I often have an approach-avoidance problem with important documentaries I know will upset me. There are dozens, probably hundreds I have not watched for just that reason. I suspect others deal with the same issue. As a recent diarist astutely and I believe accurately noted, MSNBC's ratings problems can no doubt in large part be traced to the ongoing slaughter of progressivism detailed there each evening, and the difficulty which many of us have watching hours of it every day. Count me among those. I doubt I watch more 3-4 hours of MSNBC nightly news per week, not because I do not need, applaud, or respect the coverage, but because I simply cannot withstand that much painful truth each evening, especially after days in which I see so much of it here on DKos and elsewhere.
Documentarians would probably be much more well-paid and better funded but for this dilemma. I suppose we should use that knowledge to reach out and reward them in other ways and/or at other times. Kickstarter can be a mechanism for that, helping to fund projects getting off the ground, especially since more established people are now using it, and I have used it to contribute.
It is in this context that I saw Jeremy Scahill's Dirty Wars yesterday.
Some will think my choice unfitting for keeping Independence Day, but I feel just the opposite, as we are losing our independence (and much more) every day not bit by bit, but in huge swaths, like the football fields of the Amazon rain forest never to be untouched again that are cleared in similarly blind, amoral fashion. And we are letting it happen. And those whom we have voted for have used our votes to do it.
Dirty Wars is just one piercing view of what we have lost and sink deeper toward irrevocably forfeiting, but it is an incredibly important one. Among many things, it is a bleak reminder of how remote investigative journalism has become. Knowing what response it will get from the mainstream culture and the establishment and its supporters, some of whom would have lauded such work just a few scant years ago, makes it even more precious. That in and of itself is emblematic of our loss. A legacy of 9/11. An enduring legacy. The hunting and decimation of the free press--especially investigative journalism--the un-embedded, un-in-bed-with press--and the unvarnished, uncomfortable truth it exposes. Chris Hedges, John Cusack, and many others have spoken of the profound implications of this and I urge you all to seek out their views.
More than this, Dirty Wars directly links this administration, including the President, as the consciously involved and directly responsible leader, spotlighting what many of us either knew, surmised or suspected: that the Democratic Party and its head have taken our votes and made us party to some of the worst acts perpetrated and still being perpetrated on the earth today. Just as Snowden's leaks have affirmed and clarified the nefarious acts of the NSA and the precariousness of our individual rights, Scahill's book/movie has done so for the President and the Democratic Party with regard to drones, the murder of an ever-expanding list of innocents and "enemies"--most of whom by now are the result of blowback from our own mistakes and misdeeds in the execution of horribly immoral and counter-productive policy--and the now institutionalized breaking of U.S. and international law regarding due process and the conduct of War.
I am not going to discuss the movie in detail--other than to say that it clearly and convincingly demonstrates to all with open minds that Obama has dramatically escalated the secrecy and the execution of illegal acts of war in many dozens of nations with whom we have not declared war, and has targeted for assasination American citizens who have not been charged, tried or convicted for any crime, all of which continues to rapidly expand, not decrease, our "enemies"--because I feel that everyone, especially anyone calling themselves Democrats or engaged in supporting Democrats, has not only a need but an obligation to see this movie and face and deal with the truth about not only the decisions and actions of their representatives, but also their own responsibility in supporting, promoting and voting for these bad actors and then not rejecting, condemning, and organizing against the policies, institutions and individuals who perpetrate these acts.As sure as the sun will shine again and the Republicans will continue to wage war against the rights of women and minorities, there will be Democrats who will reject Dirty Wars and the culpability of their leaders, the Democratic Party, and themselves for perpetrating, supporting and failing to condemn and organize against it. There will be those who will never, under any circumstances, regardless of what becomes known and clearly evident, accept such evidence and/or the administration's or their own responsibility for it for perpetrating and/or supporting it. They will dismiss all of this information as the deviousness of outlaws and reprobates, evidence of nothing more than the unfortunate truths, evident at all times in history, of imperfect human beings doing the hard work of civilization. They will reject the critics as idealists, impractical people who cannot appreciate the real world.
