Tuesday, October 30, 2007
The hits just keep on coming. Blackwater has been given immunity by the State Department. Whatever has been learned thus far in the inquiry into its violence in Iraq can't be used by the FBI in its investigation.
Keeping in mind that the failings of one private security company are less concerning than the fact that a bastion of U.S. government thought it wise to unleash uncontrollable forces out into the world, this sure smacks of self-protection. Is this the America we want?
Well, the trouble is, we're not getting the information we need to chose a different path. Just 1 percent of Election '08 news stories thus far have focused on candidate records. Just 15 percent concerned public policy. That's troubling in any election. But when the governing style of those in power is to wreak global havoc, it's downright scary.
And so to see today's political landscape clearly, even skilled commentators like the New York Times's Paul Krugman have to dig into their bags of Lord of the Rings world-domination imagery. While progressives have been debating the finer points of trade law, "Sauron was gathering his forces in Mordor." Indeed, some political leaders indeed do have a world view that's perfectly comfortable with Blackwater roaming free in Iraq and being absolved of guilt when 17 Iraqi civilians die.
The question then to put to presidential candidates then is simple: what exactly does America mean to you? If it jibes with your view of her to outsource a war to private interests and then cover-up when those interests commit horrible wrongs, that's all well and good. We just don't want you in the White House. Rest assured though, lucrative consulting and lecture gigs await you.
We desperately need to know how our presidential candidates honestly see this American experiment turning out. Today, getting a straight answer to even that simple question would be a great start.