America Then and Now

I’ve been thinking about the perilous mentality of the 52% of Americans who think torture is all fine and dandy.  And then I saw a neat little video piece on the BBC this morning which casts a few French people in the exact same spots in June 1944 and now.  It’s here:

D-Day in France: ‘It was a time of hope’

The fades from then to now are brilliantly done, actually.  The words that emanate from the people’s mouths, even more meaningful.  The hardware, somewhat aged, remains, much of it.  Along with 9367 dead in Omaha beach Cemetry and hundreds of thousands elsewhere…

Daisaku Ikeda, 3rd president of the SGI, a lay Buddhist organisation, has remarked many times that when his brother, a Japanese soldier, was captured at the end of WW2, he fully expected to be treated the same way that the Japanese had treated their captives, (i.e. dreadfully).  To his surprise, he was fed, clothed, given medical treatment and finally sent home to a land with a huge economic package in place (The Marshall Plan).  He wasn’t tortured and imprisoned for the best part of a decade.

The people that looked after Daisaku’s brother were Americans – some of whom had been tortured and degraded horribly when captured.  But as I said in this post, We Don’t Have to Behave Badly Just Because Others Do!

And that is the difference between Americans then, and Americans now.

  • Obama thinks that the torture pictures are too terrible to release.  The torture, apparently, is okay.
  • 52% of Americans agree.  What a horrible, fucked up place it is.

And that is the difference between Americans then, and Americans now.

  • In WW2 blacks were treated pretty badly by their white comrades
  • Now, blacks vote and there’s a black President
  • But 52% of Americans think it’s okay to torture

And that is the difference between Americans then, and Americans now.

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By Strangely

Founding member of the band Crawling Chaos from the North-East of England