It's amazing how many countries you find right under the surface participating in this War on Terror thing. European countries, African countries, Arab countries, Asian countries.
Some time ago there was an allegation that there were Secret Prisons in Europe. Maybe there were prisons but they were probably not very secret to the governments of those countries, though they've denied they ever existed. So this is the way it probably works. Everybody gets to spit in the USA's face in public, then with their left hand they secretly hand poor Uncle Sam some change. Or like the 19th century streetwalkers all the gents would see in the shadows and refuse to recognize in broad day. The deal is keep us safe and if we spit in your face, you'll understand old chap. Appearances and all. Torture is illegal, but if you must save us, we know you'll do the "right" thing.
I think I'll go get a beer. This line of reasoning is making me feel bad.
I always thought Ayn Rand perfectly described the kind of behavior that Wretchard is talking about. She called it the "sanction of the victim" and at its root is the insanely self-destructive shame at our own economic success; a willing acceptance of guilt for all the world's problems; and tolerating the abuse, even as we take responsibility for making things right.
Repeatedly over the years (but especially more recently), the world has said to America, "We will give you the honor and privilege of fixing our problems for us; and in return, we get to spit in your face; denounce you as immoral; and generally denigrate your culture, your leaders, and your people."
The UN's perverse anti-Americanism is well documented. No other country gives more to this organization than the U.S.; and no other country is on the receiving end of its absurd and childish criticisms more.
When it comes to taking the risks and absorbing the costs--financial and human-- for almost any project, the United States is automatically expected to shoulder the financial responsibilities; stop the megalomaniacal madmen; and protect everyone else.
And what do they get in return? Public scorn and derision.
Rand correctly saw that when need (or victimhood), replaces ability as the highest of societal values ("from each according to his ability, to each according to his need"), it creates a society in which the needs of some place a moral claim on the lives of others.
For too long, the world has staked a moral claim on America--the most productive, most free country on the face of the planet. This moral claim has shackled the benevolent American spirit--repeatedly exploiting its goodwill and the generous heart of its people; while deliberately undermining and denegrating that spirit; reveling in America's setbacks and failures; yet always demanding more. Nothing we do is ever good enough, smart enough, perfect enough--or, even enough for the looters of the world.
The world's leading intellectuals concur that we are flawed and obviously the source of all evil in the world (could you fix Darfur next? How about North Korea and Iran--can't you do something about them before it's too late?)
As the rest of the world vies for victimhood status so that their "need" can bind them to us, the people of the U.S. fail to see that the only real victims in this manipulative power game known as "anti-Americanism--is...America.
Only by withdrawing the "sanction of the victim," --i.e., refusing to be manipulated in this manner--refusing to give aid where there is scorn and not even grudging gratitude; refusing to shoulder the burden of all as they beat us upon the back and tell us to go faster, do it better, and jump higher; refusing to pay their debts; fix their problems; or protect them from their own, deliberate, suicidal behavior--only then will the looters and the parasites be forced to recognize reality.
Every time I see our country accept the premises of the insane political correctness promulgated by the political left--a doctrine that claims that, while all cultures and countries are equal; you, America, are uniquely bad and evil and must be punished for your sins. Every time I witness the hysteria mounted when America falls short of its own ideals--and then willingly and honorably acknowledges the fact and takes steps to correct it; every time I witness the granting of moral equivalence between America and the barbaric terrorists who get a free pass from the international community and the MSM for their behavior (being a terrorist means never having to say you're sorry as far as the left is concerned)-- I am appalled.
Is there no decency, no honor left in the Democratic party anymore? Has most of the world gone completely insane? Is the suicidal appeasement of evil and the denigration of good now the norm? And what will happen to the world if America is finally beaten down and just...shrugs...when the next international crisis arises.
God help us all.