Into the Hut of Baba Yaga

by David Glenn Cox

The river of time cuts deeply into the banks, dictating course over

current. What is today fresh, muddy ground, becomes tomorrow bedrock.

When Gerald Ford pardoned Richard Nixon after the Watergate scandal he

said that he did so to end our long national nightmare. The nightmare

was not ours but Richard Nixon’s. We, as Americans, had just witnessed

our Constitution work as its founders had intended.

So what if a

sick, old, politically disgraced man was allowed to go home and mend

rather than face the courts. He had lost his political life and had

been publicly disgraced; so what was to gain by his prosecution? It

seemed reasonable at the time, except that what Ford had done was to

put personhood over legal liability. It declared that some men were

indeed above the law, so-granted by wealth or by station. While Nixon

recuperated others who had followed his orders served time in federal

prisons.



Several years ago when local police departments began

carrying taser weapons, they were introduced to the public as an

alternative to deadly force. Police would no longer need to pull their

pistols in a last chance use of deadly force. They were going to save

lives; yet now we read stories of unarmed students, little old ladies

and even pregnant women being tasered, while the company which

manufactures the weapon is working on a new model with a multiple-shot

capacity. Are we so violent? Do police need to carry a multiple-shot

capacity taser to keep from emptying their pistols into the crowd?

What

they are allowed to do today to strangers, they will be allowed to do

to you tomorrow. The currents of time never stop, and the excuse of

waterboarding a suspect to stop a terrorist plot today will be seen as

license to waterboard a suspected convenience store holdup man

tomorrow.

In 1968 the My Lai massacre of 347 Vietnamese

civilians, murdered by US soldiers, brought a huge outcry from the

public. The world was outraged; congressmen received death threats. Yet

today nobody thinks twice that during the hunt for Saddam Hussein the

military dropped laser-guided bombs on a twelve-unit apartment building

in Baghdad. The military later announced that their information was

incorrect and Saddam had never been there, but no word on the families

who once called the building home.

The massacres in Afghanistan,

the murdered wedding parties in Iraq, become glossed over as life loses

its value. The predator drone attacks continue despite the complaints

of the lawful rulers of Pakistan, and yet that isn’t questioned by the

media or even by the clergy. We have begun down a road which, if we

don’t turn back, will have dire consequences on the future for us all.

We

have become so fractured politically that our system ceases to work.

The very people who cheered for the Patriot Act, which allows the

government access to anything you read or write, or any phone

conversations or Email, and even warrantless sneak-and-peek searches,

now decry the public option in the health care bill because they fear

that their medical records will fall into in the hands of government

bureaucrats. They fear any government programs, yet they fully support

our troops and law enforcement.

It has often been said that

truth is the first casualty of war, and many people forget that we have

been at war almost a decade now. So long, perhaps, that we have

forgotten why and how we got into these wars. We went to Afghanistan

because the Taliban refused to give up Osama Bin Laden after the 9-11

attacks. They were labeled as supporting terrorists and allowing

terrorist training camps on their soil. Yet only one year before those

same leaders were welcomed into our country and wined and dined by

government and oil company officials.

And Bin Laden? He’s not

only never been found, he has never been charged with any crimes

involving the 9-11 attacks. The former President went so far as to say;

“I don’t know where he is. I just don’t spend that much time on it.”

This just six months after the 9-11 attack. Bin Laden had been made the

greatest international boogeyman of our time, but once the wars had

begun he was no longer needed to incite the public.

From Bin

Laden to Saddam, Saddam was accused of building nuclear bombs and had

mobile chemical weapons labs. Saddam had unmanned aircraft that could

fly all the way to America and dump toxic gas on the unsuspecting

public. Saddam was evil incarnate; he even gassed his own people.

Except that it happened during the Iran Iraq War and the US had

supplied intelligence that said Iranian troops had occupied an Iraqi

village along the border. Unfortunately the intelligence was out of

date; the Iranians had withdrawn their troops and the villagers had

returned home.

Saddam gassed them, all right, based on bad

intelligence and with chemical weapons supplied by the Reagan

administration. Saddam was indeed a tyrant, but he was a tyrant that

offered free national healthcare and a free college education to his

people. Iraq had the highest percentage of college educated women

anywhere in the Arab world and more engineers, as well. But once

captured he was quickly executed. No world court would get their hands

on him, only a local mock trial with the verdict preordained before the

judge was ever seated.

Next on the boogeyman list were Iran’s

Ahmadinejad and North Korea’s Kim Jong il. Ahmadinejad told the UN that

the European Holocaust was not a legitimate cause for the UN to give

away land that it did not hold title to, and Ahmadinejad was labeled a

holocaust denier. Ahmadinejad then said that Israel will disappear from

the pages of time, which was translated to the American public as the

Iranian president had some evil plan up his sleeve to destroy Israel,

forgetting that in his office as President, Ahmadinejad has no control

over the military forces of Iran.

We have lies on top of lies

and wars on top of wars built on lies until the military budget of the

United States is 50% of the total budget. How long can this go on? The

Ecuadorian government told the US that it would not renew the lease on

the single airbase it allowed the US to use to allegedly fight drug

traffic. I say allegedly because during the Vietnam War the CIA was

accused of drug trafficking, and during Iran Contra Hearings the CIA

was again accused of drug trafficking. Hillary Clinton recently

negotiated for seven new bases in Colombia where we have spent billions

of dollars to fight the cocaine traffic with the son of a drug

trafficker and former Mayor of Medellin and former close associate of

Pablo Escobar before he became the country’s crime-busting President.

With

the election of Barack Obama it was hoped by many that we would turn

around and return to a logic-based policy rather than fear-based. Obama

quickly squashed the idea of any prosecutions of former officials, save

for a few underlings ala the Ford doctrine. Guantanamo is to be

relocated further out of sight to Afghanistan, and the one-time law

professor developed his own legal theory of “Indefinite detention,” in

effect codifying the suspension of habeas corpus. These are not little,

trifling things; these are principles of western law that extend back

almost one thousand years.

While the tea baggers shout about

Obama the socialist, they welcome and wear the new fascism like a fine

new coat. Government shouldn’t do anything to help its people! Obama

wants to pull the plug on grandma! Obama wants to change our form of

government to Communist! It would be laughable if it weren’t so

serious, and because we are so divided politically and deluded by the

vast whirlpools of political lies, it is hard to image how we can ever

get out of it.

But as the river cuts the channel deeper and

straightens out its bends, who knows who the next boogeyman might be.

Maybe you, Montag! Or maybe someone even more threatening.

“Residents

called to complain there was an old scruffy man acting suspiciously,”

said officer Spencer. “It was an odd request because it was

mid-afternoon. But it’s an ethnic Latin area and the residents felt he

didn’t fit in.”

The man walking through the seaside New Jersey

town gave the officer his name but had no identification on himself at

the time. The officer then ordered the man into the back seat of her

squad car and took him to the hotel where the man claimed to be

registered. Upon arrival the man produced an ID which identified him as

one Bob Dylan, in town to do a concert with Willie Nelson and John

Mellencamp.

Baba Yaga is motioning from her door for us to enter

into her hut from which there is no return, and somehow we must resist

the witch’s entreaties.

Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.