April 7, 2003

emperor george?

"This war is un-American. That's an unlikely word to use, I know: it has an unhappy provenance, associated forever with the McCarthyite hunt for reds under the beds, purging anyone suspected of "un-American activities". Besides, for many outside the US, the problem with this war is not that it's un-American - but all too American. But that does an injustice to the US and its history. It assumes that the Bush administration represents all America, at all times, when in fact the opposite is true. For this administration, and this war, are not typical of the US. On the contrary, on almost every measure, they are exceptions to the American rule.
...

"Talk like this is not that comfortable in America just now; you'd be denounced fairly swiftly as a Saddam apologist or a traitor. The limits of acceptable discussion have narrowed sharply, just as civil liberties have taken a hammering as part of the post-9/11 war on terror. You might fall foul of the Patriot Act, or be denounced for insufficient love of country. There is something McCarthyite about the atmosphere which has spawned this war, making Democrats too fearful to be an opposition worthy of the name and closing down national debate. And things don't get much more un-American than that."



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