Thursday, December 01, 2005

Not proud to be an American

Common Dreams published a piece by philosophy professor Gary Alan Scott entitled, "10 Reasons Why I Am No Longer Proud to be an American". Here's how it gets started:

I am an expatriate living and working in Belgium. I have traveled widely over the last 30 years and have lived in three countries besides my native America. I am presently the Director of an International Residence House. One of my students asked me the other day whether I consider myself "proud" to be an American.

I responded by saying that I love my country's founding values, its natural beauty and so, so many people in it, but that I can no longer say that I am proud to be an American. Here are ten reasons why.

1. The War in Iraq was Illegal, unjust, and unnecessary. I am not proud of the doctrine of "pre-emption" because I don't think America should start wars needlessly, especially if they are based upon lies.

Our "leaders" chose to take our country into an illegal, unjust, and unnecessary war by hyping intelligence and scaring people into fearful submission. This war has now killed tens of thousands of Americans and Iraqis and wounded tens of thousands more, while costing us nearly $300 billion dollars and making us far less safe and far more hated than we were before this debacle. The American people may not know the "real" reason for this radical policy, but here are some of the stated reasons:

"Saddam Hussein has WMD"; "Saddam Hussein is a brutal dictator;" "Saddam Hussein had a role in 9/11;" "Saddam Hussein has ties to al-Queda;" "We want to bring democracy to the Middle East;" "We are going to fight the terrorists abroad so we don't have to fight them at home;" "Iraq is the front-line of the War on Terror;" (and my personal favorite) "He tried to kill my daddy."

And of course, there was the unstated reason, widely supposed, but rarely acknowledged: "They've got a lot of oil and gas in that region and we use a lot of it in America."

2. America has acted as a rogue nation, even a pariah state, over the past five years, and I am not proud of our "my way or the highway" unilateralism. If this were elementary school, this Administration would receive an "Unsatisfactory" grade for "Gets along well with others."

Our current Administration has thumbed its collective nose at all forms of multilateralism and international cooperation, withdrawing from the land mine treaty, the Kyoto protocol, the Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty (so the warmongers will be free to design "mini-nukes", "bunker busters" and the desire to control outer space), the World Court, many of the Geneva conventions against torture and prisoner abuse, and are one of two countries which have not signed the Rights of the Child document (the other being Somalia)! The U.S. has now committed many of the same acts for which the "war criminals" at Nuremburg were tried and convicted.

3. The country I love practices respect for human rights, and I am not proud of the fact that we have become a nation of torturers.

Our present rulers seem to find it perfectly acceptable to torture other human beings, hold people without charge or legal representation indefinitely, and is now accused of using chemical weapons (white phosphorus and a new form of napalm) against a country that was alleged to have WMD, but, in fact, did not. How ironic is it that the CIA uses abandoned Soviet Gulags and that we used the same chemical weapon on Iraqi civilians in Fallujah that Saddam used on the Kurds in 1991!

4. I am not proud of the reverse Robin Hood syndrome that has recently gripped our economy. Our cyrrebt rulers have been recklessly looting our countries wealth and resources, stealing from the poor and giving the spoils to the rich. No "welfare queen" ever had it as good as these "pigs at the trough" who never met a tax cut for the rich or a pork project in their district that they didn't love. The result has been the largest income redistribution in our history, revealing shameful poverty in the world's richest nation, and budget deficits as far as the eye can see.

Click through and read the rest of the reasons. Needless to say, I agree with all of this.

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