American's like to think they're special. So much so that our government now makes it clear to the rest of the world that American lives are the only lives that count:
The Bush administration refused to release these records to the human rights groups under the Freedom of Information Act until it was ordered to do so by a judge. Now it has responded to their publication with bland promises by spokesmen that any wrongdoing will be investigated. The record of the past few months suggests that the administration will neither hold any senior official accountable nor change the policies that have produced this shameful record. Congress, too, has abdicated its responsibility under its Republican leadership: It has been nearly four months since the last hearing on prisoner abuse. Perhaps intervention by the courts will eventually stem the violations of human rights that appear to be ongoing in Guantanamo, Iraq and Afghanistan. For now the appalling truth is that there has been no remedy for the documented torture and killing of foreign prisoners by this American government.
- Washington Post editorial, December 23rd
Over the last few decades, there have been times when individual Americans have violated human rights. It has been exceptionally rare and justice has always been swift. We were respected for standing firm on what were American values. Now, torture and imprisonment without due process is the official policy of our government. On November 2nd, the American people endorsed this policy.
I don't see how it's possible to put the re-election of Bush down to apathy or ignorance. The only plausible explanation is that most Americans now consider torture by their government to be acceptable.
In the 1980's, Ronald Reagan restored America's pride. Though many of Reagan's policies were unjust and foolish, back in the second Millenium, America still had much to be proud of. Today, the goose-stepping macho men of the Bush administration would like to replicate Reagan's success, but their efforts are futile. It's not just the fact that our President is the laughing stock of the entire planet, or that his policies have been an utter failure. Bush can never match Reagan because he's managed to do what Osama bin Laden could not: make American pride impossible.
What would you do if you lived in another country? Kneel before Lord Bush because American's are worth more than you and your family? Do the math.