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A Reputation Tarnished
Author: BobR    Date: 01/18/2008 13:40:39

When I was young, we always believed that America had a sterling reputation. We were the shiny example of what a great country should be, with opportunity and freedom for everyone. We were the country that rode to the rescue of other countries, that supported the good guys and took on the bad guys. We were the silver in a world full of pewter.

My how times have changed. In the last 7 years we've gone from being the best friend to the bully. We've gone from being the possibility of hope to the prodigal son. We've gone from being the challenger of nations to the child in the corner.

By now, most of you have already heard that Canada - Canada - has put us in the same catagory as Syria and Iran (two countries that Bush refers to as evil) as "torturing" countries.
OTTAWA, Jan 17 (Reuters) - An official Canadian government document has put both the United States and Israel on a watch list of countries where prisoners run the risk of being tortured, CTV television reported on Thursday.

The revelation is likely to embarrass the minority Conservative government, which is a staunch U.S. ally.

The document mentions the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba where a Canadian man is being held. CTV said the document was part of a course on torture awareness given to Canadian diplomats to help them determine whether prisoners they visited abroad had been mistreated. It said the document mentioned U.S. interrogation techniques such as "forced nudity, isolation, and sleep deprivation."

Other countries on the watch list include Syria, China, Iran and Afghanistan, CTV said.

So while Canada is putting us on the "torturers list" (and rightly so), we have the Netherlands upset at Robert Gates' criticism of NATO forces:
THE HAGUE -- The Dutch Defense Ministry on Wednesday summoned the U.S. ambassador as other American allies denounced criticism of NATO forces in Afghanistan by U.S. Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates.

The U.S. ambassador, Roland Arnall, met with ministry officials to offer a "clarification of the comments" by Gates, said chief State Department spokesman Sean McCormack.


Although he did not criticize any country individually, Gates said he had raised the concerns at a meeting last month of NATO countries with troops in southern Afghanistan. Those forces are predominantly British, Canadian and Dutch.

Meanwhile, as we are busy alienating our alies and becoming a torturer nation, we are also slipping into 3rd world status. The UN has chided us for how we are dealing with our own citizens in the aftermath of Katrina:
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A United Nations official who has toured parts of Louisiana and Mississippi devastated by Hurricane Katrina says the thousands of victims of the storm resemble poor people displaced by natural disasters in other parts of the world.

"Whether you're displaced in a rich country or a poor country, what remains the same is you need to get the help, the assistance of the authorities, of the communities, to be able to restart a normal life, and the people I have met are not there yet," said Walter Kalin, the UN secretary general's representative on the human rights of internally displaced persons.

And of course, the cherry on the cake, the piece d'resistance, the absolute proof that the incompetence and hubris of one man and his policies are to blame for this: Bush tries to tell Saudi Arabia what to do with their oil and is rebuked:
Saudi Oil Minister Ali Ibrahim Naimi refused Bush’s request for more oil. Bush who was whimpering about high cost of oil pleaded with the Saudis to increase oil output. With the American economic system failing and the U.S. dollar virtually worthless on the world stage, Bush is worried. President Bush, with his Left Behind Christian philosophy, appeared not only utterly inept in his bid to pander to the Saudis, but challenged cognitively in his understanding of global affairs.

Is there hope? Sure - impeachment. It seems, though, that the Democrats in congress don't have the stomach for that. So we must wait another 368 days until Bush leaves the White House for good. After that, the next president must go about trying to right the wrongs, rebuild the relationships, and restore America's reputation as the shining beacon on the hill.

Better bring some silver polish...

127 comments (Latest Comment: 01/19/2008 13:44:21 by BobR)
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