The Rule of Law
Representative Eric Cantor of Virginia was holding forth on immigration to the press: "Part of the reason we have been so successful as a country is because we live by the rule of law. We do live by its enforcement and transparency in our judiciary. And I think some of the ire right now is having to do with the illegal immigration, and, frankly, the flouting of the law."
I told my friend Gary about the statement and we scoffed together.
"Tell it to the Indians."
"Isn't the reason we've "been so successful as a country" because we stole everything on the continent?"
"Transparency in our judiciary, like secret warrants for secret courts and secret crimes about "National Security, and deletion of records of CIA torture sessions?"
"'Rule of law,' like when we ignored international laws to invade Iraq after being fed a feast of lies?"
"Like when we flouted the UN Charter?"
"'Rule of law,' like when we invaded Vietnam and ended up killing six and a half million people, destroying 60% of the forests, and sowing the land with poisonous pesticides so birth defects will recur for generations?"
"The place where we dropped three times the number of bombs in all of World War Two?"
"Like the law that gave us the right to leave 45 million bomb craters in Vietnam?"
"That 'rule of law?' Which rule of law are you talking about?"
"The law of the land, the law of the marketplace, or the law of the jungle?"
We went on like that for a few more moments. Gary and I are usually on the same page when it comes to official doubletalk and unofficial hypocrisy.
"The rule of law" is another of those shibboleths like "the American people,"
and "the American way of life." It is nearly meaningless, because it can mean anything.
Laws of treaties forbade American "settlers" from building on Indian land. Settlers moved in and built anyway. Indians attacked. Settlers asked Government to protect them from "Indian depredations;" Congress passed a new law; the army came to the rescue, pushing the Indians out, and killing them as the need arose; or for sport.
The rule of law.
Harold Pinter said, "Language is actually employed to keep thought at bay."
All the old crimes are new again. The crime of the Indians, the crime of Vietnam, the crime of Nicaragua and El Salvador, the crime of Chile, the crime of Haiti, the crime of American neo-colonial capitalist-imperialism, the crime of Iraq and Afghanistan, is ongoing and severe. People are bombed into becoming our sworn enemies forever. A tenacious war is escalating. Lies are being told about the other side.
Rapacious international gangsters posing as corporations are descending on Afghanistan to reap supposedly "newly-found" trillions in mining interests. Opium is in the deal. Oil pipelines are in the deal. Billions in arms contracts and supply contracts and "security" contracts are going down; the middle class is being gutted for a nice meal, and the poor as usual are always with us, and thousands are getting rich.
And no one is guilty. No one is to blame. We all are innocent.
The Rule of Law marches on.