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imperialism & war | legacies

Our Darkest Days Are Here

The following is a weekly 60 Minutes commentary by CBS News Correspondent Andy Rooney.
Abu Ghraib prison is a black mark in the history books for a hundred years
Abu Ghraib prison is a black mark in the history books for a hundred years
Broadcast on Sunday, May 23, 2004 by 60 Minutes / CBS News

If you were going to make a list of the great times in American history, you'd start with the day in 1492, when Columbus got here.

The Revolution when we won our independence would be on the list.

Beating Hitler.

Putting Americans on the moon.

We've had a lot of great days.

Our darkest days up until now have been things like presidential assassinations, the stock market crash in 1929, Pearl Harbor, and 9-11, of course.

The day the world learned that American soldiers had tortured Iraqi prisoners belongs high on the list of worst things that ever happened to our country. It's a black mark that will be in the history books in a hundred languages for as long as there are history books. I hate to think of it.

The image of one bad young woman with a naked man on a leash did more to damage America's reputation than all the good things we've done over the years ever helped our reputation.

What were the secrets they were trying to get from captured Iraqis? What important information did that poor devil on the leash have that he wouldn't have given to anyone in exchange for a crust of bread or a sip of water?

Where were your officers? If someone told you to do it, tell us who told you. If your officers were told - we should know who told them.

One general said our guards were "untrained." Well, untrained at what? Being human beings? Did the man who chopped off Nicholas Berg's head do it because he was untrained?

The guards who tortured prisoners are faced with a year in prison. Well, great. A year for destroying our reputation as decent people.

I don't want them in prison, anyway. We shouldn't have to feed them. Take away their right to call themselves American - that's what I'd do. You aren't one of us. Get out. We don't want you. Find yourself another country or a desert island somewhere. If the order came from someone higher up, take him with you.

In the history of the world, several great civilizations that seemed immortal have deteriorated and died. I don't want to seem dramatic tonight, but I've lived a long while, and for the first time in my life, I have this faint, faraway fear that it could happen to us here in America as it happened to the Greek and Roman civilizations.

Too many Americans don't understand what we have here, or how to keep it. I worry for my grandchildren, my great-grandchildren. I want them to have what I've had, and I sense it slipping away.

Have a nice day.

homepage: homepage: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/05/20/60minutes/rooney/main618783.shtml

He's as full of shit as usual 24.May.2004 14:37

gerry

Anyone who blathers on about "the good old days" and the "once greatest nation on the face of the earth" is into it up to his nostrils. It's just business as usual. If Mr. Rooney finds this latest escapade hideous, maybe he should start working with the rest of us at changing the system that not only encourages this sort of aberrant behavior, but rewards it.

The Good Old Days Of 1492? 24.May.2004 16:05

K.

"If you were going to make a list of the great times in American history, you'd start with the day in 1492, when Columbus got here."

Of course, Rooney arogantly implies that where Columbus landed was the United States, but it was in the Carribean on islands like modern day Dominican Republic/Haiti, where all the native inhabitants were killed off by the murderous slave labor regime of Columbus. Yeah, lets fondly recall the good old days of the beginings of the European slave trade and colonialism!

OF COURSE Rooney's full of shit and always has been 24.May.2004 16:25

THAT'S NOT THE POINT HERE.

think you're some kind of radical deconstructionist for "exposing" Rooney? the guy's a no-count assclown. (and you've REALLY got you're hopes up if you honestly think he or CBS will ever "start working with the rest of us at changing the system" . . .)

THE POINT IS -

a mainstream fuddy-duddy news commentator went on national TV, and millions of American sheeple heard him say this about Abu Ghraib prison:

"It's a black mark that will be in the history books in a hundred languages for as long as there are history books."

along with his comparison of today's America with the Decline and Fall of Greece & Rome.

the "bad taste" of Empire is now in every American's mouth.

have a nice day, Andy.

ugh 24.May.2004 22:52

me

Yah, although anybody who calls 1492 a good day and some torture in prison something out of the ordinary is pretty close to a worthless pile of shit...I have to confess I felt gleeful to hear him talking about the fall of the USA. He better hope that he doesn't have to watch his friends' heads be cut off with chainsaws by Colombian death squads come the fall, though it's more likely to be his fucking 1950's-style closet child abuser pharmacist or newsstand man or whatever who hacks everybody to bits.

The vilest of torture and genocide, "hidden" beneath the thinnest veneer of white-supremacist, middle class bliss: isn't that the point of this wretched country?

Maybe If We Vote (Again) It Will Change 24.May.2004 23:48

nomad

Another white settler with god and wal*mart leading the way. Blissfully basking in the haze of the greatest dumbocracy the world has ever know--so white, so clean, so advanced, so racist, so unconnected with the rest of the world...the rest of life. Spawn of the gullible, the cruel, the sociopathic charlatans that washed up on the shores of the new world--people with no dance, no song, no story...they eat their young.

well said 25.May.2004 18:47

gerry

Nice rant there, Nomad. I'm going to add it to my collection of great quotes I've collected over the years; (or course, I eventually lose them all.)