another one bites the dust

I have no temptation to write a missive in any way arguing that Muammar Gaddafi was a good guy.

By definition, dictators are not good guys. Although the actual situation in Libya is dramatically more complicated than the main stream media would like to represent (The African Union did not support NATO action; Gaddafi received praise from Mandela for supporting South African anti-apartheid movements; unlike Egypt and Tunisia, Libya was never, ever about non-violent protest and was always about an armed rebellion), I’m personally happy to see Gaddafi out of power.

But, like bin Laden, I won’t be dancing on his grave either.

It bothers me that every former US asset in the developing world that is branded a terrorist or dictator seems to end up dead rather than captured and tried. I’m not a fan of conspiracy theories, but it just looks bad when the solution to every example of dictators, insurgents, spies, and tyrants that were once part of the US war machine, were supported by US arms contributions and their political clout, and who served US interests until it was no longer popular to do so, end up dead before they can be charged, tried, or speak to anyone.

The US is now openly sanctioning the assassination of its own citizens. Despite promises coming out of every pore of his body, Obama has yet to do much about Guantanamo in spite of his promises. Bradley Manning sits in a cell, in solitary confinement for allegedly releasing secrets, acting on his conscience, in an environment that the UN is concerned is tantamount to torture but cannot prove or disprove because the US won’t allow their investigator any isolated access to Manning.

In the land of the free and the brave, the supposed home base of all things liberty and democracy, too many peaceful protesters are being maced, beaten, held on spurious charges, and generally not allowed their first amendment right on a regular basis. I mean, come on, it’s the first amendment. Somebody must have thought it was important at one point to put it at the front of the queue, yeah?

And don’t get me wrong: While the US may be the (or at least one of the) most glaring offender in this modern charade of democracy, she’s not alone. Canada, my home turf, is playing catch up as if they were trying to make the playoffs, and Europe ain’t doing so good either.

The governments of the western world expresses outrage and shock over the possibly doubtful accusations of Iranian/Mexican drug cartel team-ups to assassinate Saudi ambassadors, and yet we don’t even blink when the US publishes their hit list, or when Israel is caught with their hands in the garrote jar.

Again, I’m not defending Iran; I’m saying how do we not open our eyes to the hypocrisy of our own leaders through all of this? How do we point at the speck in our brother’s eye while we ignore the plank in our own. That’s all I’m saying.

On the positive side, #ows is discussing an ambitious plan to create, in the US, a National Assembly by next summer, in time to have a potentially profound impact on the election next fall, even though that isn’t the stated goal. Because it’s a non-partisan movement, #ows doesn’t apparently care much who wins. They say that they will develop a national set of demands and submit them to whichever government is in place. They’ll give said government a year to meet the demands. If the demands aren’t met, they’ll give the government 99 days to resign and provide new elections. They repudiate any violent threat or action.

It’s all about asserting the will of the 99%. It’s all about actual democracy. That’s just damned exciting. Every step of this movement is showing that massive mobilization based on direct democracy and consensus-based decision-making is possible. No matter what else the #occupy movement accomplishes, just showing that there’s an alternative is a massive triumph.

p.s. Sorry, I rant sometimes. I feel better now though.

p.p.s. I’m running out of time here on Vie Hebdomadaires. I hate it when exigent political circumstances get in the way of a narrative. If I can, I’ll throw up some thoughts on why I love climbing next time, which I alluded to a bit when I talked about stopping in the pass to gawk at stars, sometime tomorrow evening. I love climbing things, especially things outside, but I’m not picky. And, if I can get it done, I’ll add to the story collaboration too, but I have to make my part of the story work first…

p.p.s.2 Because music videos are fun, here’s two: one because I stole the title, and one because it’s sort of on topic.

* Edited because I can’t speak English too good. Replaced “refute” with “repudiate”.