I never thought I would reach the point where I was ashamed of my country.
I was wrong.
I’ve loved America for most of my 58 years. I’ve fought for her, killed for her, bled for her and damn near died for her more than once.
I served my country even when I thought she was wrong because I felt it was my duty as an American to do so.
But I can no longer do so. America today has become what we always stood up against: A tyrant, a destroyer of freedom, an international murderer with no regard for human rights or life, no morality and no belief in the rule of law.
America now threatens the peace of the world far more than any terrorist group, any communist country or any tinhorn dictator with a suitcase nuke.
""I lived with the Americans for one year and eight months as if I was living in hell," Baghdad shopkeeper Amjad Qassim al-Aliyawi told The Associated Press after he was released from 20 months in captivity without ever being charged with a crime or even being told what he was suspected of doing.
According to an AP investigative report, the American government holds some 14,000 detainees in secret prisons around the world. Few have any idea why they are held, all are denied legal representation or even given details of the charges against them and many are later released without explanation or even an apology.
"If you, God forbid, are an innocent Afghan who gets sold down the river by some warlord rival, you can end up at Bagram and you have absolutely no way of clearing your name," says John Sifton of Human Rights Watch in New York. "You can’t have a lawyer present evidence, or do anything organized to get yourself out of there."
Evidence continues to mount that many of these prisoners are tortured in ways that violate the Geneva Convention, the international accord that governs how civilized nations are supposed to treat prisoners of war and President George W. Bush reminds us constantly that we at "war" with "terrorism."
But America is really at war with itself, attacked from within by a madman President who claims a divine mission from God, waging a fierce battle against the principles that once guided this nation and set it above those who treated human life with callous disregard and claimed any means, no matter how barbaric, justified the cause.
America is no longer respected by its allies, admired on the world stage or trusted by its own citizens. Polls show an overwhelming majority of Americans think Bush’s lies-based war in Iraq was a monumental mistake. Most also think the President of the United States is dishonest and that our government lies to us on a regular basis.
Sadly, they are right. The Iraq war is an incredible FUBAR that has destroyed a nation, created a new haven for terrorists and cost more American lives than the attack on the World Trade Center in New York. Bush is not only a serial liar but an unstable despot whose sanity is increasingly doubted by members of his own family and party. He ignores the will of the people he is supposed to serve, violates international law at will and shreds the Constitution along with the freedoms it once protected.
America has detained without charges, and then released without explanation or apology, nearly 18,700 people since June 2004, the AP investigation found. Many of those released tell horror stories of their treatment while imprisoned, including torture by attaching electrical wires to genital areas, waterboarding (creating the fear of drowning by submerging prisoners), use of dogs and threats of long-term imprisonment.
Waleed Abdul Karim, 26, told the AP how his guards would wield their absolute authority.
"Tell us about the ones who attack Americans in your neighborhood," he quoted an interrogator as saying, "or I will keep you in prison for another 50 years."
Such treatment only fuels hatred towards this country. "I will hate Americans for the rest of my life," Karim said.
I understand why Karim hates Americans and the country they represent. I don’t hate America. I love my country but I hate what our so-called leaders have done to her.
Thanks to the illogical, illegal and insane actions of George W. Bush and those who follow him, Americans can no longer hold their heads high and take pride in their country. Bush and his fellow terrorists have destroyed a great country and I fear the damage may be permanent and irreparable.