with the safety of Americans or the freedom of Iraqis. It was designed to extend and deepen US dominance over the strategically crucial energy resources of the region.

Tom C said...

Yawn! Hey Indi, hope you are feeling better. I would like to answer several of Sofo's points, but it would be pointless! I do have one question though, where are you from?

Americans are left facing the same harsh facts we have always had to face:

You say we as if you were one of us.

Indigo Red said...


I could easily answer Sofo's Qs, but you are right, it would be pointless.

I can answer your question as to where Sofo is from; other than a planet far, far away, Sofocleto is from and is in the absolutely beautiful country of Portugal. A country with a rich culture, wonderful music, and great food.

A vast colonial empire funded by the sweat and blood of hundreds of thousands of human beings held in bound servitude for generations is the legacy of this graceful and picturesque Atlantic fishing nation.

From 722 AD to 1272 AD, Portuguese Christians of high moral character battled the barbarous Islamic Moors. In 1415, Portuguese soldiers captured the N. African Moorish city of Cueta, thus establishing the first of many overseas colonies. In 1434, Lisbon received its first consignment of slaves from Africa. The "Guinea trade" made Portugal very wealthy, indeed. They then proceeded to squander their new found wealth leaving them today barely financially better off than the former colonies from which the wealth was stolen.

Over the next several centuries, small Islamic states along the East African coast were destroyed, enslaved, and subsumed into the Portuguese Empire. The West African coast was likewise devastated before the Portuguese imperial onslaught. Portuguese armed forces and missionaries then moved across the Atlantic to Brazil bringing the blessings of liberty to the native peoples along with millions of African slaves who were worked until death then replaced by more cheap African slaves because, well, Portugal owned them.

The Humanitarian Empire of Portugal included, but not exclusive of others, Angola, Azores, Brazil, Congo,Cabo Verde, Ceylon(Sri Lanka), Guiana, Bissau, Macao, Moluccas(the Spice Islands), Mozambique, nearly a dozen colonies in India including Goa; Sao Tome and Principe, East Timor, and Zanzibar. These are only some of the many, many very lucky areas of the world that obviously had no right to their own lands and resources that the enlightened people of Portugal claimed as their own.

The Portuguese Empire finally came to an end not even 100 years ago. East Timor and Macao were relinquished in 1999, a bare SIX YEARS AGO.

Most of these former colonies have thrived in the modern world and have grown into successful independent nations free of strife, with high education rates, low infant mortalities, and government corruption so rare the citizens no longer have a word for it. Under Portuguese tutelage, these former colonies and the mother country itself have grown to be worthy of emmulation by such backward nations as America which has contributed little of note to the world.

So Tom, this is where Sofocleto is from and this history clearly puts him on a far superior plane above the United States of America.

(Note from Indigo: The foregoing includes a great deal of sarcasm as well as historical fact. It is in no way meant as an insult to the wonderful and proud people of Portugal. The insult is meant for Sofocleto and ignorant people like him who have a firm grasp of neither history nor reality.)

dcat said...

...and now a word from our sponsors...

God Indigo I felt I was watching a National Geographic flick when reading this! Your good Indi!

I was just coming here to tell you where he was from and left a note at Tom's. Then as I figured it was a clue to come and see what was happening here. Thanks Indigo.

Tom C said...

Well met, Indi!

Don said...

Holy history lesson Batman!!! I loved it.