Here's an extended version of the latest Moscow Times column, also published on CounterPunch.org. An except below:
The young soldier thought she'd been sent to fight for democracy and freedom, the relative told Hersh, but it was a lie. Instead she found herself in Hell, committing crimes, violating her own nature, her sense of duty perverted by leaders who twisted it into a weapon to serve aggressive war. Since her return, said the relative, the young soldier keeps getting black tattoos, more and more of them, slowly covering her entire body -- trying literally to change her skin.
The fate of this soul-broken, tormented daughter of America embodies the nation itself under the malevolent reign of George W. Bush. The whole country is changing its skin, trying to cloak its shame and complicity by a wilful disfigurement. Who could look on the hideous form of Bush's America -- the snarling faces belching rancor on Fox News; the rabid partisans oozing bile through the halls of Congress; the money-glutting religious extremists relentlessly pushing ignorance, intolerance and theocratic dominion; the corporate beasts devouring the landscape, destroying communities, writing their own laws, gorging on unprecedented profits wrung from global sweatshops, corruption and war; the somnolent, silent, acquiescent public, blankly countenancing torture, deceit, elitist rule, military aggression and the open destruction of their Constitutional order -- and not see in all this a body politic in profound psychological crisis: traumatized, guilt-ridden, turning itself inside out in a frantic attempt to escape the truth?
**P.S. Please excuse the dating problems in the link given above. I haven't yet figured out how to do a separate long post with only a link or excerpt showing in the main blog, so I'm having to "pre-date" such items to get them off the main screen. Any advice on this problem would be most welcome.**