RSN Fundraising Banner
FB Share
Email This Page
add comment
Print

Parry writes: "Fox News host Andrea Tantaros is facing some well-deserved ridicule for refuting the stomach-turning Senate Intelligence Committee report on torture by declaring that 'The United States is awesome. We are awesome' and claiming that the Democrats and President Barack Obama released the report because they want 'to show us how we’re not awesome.'"

Fox News host Andrea Tantaros. (photo: Fox News)
Fox News host Andrea Tantaros. (photo: Fox News)


How 'Awesome' Is America?

By Robert Parry, Consortium News

14 December 14

 

ox News host Andrea Tantaros is facing some well-deserved ridicule for refuting the stomach-turning Senate Intelligence Committee report on torture by declaring that “The United States is awesome. We are awesome” and claiming that the Democrats and President Barack Obama released the report because they want “to show us how we’re not awesome.”

Tantaros’s rant did have the feel of a Saturday Night Live satire, but her upbeat jingoism was only a slight exaggeration of what Americans have been hearing from much of their media and politicians for decades. At least since the presidency of Ronald Reagan, any substantive criticism of the United States has been treated as unpatriotic.

Indeed, a journalist or a politician who dares point out any fundamental flaws in the country or even its actual history can expect to have his or her patriotism challenged. That is how debate over “how we’re not awesome” is silenced.

Fox News may be the poster child of this infantile anti-intellectualism but the same sentiments can be found on the Washington Post’s neocon editorial pages or in the higher-brow New Republic. If you dare point out that America or one of its favored “allies” has done some wrong around the world, you’re an enemy “apologist.” If you regularly adopt a critical stance, you will be marginalized.

That’s why so many serious national problems have lingered or gotten worse. If we don’t kill the messenger, we denounce him or her as un-American.

For instance, the data on racial disparities in police killings and prison incarcerations have long been available, but the vast majority of whites seem oblivious to these continued injustices. To point out that the United States has still not done the necessary hard work to correct these history-based imbalances makes you seem out of step amid the happy-face belief that whatever racism there was is now gone. We have a black president, you know.

So, when white police shoot or otherwise apply excessive violence against blacks at a wildly disproportionate rate to whites, many white Americans just shrug. They even get annoyed if black athletes join in some symbolic protests like raising their hands as Michael Brown did before he was shot to death in Ferguson, Missouri. Many people hate to have the real world intrude on their sports entertainment.

In reaction to such events, Fox News and much of talk radio find reasons to ridicule the victims and the protesters rather than address the real problems. The unwelcome evidence of racism is just another excuse to roll the eyes and infuse the voice with dripping sarcasm.

Mundane Neglect

On a more mundane level in Arlington County, Virginia, where I live, many whites simply don’t see the racial disparities though they are all around. While overwhelmingly white North Arlington benefits from all manner of public investments, including a state-of-the-art subway system which cost billions upon billions of dollars and amenities likes a $2 million “dog park renovation,” racially diverse South Arlington, the historic home of the County’s black population, is systematically shortchanged, except when it comes to expanding the sewage treatment plant.

When the County Board finally approved a much cheaper light-rail mass-transit plan for South Arlington’s Columbia Pike and voted for a public pool complex in another South Arlington neighborhood, North Arlington residents rose up in fury. The local newspaper, the Sun-Gazette, which doesn’t even distribute in much of South Arlington – due to the demographics – rallied the political opposition.

Before long, the County Board was in retreat, killing both the public pools and the light-rail plan, all the better to free up taxpayer money for more North Arlington projects. Yet, when I have noted the racial component to how the two halves of the county are treated, many Arlington whites get furious. They simply don’t see the residual racism or don’t want to see it. They view themselves as enlightened even as they favor neglecting their black and brown neighbors.

After I wrote a column about the history of Columbia Pike, which became an African-American freedom trail after President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation and ex-slaves escaped up the roadway toward Washington, one reader complained that I had slighted Robert E. Lee by saying he had “deserted” the U.S. Army when his fans prefer saying that he “resigned his commission,” which sounds so much more proper.

