THEY MISSED CHENEY-- A MORAL DILEMMA FOR ALL MEN OF GOOD FAITH
When I was just a child I used to wrestle with a moral dilemma. If I could go back in time to the very beginning of Hitler's chancellorship-- and knowing in the early 1930s what we know currently about what he and the Nazis were up to-- would I kill him? The fact that it would mean my own death was something I discounted entirely. Hitler was a man consumed with hatred and insanity who wielded immense power, power he used for destructiveness on a level rarely seen in history.
How does history judge Jan Kubis and Jozef Gabcik, respectively a Czech and a Slovak soldier, who assassinated Reinhard Heydrich on May 27, 1942. They didn't travel back in time to do it, but from Britain and with the blessing of the Czech government in exile. Heydrich was an SS-Obergruppenfuhrer, chief of Gestapo, one of the 2 or 3 main architects of the Holocaust, and the brutal Governor of Bohemia and Moravia (Czechoslovakia). He wasn't the vice president of Germany but at the time of his death Hitler considered him his political heir. Kubis and Gabcik ambushed him in his open car in a Prague suburb on his way to work. They were more successful than the Taliban suicide bomber was today.
What about Herschel Grynszpan? Ever heard of him? Probably not. He was a German-Polish Jew living in Paris in 1938 when Hitler started racheting up his plans for the extermination of European Jews. With an attitude towards Polish Jewish workers that sounds remarkably like Tom Tancredo's-- and many other Republicans'-- towards Mexican workers in the U.S., Hitler arrested and deported 17,000 Polish Jews living in Germany-- some for more than a decade-- on October 28, 1938. They were dumped at the German-Polish border and forced across. The Polish border guards forced them back. The repulsive and inhumane little drama went on for days in the freezing rain-- and with no food for the victims-- until the Poles finally threw them all in a concentration camp. Herschel Grynszpan's family were among them. Distraught, he went to the German Embassy in Paris to seek help for his family. He was dismissed by an embassy official, Ernst vom Rath. Grynszpan returned on November 7 and shot him.
Yesterday I was in my car when I heard that bad weather would force Cheney to postpone a meeting with the American puppet leader in Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai because neither Karzai nor Cheney could travel between the U.S. airbase where Cheney was holed up and Kabul, where Karazi was holed up, by road and the weather was unsafe for a helicopter. The radio newscaster said the U.S. Secret Service was having fits at the idea of Cheney spending the night in Afghanistan. I said a little prayer.
And then this morning I woke up to find that a Taliban suicide bomber attacked the entrance to the main U.S. military base in Afghanistan, killing up to 23 people and wounding 20 more. Cheney, unhurt, was moved to a bomb shelter.
Newsweek is reporting that Cheney has had a rough week. Seeking to be out of the country for the windup to the Libby trial, in which he has come out as the main villain and a classic traitor, who should himself be on trial, he's been hopscotching around the world causing problems wherever his plane pulled in.
Cheney was sitting in a heavily guarded room at Bagram Air Force base near Kabul when he heard the explosion. Sirens erupted around the base, and a loudspeaker announced an attack. Plumes of smoke rose in the distance. Cheney was escorted immediately to a bomb shelter by Secret Service agents. "I was sitting in my quarters when I heard a loud boom," Cheney recalled later to a small group of reporters accompanying him on his week-long trip to Asia. "Shortly after, Secret Service came in and said there had apparently been an attack on the main gate."
The deaths of vom Rath and Heydrich did nothing to slow Hitler down. What would have happened had the Taliban succeeded in killing Cheney is something we'll never know. America's fate is in the hands of Americans. We need to solve our own problems-- and fortunately we have a constitutional process in which to do that.
UPDATE: INSTEAD OF RUNNING ALL OVER THE WORLD MAKING TROUBLE, MAYBE CHENEY SHOULD HAVE STAYED HOME AND PAID ATTENTION TO WHAT'S HAPPENING HERE
Cheney should be paying attention to the Libby trial. Some day-- hopefully some day soon-- he may need to remember every word that was said. And there's more at home Cheney should be paying attention to, even beyond the polls that tell a story of a nation that has lost faith in it's leaders and their policies. For someone of my generation-- and Cheney's as well-- CBS' legendary longtime anchorman, Walter Cronkite, has a moral authority no one involved with the Bush Regime has ever come near. When he came back from Vietnam in 1968 and pronounced it "unwinnable" public opinion shifted against it and President Johnson was perceptive enough to have said, "If I've lost Cronkite, I've lost America."
The Bush Regime only listens to itself-- to the Tony Snowjobs, the O'Lielys, Hannitys, the Pat Robertsons, Ann Coulters and Michelle Malkins. If they were smart they'd pay attention to what Walter Cronkite is saying about their misadventure in Iraq:
"We should have gotten out a long time ago. This is a mistake, this entire war there, its a disaster. And the earlier we get out the better," Cronkite said. "It's a terrible disaster. Look at the loss of lives of our young Americans there and those who have been maimed for life, for what purpose? No purpose we can define."
What's more, he says, America will pay a future price for going into Iraq.
CBS 5 asked Cronkite if Americans were any safer because of the Iraq war?
"No, I don't think so. I think were probably less safe," he responded. "The entire Arab world has now put us down as an enemy. It's going to be a long time for us to take back any suggestion of friendship with those nations."