Wednesday, August 11, 2010

American Exceptionalism


As I've written before about the Khadr case (as well as the very similar case of child soldier Mohamed Jawad), what is most striking to me about this case is this: how can it possibly be that the U.S. invades a foreign country, and then when people in that country -- such as Khadr -- fight back against the invading army, by attacking purely military targets via a purely military act (throwing a grenade at a solider, who was part of a unit ironically using an abandoned Soviet runway as its outpost), they become "war criminals," or even Terrorists, who must be shipped halfway around the world, systematically abused, repeatedly declared to be one of "the worst of the worst," and then held in a cage for almost a full decade (one third of his life and counting)? It's hard to imagine anything which more compellingly underscores the completely elastic and manipulated "meaning" of "Terrorist" than this case: in essence, the U.S. is free to do whatever it wants, and anyone who fights back, even against our invading armies and soldiers (rather than civilians), is a war criminal and a Terrorist.

But.. but.. we were raining Freedom Bombs down on them!

It really is weird the way Americans, particularly the government and right wing loons, expect that we should be able to invade any nation on the planet and be "greeted as liberators" by everyone.

Ultimately it's all about your point of view. If some army invaded America, and young boys fought back.. we'd call them heroes, while the invading foreign army would treat them as we treat prisoners.

Well, maybe they would if they were lead by an awful President.

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