Shaitan cares not for freedom!

If you were to judge someone's moral character, would you judge them by what they say, or by their actions? That is, if a priest gives a wonderful sermon on kindness to your neighbor, and afterwards rapes one of the choirboys, is he a good man or an evil man?

Paul Shanley and John Geoghan

Pros: Say they believe in God.   ~   Cons: Rapers of children.

US President Bush has painted the nebulous “war on terror” as a war between good and evil ideologies, a battle for freedom and democracy — an armed defense of human rights. So I think it is fair to judge the validity of the underlying argument by the actions of the military spearheading it. You all know about the torture abuses, but I wanted to mention one that's being brushed under the rug because in some ways it's even dirtier: America's empire — like all empires before it — always has been and continues to be built on the backs of slaves.

Base pay for US military personnel starts at $14,400 (2004 figure). To put that into context, the starting salary at McDonalds in San Francisco is $17,800 ($3,400 a year more) — and that's assuming that McDonalds pay the minimum wage. The annual raise (as a percentage and as a gross figure) has consistently been smaller for US military personnel than it has been for the politicians that vote to determine both figures. But this entry isn't about radically underpaid troops and overpaid politicians.

As I'm sure you know from past debacles (like the recent $100,000 a pop sale of $7,500 Vietnam-era Jeeps), the military pays private companies a small (and undeserved) fortune for equipment. These days, as more and more workers are unemployed, and more and more people end up in the vast prison camps now housing millions of Americans, slave labor in US prisons manufactures much of the gear used by the overseas troops — and the CEOs of the companies take home millions.

But don't kid yourself into thinking the slave labor ends with felons who you may believe “deserve” it. Overseas, companies like DynCorp and Dick Cheney's KBR provide the US military (and anyone else who will pay) with security services, janitorial services, food services, and so on. Where the people who do these jobs come from and what they're paid is a deeply disturbing story — men and women are literally kidnapped from small villages in third world countries and sold to these corporations as slaves. Contractors have successfully lobbied to stop the US government from creating laws that could stop the practise. And again, the whole time the CEOs walk away with millions earned from slavery.

And that's saying nothing of the trafficking in underage sex slaves.

In any case, tell me, is the rapist priest a good man, or an evil man?

And what should his congregation do?

Wow Shannon, that's really annoying! What is it, 1997 on Geocities? Retroweb is NOT cool!

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