IT WASN’T UNTIL I spent a year abroad that I realized how American I am – that I understood the subtle yet ingrained connection to land of my birth. But, like many Americans in recent years, the absurd political and moral situation of our country has torn me open and forced me to question, Where the hell is this nation going?
The International Herald Tribune writes an insightful and readworthy opinion piece on this note today, “Looking for an America we can recognize again”:
There are too many moments these days when we cannot recognize our country. Like when we read about how men in some of the most trusted positions plotted to cover up the torture of prisoners by CIA interrogators by destroying videotapes of their sickening behavior. It was impossible to see the founding principles of the greatest democracy in the contempt these men and their bosses showed for the Constitution, the rule of law and human decency.
It was not the first time in recent years we’ve felt this horror, this sorrowful sense of estrangement. Not nearly. This sort of lawless behavior has become standard practice since Sept. 11, 2001.
The country and much of the world were rightly and profoundly frightened by the hatred and ingenuity displayed by this new enemy. But there is no excuse for how President George W. Bush and his advisers panicked – how they forgot that it is their responsibility to protect American lives and American ideals, that there really is no safety for Americans or their country when those ideals are sacrificed.