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Speech is the whole thing, the whole ball game.
only Uncle Sam would stop bullying little nations
Irish News Letters Page
January 26 ’02
It seems most editors within the popular press are beginning to distance themselves from the goings on at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Some are forthright in their condemnation of U.S. treatment of the Afghan Prisoners of War while others equivocate, typically with ‘ it is regretful the US has left the moral high ground and departed from the standard of behaviour we all expect from the world’s leading democratic power’. I find the latter attitude intriguing. People adapting this point of view usually point to the American constitution as an indicator of the health of human rights in the U.S. and of American intentions abroad.
State Constitutions are like restaurant menus -- what they promise and what they deliver can be and more often are two different things entirely.
Slavery was legislated away over 150 years ago but Afro-Caribbean U.S. citizens still struggle against massive prejudice and remain, despite the all encompassing constitution and equality laws, grossly underrepresented at the middle and higher strata of decision makers in American society.
The treatment meted out to Native American people over the centuries in a country governed under a complex state constitution laced with statutes to protect ‘all of the people’ is a much more of a barometer of the true quality of domestic human rights.
Those states in Central and South America whose people took it upon themselves to elect a government that was at variance with the dictate of Uncle Sam could look forward only to a very uncertain future and / or invasion. Throughout the past century and a half, millions of people have died in these countries and in other states throughout the world as the Yanks used the good old American way, coups, purges military invasions and occupations to resolve political ‘anomalies’.
They have trampled over international law and ignored scores of UN resolutions in these various ventures relying solely upon ‘American Interests’ as justification for murder and mayhem.
The Americans are bad losers. The people of Cuba are still subject to a trade embargo for the defeat of US puppet dictator Batista in 1959. Similarly the U.S. blacklisted liberated and united Vietnam for decades for having the temerity to take on and defeat the most powerful army on the globe.
In victory they lack basic magnanimity. Throughout the years since the defeat of Sadaam Hussain’s forces in ‘Desert Storm’ the U.S. and its British ally have continued to bomb and blockade the impoverished people of Iraq. According to UN figures 3,000 Iraqi children are dying each month because of the trade embargo that denies them basic medication for curable ailments.
If only the U.S would depart from the ‘standard of behaviour’ we have come to expect. Undoubtedly the world would be a better place and it would a bit more palatable for those of us in this green and pleasant land to listen as the apologists of American terror impress upon us the importance of dialogue and the primacy of politics in dealing with our problems.
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