Sunday, August 24, 2008

Herculean Hypocritical Heights: Jeff Jacoby had me right up until the last sentence of his op editorial "China's totalitarian games" in the August 24, 2008 Boston Sunday Globe. His last sentence in that editorial reads "As in 1936 and 1980, the 2008 Games were a showcase for a dictatorship. In such a travesty, Americans should have played no part." China's human rights abuses and its many behavioral crosses into unethical territory are no doubt worthy of intense criticism. The US with its eight years of a Bush presidency which has crossed so many ethical boundaries unpunished make us a paragon of hypocrisy when we criticize other nations for their abuses of power. It is a black pot calling another black pot blacker. Where does the US get off holding its head in the clouds of the moral high ground when it has taken a country to war based on lies and caused the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people? Where was the US moral compass as it created 2 million refugees, blew apart infrastructures and destabilized an entire Middle East under false pretenses?

In addition, team Bush demolished Constitutional rights here at home, neutralized habeas corpus, spied on Americans without warrant, exposed a US CIA agent, countenanced and, indeed, created so many other illegalities and abuses of power which question commitment to our own democracy that we have zero -- I repeat zero -- credibility with which to criticize other breaches of democratic values by other countries. It is possible (perhaps not probable) that because of the Bush administration's various Protect America Acts that even Jeff Jacoby could be plucked from behind his computer, whisked off to a place unknown, and, perhaps, even tortured simply on the whim of one single man. To me that is tyranny. Because that is possible in the heretofore world's greatest democracy makes any criticism of any other state on those grounds absurd.