2 Jul. 2007

BushWorld Thru The Chinks

The New York Times has a strongly worded editorial branding Bush Soft on Crime:
It seems clear from the record that Vice President Dick Cheney organized a campaign to discredit Mr. Wilson. And Mr. Libby, who was Mr. Cheney’s chief of staff, was willing to lie to protect his boss...

Within minutes of the Libby announcement, the same Republican commentators who fulminated when Paris Hilton got a few days knocked off her time in a county lockup were parroting Mr. Bush’s contention that a fine, probation and reputation damage were “harsh punishment” enough for Mr. Libby.
Bravo. But I take exception with another New York Times editorial today:
The central finding of the latest Pew global opinion poll is, alas, drearily familiar: President Bush and his misguided war in Iraq have dragged the United States far, far down in the world’s eyes.

The only good news — and it’s not much comfort — is that most countries give higher ratings to the American people than to the country. That means a change of government could bring a change of attitude toward America. But there is a long way to go, especially to correct the perception that the United States promotes its values globally not because they are universally good, but because they are good for American interests.
This is not a "perception" that needs to be "corrected". It is the bald, unvarnished truth. And until the citizens of the USA come to terms with that, nothing will change.

A large percentage of US respondents said it was "a good thing" that US influence was spreading abroad, while a large percentage of respondents from other countries said this was "not a good thing". But what would they know about what's good for them, right?

This is US exceptionlism at its worst: the grassroots level. I guess if you have been brainwashed since childhood to believe your country can never do wrong, it takes a heckuva jolt to wake you up. 9/11 didn't do it, despite many plaintive voices crying "Why do they hate us?". Maybe the slow train wreck disaster of the Bush presidency will finally wake the people of the USA up, but I doubt it.
"If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is, infinite. For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thru' narrow chinks of his cavern."

- William Blake