Monday, May 28, 2007

Anti-American, Anti-Canadian or just Pro-Equality?

I read this fantastic article on about a book regarding what's often called Anti-Americanism, but what's actually Anti-American Exceptionalism. The article's author defines American Exceptionalism as: "the increasingly shameless U.S. tendency to believe it is above the rule of law, that it is exempted from the rules other nations are expected to obey."

The test she uses to define whether Canadians support this exceptionalism is as follows: "When America does something, like invade Iraq without the permission of the UN or rampage through Afghanistan, how would we assess that act if it had been done by Syria or Libya? Dreadful, we would say. Action must be taken. We would call on the UN to place sanctions on Syria, to starve its citizens (as was done to Iraq), to bomb it back to the Stone Age, or however non-thoughtful people phrase it. "

Unfortunately, this exceptionalist attitude is creeping into Canadian politics with the current governing party, the Conservatives. I won't go so far as to call them Canada's version of Republicans, because Canada in general is a more liberal and left-leaning country, but we're currently as close to a right-wing, we-know-what's-right, international-law-be-damned attitude as we've been in a LONG time... and it's very very scary. Read the whole article here; it'll certainly help to have a definition for what it is you are (and aren't) the next time you're called Anti-American...


Nariman said...

You know regardless of the definition we think is valid for Anti-American, they manage to make their own definition and force it in the media. Marketing makes miracles in this regard. It could completely make no sense whatsoever but people get brain washed pretty easily. Very sad!!

- K said...

It's very sad how easily America approaches all sorts of illegal actions with an attitude that says "it's different if I'm the one doing it." There's an excellent, but very disturbing, blog post that relates to this on the subject of torture of prisoners here.