Tuesday, May 24, 2005
Politics of the Day - Wretchard Hates America, Volume #371738
"...We live in a strange world where the Beslan story vanishes in weeks while Abu Ghraib lives on for years."
Link. Look, at the risk of offending most of my readers - let me try and explain, as an American with origins in the 3rd world, why a vast portion of the world hates America: it's exactly because of the butchery of reason that underlies Wretchard's sentence.
The point is that, clearly, America is supposed to better than Abu Ghraib - that is the entire point of it's existence; the entire rationale for it's being.
To think otherwise is to either be a hypocrite, or to be a fool.
Now, despite what Fox News tells you, the rest of the world is not full of idiots. I've met people all over the 3rd world with zero meaningful education who have put this argument to me (as an American).
That is to say, you don't have to be a rocket scientist to understand the flaw in such thinking - and because the flaw is so bloody obvious, most of the rest of the world concludes that anyone making this argument is a self-serving hypocrite.
Unfortunately for us, that includes most of our current government.
Now, this is not to condone Beslan - in fact, the unsaid implication and unstated admission of the above logic is that the American way really is better.
Here's another example:
"..Try Sam Brownback, Kansas Republican. He�s leading the way against the international sex trade and religious persecution as human rights issues that don't seem to be priorities for Amnesty International."
Link. Exactly the same logic applies here. If, as, according to our Constitution, every person is created equal, then logic dictates we give help wherever it can save the most lives for the least dollars - the most bang for the buck.
Now, clearly, biasing this logic in favor of groups where aid dollars are less effectively, but who we have some special interest in - essentially playing favorites because of religion, is again, well, either incredibly stupid, or incredibly hypocritical.
The point, my fellow Amurcans, is that by falling for the kinds of shoddy rhetorical tricks employed by guys like Wretchard, you're making yourselves look pretty dumb - the rest of the world expects you to be so much better and smarter than this.
That's the source of the frustration so many people feel towards America (and Bush, and Condi, and Cheney, and Rumsfeld, and...).
Actually, I would argue that in the modern age, the world's view of America is changing significantly.
With media easily accesible, and the introduction of media sources that don't repeat the rhetoric of the White House, I think people are starting to understand that America as domestic policy and America as foreign policy are two very different entities. In other words, what is advertised isn't quite true (which is of course typical of advertisement) and maybe America is far more talk than substance. This is not saying I absolutely agree with this conclusion, just my opinion of the world's view. And yes, the 4.5 billion or so people who inhabit the rest of the world outside the US count too, regardless of how many nukes you can lob at us, or how powerfull the lastest aircraft carrier...