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View Diary: EU Issues Stinging Condemnation of CIA on Renditions (74 comments)

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  •  Despite what most of ... (5+ / 0-)

    ...us were told in school, America has been an empire for quite a long time. Not a clone of the Assyrian or Alexandrian or Roman or British empires, but kin nonetheless, with its own special characteristics, including the persistent denial that how it protects and projects its interests might not always be the best thing for the rest of the world.

    America has been a beacon in the struggle for political liberation.

    America's rulers have done some evil, murderous shit.

    I get goosebumps still when I read the Declaration of Independence or Thomas Jefferson's rejection of religious imposition on the state. Words to live by. I get a different kind of chill when I think of the millions of my indigenous cousins slaughtered to make way for the men empowered by those words to eventually rule from sea to shining sea.

    Dark moments punctuate American foreign policy history, dark moments that have always impinged on domestic policy. Thievery, massacres to abet thievery, assassinations, coups, mass incarcerations, oustings and overthrows, wars and surrogate wars and secret wars filled with atrocities, just like every other country on the face of the planet that was ever an empire.

    We should be outraged, of course, by these renditions. This violation of international law in concert with allied intelligence agencies and inhumane treatment against those rendited is not exactly some strange new behavior on the part of the U.S., but rather the logical track down which a nation goes when it's ruled by guys who tell us THEY could have won the Vietnam War if only THEY had been in charge. Guys who did similar kinds of shit in the past are their heroes.

    How sure are we that there are no secret prisons with secret prisoners right here? Are you willing to swear to me the U.S. has not tortured suspects right under our noses?

    Getting these guys out of power isn't optional.

    •  That duality between cynicism and idealism... (3+ / 0-)
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      vcmvo2, Overseas, cobalt blue

      isn't exclusive to the US(even the Soviet Union was based on ideals that were lofty and beautiful in theory, not in practice), but somehow it's so very sad that a nation which has shown such fairmindedness and promise in the past (I'm thinking of Wilson's idealism after WWI, the anti-imperialistic stance of Eisenhower during the Suez-crisis, Kennedy's wise handling of the Cuban missile crisis) has descended to a oldfashioned European style of empirebuilding, but without the effortless competence of Disraeli's Britain. We, the rest of the world, like you better when you are what you can be: a cosmopolitan trailblazer for tolerance and freedom, not a jingoistic nation-state.

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