That headline is on an excellent column by John le Carré in The London Times. As one who often shares these doubts about the sanity of my fellow Americans, I’m not sure whether to be embarrassed for my country by the way we appear to the rest of the world, or relieved that at least others recognize our insanity if we don’t. I keep thinking that as this kind of international sentiment continues to be published, certainly Dumbya and his more intelligent but evil handlers can’t keep their loyal subjects so isolated that we don’t notice that the rest of the world says our emperor has no clothes.
Actually, at one point, I think le Carré gives us more credit than we deserve:
Quite what war 88 per cent of Americans think they are supporting is a lot less clear. A war for how long, please? At what cost in American lives? At what cost to the American taxpayer’s pocket? At what cost — because most of those 88 per cent are thoroughly decent and humane people — in Iraqi lives?
I have often wondered about the decency and humanity of the US population, as we seem indifferent to the cost in human deaths and suffering of our aggressive and misguided self-righteous wars. It’s as if people of other nations are worth less than US citizens. “Sure, some innocent Iraqi and Afghan civilians may be slaughtered, but hey, that’s the cost of business.” We wouldn’t be so callous about US civilians becoming “collateral damage”. Incidents like the Oklahoma City and World Trade Center bombings cause us to grieve for years, hold annual remembrances, and pontificate about how drastically they have changed our lives. At the same time, we’re totally oblivious to the fact that we’re wreaking equal destruction on other countries on a routine basis. “Oh .. that was a hospital we blew up? Well, gee, that’s too bad, but shit happens”. I don’t see how this fits with le Carré’s notion of decent and humane people