Saturday, May 29, 2004

angry white man

Al Gore's recent speech echoed Kiesling's concerns about the direction this country is going... but most of America is content to sit back and laugh at anyone who dares to say things aren't just fucking peachy.

How did we get from September 12th , 2001, when a leading French newspaper ran a giant headline with the words "We Are All Americans Now" and when we had the good will and empathy of all the world -- to the horror that we all felt in witnessing the pictures of torture in Abu Ghraib.

To begin with, from its earliest days in power, this administration sought to radically destroy the foreign policy consensus that had guided America since the end of World War II. The long successful strategy of containment was abandoned in favor of the new strategy of "preemption." And what they meant by preemption was not the inherent right of any nation to act preemptively against an imminent threat to its national security, but rather an exotic new approach that asserted a unique and unilateral U.S. right to ignore international law wherever it wished to do so and take military action against any nation, even in circumstances where there was no imminent threat. All that is required, in the view of Bush's team is the mere assertion of a possible, future threat - and the assertion need be made by only one person, the President.

Now personally I think Gore might have been driven insane by having the presidency stolen from him by Texas cowboys and Florida fascists, but he's sounding pretty rational here, and he makes a few valid points. We've lost so much, and the worst of it hasn't hit us yet. Our defiance of the rest of the world, the alienation of our allies, our disregard of the Geneva Convention, Abu Ghraib... do any of you remember that 4 years ago things weren't like this? 9/11 made us look human to the rest of the world - they hadn't been sure, since we don't behave very well most of the time, but there was this great outpouring of support for us from most of the world. Now many of those countries are trying to put as much distance as they can between themselves and us so they don't get hit by the fallout when the bill comes due on our arrogance.

So, laugh all you want at the silly man and his blustering speech... but remember that the joke is on us.

(BTW, Gore mentions 'the horror we all felt' when we saw the pictures from Abu Ghraib, but the predominant reaction from the conservative side has been "this is war, shit happens", not horror. Ass Limbaugh said it just looked like the soldiers were just letting off some steam, accused the liberals of making a big stink over nothing. I think the only people who felt horror at what they saw are the ones who haven't become horrors themselves, and it is a terrifyingly small part of the population that is acting like this is a horrible thing our nation has done.)