Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Age of O/Let the Sunshine

Okay, O.
I get practicality.
I get compromise.
I get priorities, and planning, and baby-steps.
I even get “the lesser of two evils”.
I don’t particularly like any of these for one reason or another, or at one time or the other, but I get them.

What I don’t get is this rumored desire to hold back the torture photos (
story here). The Pentagon was going to release them. Everyone was on board. Get it all out in the open. Begin the healing. Then the commanders warned that such material might incite retribution, and now you and yours are flying the banner of “National Security” of all things, as if that dog of a song hadn’t stunk up the charts when the last Administration sang it off-key. What are you doing? More importantly, what are you thinking?

You say dark forces will see the photos of our soldiers behaving badly, inhumanly, in direct contradiction of all the national values we profess to hold dear. Yes. You say that terrorists will be inflamed by our brutal treatment of their brothers-in-arms and seek to retaliate. Maybe. You say the safety of our servicemen and women around the globe will be compromised by the release of such blatant evidence of our misguided attempts to protect ourselves. Really?

I say you have stepped off the path, and are tumbling head-first into the briar patch.

Do you really think that those who are willing to blow themselves to oblivion in pursuit of their agenda are sitting on any fence making up their minds about these United States of America? Do you think that the previously released material, the unrelenting chest-thumping, the condescending speeches, and shocking arrogance of the past Administration has gone unnoticed? Do you truly think that this evidence will be the stuff that finally and thoroughly unhinges our enemies, drawing them to every overseas base and every American shore with rabid intent?

But perhaps it is not the wrath of our enemies you fear, but the wrath of our friends. Perhaps you believe that the former Coalition-of-the-Willing would be disabused of the notion of our moral superiority were these photos to hit the street. I must ask: Just what crazy horror shows are captured in these photos? Because, the world - friend and foe – have never been as blind to our sins as we have been. But, even we see that the light of our beacon has dimmed, and we have sworn our commitment to the restoration of our reputation.

So, I ask again: What are you doing? You must know that reputations are never, ever built in the dark. Trust is not nourished on secrets. Hiding our sins will not hold back the storm. Doing so will only strip away the one key ingredient needed to heal a reputation: the truth.

President Obama, we need to raise the shades, open the windows, and let in the sunshine. We need to stand up and admit our sins. We need to apologize and make amends. No one respects the man who locks the truth in a drawer, hoping that the folder will be lost or forgotten. If we want to regain global respect, to de-fang the black of heart, and to block similar crimes in the future, we need to say, “Yes. See right here? Yes, we did it. This is where, who, how, and why. And, this is how we are going to make sure it never happens again.”

That is how we will begin to regain the respect of friend and foe. That is how we will begin to regain our self-respect.

Let the sunshine in.


mountain.mama said...

Perhaps you should send a copy of your post to the White House, or maybe you already did?

Carolyn said...

If you don't, I would like to. That was so on and so right. Thank you Fe.
Blessings and smiles

Lori Skoog said...

To the White House! Do you print out copies of your posts? I can see the book now...."Essays from the Coyote." Think about it. You are way past good!

CoyoteFe said...

Mountain Mama!
Do you thinl? Egad! How many peeps have flooded the royal mailbox over this? Hmmm ... Perhaps one more voice would not hurt, eh? Thanks for the thought!

Thank you, and feel free-o! Blessing and light to you as well!

You crack me up! Methinks you were a knight-errant in a past life. Did you ever see the movie, The Man in the Iron Mask? There's this one line when the opponent of the 3 Musketeers sees that they are set to fight to the death against all oddm, and remarks, "Magnificent valor!" That's you! Thanks!

david mcmahon said...

Came here from Mountain Mama.

Regaining respect is certainly a crucial part of the global solution.

San said...

Great, impassioned post, Fe.

And thanks for the Fifth Dimension soundtrack. Yes, let the sunshine in!

CoyoteFe said...

Welcome David!
And thank you for visiting. Part of regaining respect is respecting others enough to admit mistakes. We seem to be moving way from transparency in government, and that is where half the problems start. Discouraging.

Thanks! Seemed appropriate under the circumstances.

Janie said...

I'm with you on openness and letting in the sunshine. We need to examine our mistakes to figure out how to avoid repeating them.
You should definitely send a copy of this to the White House.

CoyoteFe said...

Thanks Janie!
It DOES seem that the administration is sticking to the transparency with exceptions tactics. Pity.