I have been skeptical about the myth of America for some time now. I was too young in the seventies to follow Watergate or the Vietnam War. In the eighties, we were still too scared of nuclear annihilation to not cheer for the American president against the Soviets. Most of us knew Reagan was a moron who might have been senile (as we called it in those days) but we didn’t think he was evil. As it turns out, he did an enormous amount of damage to a great number of people but I was a teenager when he was elected and I didn’t know any better.
The first George Bush just seemed like a bureaucrat but he lied his country into the first Iraq war and if you give him any depth of study, he’s one of the most insidious characters in the last half of the twentieth century. That whole family has been a scourge on democracy for nearly a hundred years.
I liked Clinton and I really liked Obama but I’m convinced that even the best presidents are war criminals, by the strict letter of the law. It’s a job requirement. W was, for sure. And now he holds hands and laughs with Michelle Obama at ceremonies. And he’s become almost beloved. One who is responsible for the death of a million innocent Iraqis.
But this latest stuff with the Saudis is different. They aren’t even pretending anymore. A reporter is tortured and dismembered in the consulate of an ally, in the nation of a NATO country, and there’s seemingly audio and video proof, and the story is that it was an interrogation that went wrong. He picked a fight with fifteen guys and then died. And they had a bone saw for the interrogation. That’s the official story.
And the president of the United States says he believes the story.
I don’t think the United States of America has ever had the moral high ground. In its history. From native genocide to slavery. From the overthrow of democratically elected governments to the assassinations of progressive politicians, the USA has always had blood on its hands. Of course, there is no country in the world that doesn’t have blood on its hands. All countries have ugly histories because all of history is ugly. But the States, not unlike Trump, were always the best salesmen. Most of us believed them most of the time.
But it takes a real squint to see the benevolence. And now, with Trump, the sales pitch doesn’t even matter anymore.
Sure they kill reporters. Big deal. What are you going to do about it? Every time a Republican is in front of a camera talking about doing the right thing, remember that they support the dismembering of a reporter. It’s who they are.