American Samizdat

Thursday, September 28, 2006. *
The American Character (Or Lack Thereof): Torture Edition
When history judges early 21st century USA, the verdict will be harsh. The first decade of this century will likely be known as the decade in which the notion of "American exceptionalism" (a delusionary notion to begin with) died. What killed off the exceptionalist myth? Was it the initiation of multiple wars leading to carnage comparable to that of the Dresden air raids or Guernica? Was it the flagrant nose-thumbing of the rest of the international community as such carnage was carried out? Was it the relative apathy of US citizens and those representatives of the so-called opposition party in the face of ever-worsening human rights violations committed by a White House that can only be described as fascist? Those elements will certainly be among those considered in the court of historical analysis. The true death knell to the exceptionalist myth will be said to have occurred in the early fall of 2006 when a Republican-led congress (with the meek enabling of a Democrat minority party) made torture the law of the land and simultaneously trashed the standard of habeas corpus - a move that no doubt puts the might USA in the company of world powers past: Stalin's USSR, Hitler's Germany, ad nauseum.

Americans will take their place as largely conformist, authoritarian, and bloodthirsty - with a majority having few if any qualms in displaying a fetish for cruelty. The American character, far from civilized, will instead be remembered as one of savagery masquerading as sophistication. That is our legacy.
posted by Don Durito at 1:45 PM
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