Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Monday 12 October 2009

... For the land of the free and the home of the brave

Noble words sadly debauched by the 43rd President of the United States and even more tragically continued or at the very least covered up/'buried under the carpet' by the current President, the 44th.

See also here, here and here.

The current US Administration has some more work to do before the words of "The Star Spangled Banner" cease to evoke a hollow laugh from this writer.

(thru Andrew Sullivan here)


  1. I totally agree with the sentiment, but surely every US administration in modern history has been tainted by such abuses. Funding anti-Communist campaigns in Latin America that led to the murder of many innocents are one particular example from the recent past.

    The USA, and it's hardly unique among the world's countries, has always had blood and pain on it's hands.

  2. ... but surely every US administration in modern history has been tainted by such abuses

    I see what you mean, but I disagree profoundly. Torture is in a copmpletely different category and is totally outlawed under international treaty, with no exceptions whatsoever under any circumstances. I don't deny it may sometimes be difficult to adhere to such a commitment, but countries which say they are democracies should not ratify such treaties and flaunt their moral superiority when doing so and then flout them. The US is not alone in this of course (for example the UK at an early stage in the Northern Irleand conflict beginninng around 1970 almost certainly did).

    Countries do all sorts of things for 'the greater good' and for its their own self-interest, but rarely does a country so flargrantly abuse its own principles with the level of intellectual dishonesty that the US under GWB did. He and Cheney (and Rumsfeld), and probably a few more in Bush's administration would if they were from any other country already be facing inditement in the Hague; the power of the US means this is unlikely to happen, but the moral right of the 'democracies' to lecture true dictatorships on their often sordid behaviour has been profoundly damaged by this 'lapse' and I think it will have lasting consequences for years. It is a moral delinquency precisely because the US has generally done a lot more good than harm in the world.

    Is there an innocent communist? Well I suppose there are a few, but I am only being slightly facetious when I pose that question. Not that I would in any way wish to be an apologist for the McCarthyite witch-hunts of the early 1950s, but nor am I going to accept any nonsense about Castro, Chavez, Ho Chi Minh or Pol Pot!

  3. That's very true - little to add.


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