Wednesday, September 25, 2013

"The US"

I have a tendency to talk about 'the US' as though it was one united country in which everyone agreed with the policies that Washington and the Presidency promote.  Of course this isn't the case, and there are millions are very sensible Americans who don't go along with all the political and patriotic nonsense that's foisted upon them.  I have to be even nicer about Americans these days because I have a wonderful American daughter-in-law, and she has a lovely family, and lots of great friends. 

So when I talk about 'the US' please remember that I'm meaning, usually, those in power, and those who are seeming warmongers. Obama slides in and out of this group; for the most part he manages to be on the edge, but there are others who seem to wholeheartedly race towards any opportunity to go to war.  Regrettably they have the clout to bring their country to such situations very readily. 

These are the kind of hypocritical people I'm talking about when I say 'the US.'  And these are the people who can, without blushing, say to Syria, we're going to bomb you unless you destroy all those nasty chemical weapons.'  But as Gwynne Dyer points out in an article today, the US, (those whom I've been defining up above) cannot, if it wishes to keep its integrity, call Syria a harbourer of chemical weapons, as though no one else had any.  As Dyer notes, 'the US' (yup, that same crew again) 'agreed to destroy the 31,000 tonnes of sarin, VX, mustard gas and other lethal gases that it owned within 10 years. That's 30 times as much as Syria has, but 10 years should have been enough. It wasn't. In 2007, Washington [another way of saying, 'the US'] asked for five more years to get rid of all its poison gas, the maximum extension allowed under the Chemical Weapons Convention. [This is the same Convention that Syria has just been forced to sign.] It didn't meet that deadline either, so last year [yup, just last year, so 'the US' has a very short memory] it announced a new deadline: 2021.  Given its own record, the US will find it hard to use Syrian delays as an excuse for resurrecting its bombing threats.'

Could the hypocrisy be any plainer?  I'm learning Psalm 119 at the moment (and have been for several months, and will be at least until Christmas!) and one of the recent verses was: I hate those who are double-minded.  Does that ring any bells?  Is it surprising that 'the US' does itself no favours when it acts in such double-minded, double-standard fashion - as it has done continually over Guantanamo Bay (a situation where Obama has slid into the 'the US' camp as well) and the spying on private citizens?

There's a difficulty in being the World's Policeman, the Greatest Nation, a Modern Empire.  Unless you bring integrity into the picture, and throw double-mindedness out the window, you're going to defile yourself continually, and all your best efforts to do great and grand things will come to naught.  Increasingly 'the US' has failed to keep its integrity.  And as more and more of its 19th and 20th century history is exposed, we're seeing that this lack of integrity goes back a considerable way.  Historians  bring these failures to light, journalists too, and artists even more so. Let's pray for a swing towards a greater integrity in 'the US.'  Without it, this nation will eventually become yet another victim of its own success, just like Greece, Rome, Russia, and many others.



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