They will deny it all in the same fashion they deny Climate Change or its seriousness or immediacy and the practical options we have for addressing it or to what lengths we as citizens should go to see that everything possible is done to mitigate it.
They will deny it in the same fashion as they deny the true state of the economy for the 90% or the plutocracy's responsibility for that economy, due to the ongoing concentration of wealth because of continued policies of trickle-down economics not just of Republicans but of Third Way "Democrats," and, again, to what lengths we as informed adults and citizens should go to pursue economic justice and the social and environmental justice so thoroughly dependent upon it.
They will deny it in the same fashion that they deny the honest appraisal of all aspects of the War on Terror and its implications and precedents for domestic and international civil rights and law, not just those treated in Dirty Wars, as well as the soul of citizenship and humanity and the future of civilization. They will scoff at such appraisals, ignoring that in no time in the past they would use as excuse for today's events have those in power had so much means of control and destruction, so much so that they do not even need to take over countries or kill people or imprison or enslave them in traditional terms so long as they can influence and control them, the capabilities of the NSA being but a piece of exercising such control.
We have heard the denial and the rationale before, we know better and we will not convince them otherwise.
These people are lost. They are lost in the present and the future will recognize them as such, even if only in books such as Zinn's People's History of the United States. There are always masses upon masses of everyday people complicit in the worst acts of humanity. It has ever been thus. And in our time, it is those who support the perpetrators and perpetration of the Class, Climate and Terror Wars in both political parties, who would dutifully limit themselves to only the safest, most convenient, most easily defeated means available for "fighting" these "problems."
I also went to the dollar theater here yesterday and saw the Tom Cruise movie, Oblivion. Avoiding any spoilers, I will simply paraphrase a comment the protagonist makes, which is that though we all must die, how we go about it, the choices we make, the actions we take, are what matters. (And those choices are not limited to the moments immediately leading up to death itself.)
I submit that those who refuse to acknowledge and reject the plutocracy responsible for the Class, Climate, and Terror Wars are not acting in entirely honest, good conscience and/or with responsibility about how they will spend their lives, how they will die.
So let them call us idealists. It's just more Orwellian double- speak. For there is nothing more real or practical for civilization than rejecting the gross, mainstreamed, institutionalized, immoral nihilism that passes as responsible, realistic citizenship today.
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
The moderate denialists today have relegated everything to the category to things they cannot change but through electoral politics and representative government, in abdication of courage, wisdom, conscience and responsibility.
As you consider your involvement and decisions in the upcoming season of electoral politics and the Democratic, you should see this movie and contemplate how you proceed with those who continue to put civilization at risk as they trifle with ever more degraded acts of "humanity," regardless of the claims, even protestations, to the contrary, and vicious attacks on those who expose them and demonstrate otherwise, all in the name of pragmatism. And you should consider why you are so willing to accept the results we get that you would leave it all up to an electoral process and representative government that have become so corrupt and almost entirely incapable of addressing the most important issues facing civilization today, other than to secure the plutocracy's control over and "benefit" from it.-------------
Ask yourself why you are not, if you are not, one of the few who is not willing to leave it up to the plutocrats, their servants, and the system they have devised to exploit, thwart, obstruct, and control us, who is willing instead to shape your life around organizing and supporting the taking of these matters to the streets in whatever way you and your assets can best contribute because the system is broken and the gates cannot be crashed by its rules. This fact becomes clearer and more definitive each day. And be brutal with your excuses, for anything but a commitment moving beyond the system of control is simply an excuse, an abdication of real, practical, responsible action.
To be fair, there are Democratic representatives, staff members, party operatives, and supporters who have not been privy to the full set of facts. I won't quibble. Let's just say we'll judge them on their response now that it is public, as is the currently printed components of Snowden's leaks, and they have every opportunity to inform themselves and react.