I know a lot of people are getting hell-bent over the current discussion on torture (I certainly have). But certain elements of this discussion have concerned me, mostly the idea that America has lost its ‘moral compass’ during the Bush years and through the torture and extraordinary rendition scandal.
To this, I simply respond What moral compass? America, in it’s 220 years of existence has succeeded precisely because it’s geo-political and economic strategies have no moral element to them. The short-sightedness of this debate is that the Bush years were some sort of anomaly in the trajectory of American goodness, while the truth is the narrative of America has been one of human rights abuse, economic exploitation, and disregard for the lives of non-Americans.
A small smattering of America’s ‘moral compass’ just from the past 50 years:
- • Covertly overthrew President Salvador Allende in Chile and replacing him with Augusto Pinochet who would kill and torture over 100,000 people
- • Currently providing over $3 billion a year in military aid to Israel while it systemically cleanses greater Palestine of non-Jews
- • Currently providing over $3 billion a year to Pakistan and Egypt, despite wide-spread human rights abuses and lack of democratic rights
- • Spearheaded efforts to impose a UN Blockade to Iraq, leading to an estimated 200,000 deaths in the late 1990’s
- • Currently providing over $1 billion a year to Saudi Arabia, including $3 million dollars of electro-shock devices used to torture inmates and political prisoners
- • Funded and headquartered in Georgia the School of the Americas Assassins (currently named the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation), which trained and armed ‘anti-Communist’ fighters in Latin America. These have included dictators and gross human rights abusers such as Bolivia’s Hugo Banzer and Panama’s Manuel Noriega.
- • Overthrew the democratically elected government of Iranian Prime Minister Mohammed Mosaddeq in 1953 and replaced it with the dictatorship of the pro-Western Shah
- • Funded the Mujahideen in Afghanistan, including Osama Bin Laden, to fight the Soviets in the early 1980s
- • Provided Saddam Hussein with the chemical weapons he would use to kill over 100,000 Kurds
And that’s just a brief list, not including America’s involvement in Vietnam, the bombing of civilians in Cambodia and subsequent rise of the Khmer Rouge, the use of nuclear weapons against Japan, or the funding and arming of Contra death squads in Nicaragua.
See Also: Cliff May And Jon Stewart, Newt Trapped On Torture, Fox News: Khalid Sheik Mohammed Not Waterboarded THAT Much, It Does Not Work, But It’s Fun!, Torture, Schmorture, Obama’s personal morality and Israel’s security, Two Views on the Torture Debate, More on those terror truth commissions, A Seriously Broken Moral Compass, Right Wing Extremism: History is Repeating, It’s about reclaiming our soul, If Americans Will Not Defend The Geneva Conventions, Reining In the Arbitrary Executive, Thomas Friedman: Torture and Invading Iraq Have Prevented Another 9/11, American Naivete & the Ugly Truth, Good Faith, Use Of Torture Is A Matter Of Context, and Torture: May Christians endorse some form of it?
[tags]torture, using torture, american moral compass, the moral compass of america, moral code of conduct, george bush, american history, cold war, is america a moral country, list of american actions[/tags]