Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Sauce for the Goose

For we must consider that we shall be as a city upon a hill.
The eyes of all people are upon us.
-- John Winthrop, Governor of Massachusetts, 1630 --

A TERRIFIC POST from Bill W. (who is also a contributor at Crooks and Liars, who've also posted it) really lays on the line just how much harm the criminal Bush administration has done to international law, peace, and just incidentally, America's reputation. And it comes with a great video clip! (uploaded to YouTube by Bill W. - man, this guy does it all and gives you your correct change to boot.)

Sudan Cites US Example Why It Won't Comply With UN, ICC
One sad truth that Bill doesn't go into (and I'm racking my brains here to find a base he hasn't covered) - from the point of view of someone who isn't an American (I'm proudly Canadian, eh?) - is that this is just another example of the idea of American Exceptionalism that has been accepted and even nurtured under the good old Stars and Stripes for far too long.

Ah yes, American Exceptionalism - the bastard child of Manifest Destiny and the Monroe Doctrine. The not-quite-so-evil twin of Might Makes Right. Nurtured and fed on a falsehood that is older than the country itself - the idea that the US is so morally superior to everyone else that it can be described as The City on the Hill, The Beacon of Democracy, the Font of Everything That is Good in The World.

And the reason that the world doesn't have to be concerned about the actions of America or its leaders? - because they're just so darned peachy-keen, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed gee whiz golly gosh dripping with good intentions. And if those good intentions turn out to make some US businesses a tidy profit? Well all the better! We'll throw in a slice of hot apple pie, and teach your folks how to play baseball.

And if those good intentions lead to us backing a coup against your democratically elected leader and installing a business-friendly tinpot dictator who starts murdering the opposition? Well shucks, dang, and whoa there Bessie. That never happens! Except for a few times in Guatemala, Iran, Chile, Nicaragua, Panama, and enough places that it's hard to remember them all. But you can rest assured it will never happen again anyway. Trust us.

And not to seem too critical of our well-armed neighbour to the south, I'd like to add that this principle of Exceptionalism is running afoul of another principle that originated in the US, in fact the very principle that the ICC is based on. Yes, that's right, it's called the Nuremberg principle. The idea is that entire countries are not responsible for wars, their LEADERS are. Especially when the leaders in question have been caught in so many lies that no-one can even keep track anymore. And let's not forget that indispensable adjunct to the Nuremberg principle, that the leaders must be held accountable for their actions. Please let's not forget that.

If Bush and his gang of criminals are not held accountable, and significantly if that accounting is not spearheaded by America herself, any credibility you have internationally will be lost forever. Because in Bush's eye's it's not the country as a whole that benefits from this status of City on A Hill, it's himself personally. And that's just not right. As important as it is for the world that Bush be brought to justice it is equally important to America that they take an active role. Else you'll be painted with the brush of complicity in his crimes.

The eyes of all people are upon you.

To wind it up, I've got some more video for you that's to the point:
All Presidential Accountability Goes Out The Window!

Oh, and there's one other thing. Did I mention that this is all going on against the backdrop of a British Parliament report that US assurances that it does not torture can no longer be taken at face value? Well, I meant to. It seems relevant.

Cross-posted from Les Enrag├ęs.org

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