The large wooden signs were in front of all the local synagogues of my childhood. My earliest memories of synagogues is that they always had a well placed sign, out in front of the temple building, reminding passing motorists of the pain and promise of the Holocaust. The most commonly used slogan was NEVER AGAIN!
As a child I actually believed that this sort of thing would never happen again in my lifetime. My father had gallantly fought a war in Europe to defeat evil and bring forth a newly civilized world of truth, justice and the American way. Or as Mighty Mouse used to say "Here I am to save the day!"
Meanwhile our former ally, the Soviets, picked right up where Hitler had left off and began persecuting and killing Jews by the score (which they had persistently been doing before, during and after WW2 as a matter of course), prompting another commonly seen sign, posted right next to the NEVER AGAIN! placard in front of the shul, which proclaimed in bold letters RUSSIA: LET MY PEOPLE GO!
So evil had not yet been defeated it seemed, and I remember asking my father "weren't these guys our partners in defeating the perpetrators of the Holocaust?" I remember him muttering something about Uncle Joe was a bloodthirsty bastard too.
Anyhow by the time I was sixteen I was well aware of what the Khmer Rouge were doing in Cambodia, when four million civilians were savagely slaughtered in a genocidal wave so fierce and rapid that it made the slow and plodding murder factories of the Nazis seem a distantly quaint memory. I remember asking my Jewish friends about NEVER AGAIN! in relation to what was happening in Southeast Asia and they said NEVER AGAIN WILL JEWS BE TREATED LIKE CAMBODIANS! I understood their position fully but was very disillusioned by their sectarian aloofness nonetheless. Now the Israelis have become oppressive regional bullies themselves. Never again my ass!
So why is it that whenever I point out that the United States runs concentration camps and drops death dealing bombs on innocent people, and that each of us happily pay for this activity without so much as a whimper, that someone shrieks I'm going off the deep end?
How different is this current dictatorship from any of the others in the recent past? The U.S. government is now totally destroying two sovereign countries with military force and yet only 30% of the populace thinks it's a good idea. Is this not a form of dictatorship? What else can you call it?
How are Cheney and his buddies able to get away with this? Who will stop him? How?
Questions that must be asked.
NEVER AGAIN? ARE YOU KIDDING ME?