Losing Your Self-Respect
by James Glaser
November 27, 2007

It is hard when you realize that your country is not what you thought it was. It becomes a real eye opener when you look at the rest of the world, and see the hate and fear they have for the United States.

It is a little late in the game for America to make a stab at taking over the world. We should have tried that right after the Soviet Union fell apart. At that time much of the world thought we were the good guys. Today, few countries feel that way. In fact, most now feel that America is in the wrong.

It isn't just all the wars we start with pitiful third world countries, which by the way makes us the world's bully, but it is also our arrogance. We keep touting our Rule of Law. We tell the world that our people are protected by our Constitution and Bill of Rights. But you know what? The world doesn't buy that line any more.

The rest of the world sees how we conduct our wars, and that tells them a lot about us. The United States is one of the few countries that refused to sign the treaty that bans land mines. We use lots and lots of cluster bombs, and they keep killing long after any war is over because so many of the bomblets do not explode on impact. We use tons of "Depleted Uranium" shells, and they cause cancer for the innocent civilians for years after our troops leave.

America is the only country to have used atomic weapons, and with them we killed hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians. Heck, we even use chemical weapons, and in Vietnam we sprayed them on our own troops making hundreds of thousands of our troops sick and causing birth defects in some of their offspring. The same can be said for untold numbers of innocent Vietnamese.

In both Iraq and Afghanistan we used a "shock and awe" bombing campaign, that targeted civilian areas of both countries. In Iraq we bombed civilian electrical generating plants, sewage treatment plants, and safe drinking water plants. All that type of bombing is a war crime.

This past February in Paris, 57 countries signed on to a treaty that stops what our CIA calls "extraordinary renditions." That is when a country secretly kidnaps people, and then sends them to countries that use torture for questioning. The treaty also stops the use of secret prisons where many people just "disappear."

Yes, you got that right, the United States refused to sign that treaty, too. We kidnap people, and we have secret prisons all over the world. We also send people to countries that torture, and now we too torture. President Bush admitted to all of that.

Yeah, America wants to rule the world, or at least we want to tell the world how they should do things, but we want to do it our way and under our rules. The only trouble is that our way is no longer what most Americans still think it is. We no longer have the protection of that so called "rule of law." The United States of America is no longer the country we once were.

Sad to say, under Bill Clinton and George Bush we have lost the respect of the world, and once you lose that, it is so very hard to get it back. Worse than losing the respect of the world, millions of Americans have lost their self-respect, like I have, because of what we have become.

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