The point is interesting not only because the commenter didn’t seem nearly as concerned about the fate of the African-Americans, some of whom joined the U.S. Colored Troops to fight for the final defeat of slavery. And not only because General Lee violated his oath as a U.S. officer in which he swore to “bear true allegiance to the United States of America” and to “serve them honestly and faithfully against all their enemies or opposers whatsoever, and observe and obey the orders of the President of the United States.”

But the commenter’s point is also interesting because it underscores how white Americans have excused and even glorified the Confederate “heroes” who were fighting to protect a system based on the ownership of other human beings. If you have any doubt about the glorification, just visit Monument Avenue in Richmond, Virginia, where towering statues of Confederate generals dominate the skyline.

Or, if you’re in Arlington and driving on Route One, you might notice that it is still named in honor of Jefferson Davis, the president of the Confederacy who was a fervent white supremacist and a major slaveholder. And, if President Davis and General Lee had been successful in their war of secession, it could have meant that slavery might never have ended. Yet, these protectors of slavery are treated with the utmost respect and any slight toward them requires a protest.

Crude Racism

My writings about Thomas Jefferson also have elicited anger from some people who wish to idolize him as a noble philosopher/statesman when the reality was that he was a crude racist (see his Notes on the State of Virginia) who mistreated his Monticello slaves, including having boys as young as ten whipped and raping one and likely other of his slave girls. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “Thomas Jefferson: America’s Founding Sociopath.”]

Much like the defender of Robert E. Lee who preferred more polite phrasing about the general’s betrayal of his oath, defenders of the Jefferson myth expressed much more outrage over my pointing out these inconvenient truths about their hero than they did about the victims of Jefferson’s despicable behavior and stunning hypocrisies.

Which gets us back to Andrea Tantaros and how “awesome” America is. The context for her remarks was the release of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s torture report which detailed what can no longer be euphemized away as “enhanced interrogation techniques” or EITs as CIA officials prefer.

The only word that can now apply is torture, at least for anyone who has read the page-after-page of near drownings via waterboard, the hallucinatory effects of sleep deprivation, the pain inflicted by hanging people from ceilings, and the sexual sadism of keeping detainees naked and subjecting them to anal rape under the pretext of “rectal rehydration” and “rectal feeding.”

The various apologists for this torture – people like Tantaros, Vice President Dick Cheney and Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer – prefer to counterattack by questioning the patriotism or the intellectual consistency of those Americans who are outraged at these actions. The torture defenders excuse the behavior because we were scared after 9/11 and wanted the Bush administration to do whatever it took to keep us safe.

All of these excuses are designed to prevent the sort of soul-searching that one should expect from a mature democratic Republic, a country that seeks to learn from its mistakes, not cover them up or forget them.

Instead of Americans confronting these dark realities of both their history and their present – and making whatever amends and adjustments are necessary – the torture apologists or those who don’t see racism would simply have us wave the flag and declare how “awesome” we are.


e-max.it: your social media marketing partner
 

Comments   

A note of caution regarding our comment sections:

For months a stream of media reports have warned of coordinated propaganda efforts targeting political websites based in the U.S., particularly in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.

We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

It is also clear that we still have elements of the same activity in our article discussion forums at this time.

We have hosted and encouraged reader expression since the turn of the century. The comments of our readers are the most vibrant, best-used interactive feature at Reader Supported News. Accordingly, we are strongly resistant to interrupting those services.

It is, however, important to note that in all likelihood hardened operatives are attempting to shape the dialog our community seeks to engage in.

Adapt and overcome.

Marc Ash
Founder, Reader Supported News

 
+105 # CAMUS1111 2014-12-14 14:30
Andrea Tantaros is an awesomely stupid piece of excrement, I'll give her that. We are doomed.
 
 
+26 # RGV.REG 2014-12-14 21:31
Sociopath's don't have a conscience.
 
 
+14 # Ray Kondrasuk 2014-12-15 14:46
Atop that Fox news queen
a hairdo to primp and preen.
And luscious lips
spouting "Awesome!" quips
...but not much in between.
 
 
-4 # tpm713 2014-12-16 13:15
shes so hot
 
 
0 # A_Har 2014-12-16 23:21
Quoting tpm713:
shes so hot


I suppose so if you like bimbo airheads.

"We are all born ignorant but one must work hard to remain stupid." Benjamin Franklin
 
 
+1 # polfrosch 2014-12-17 18:32
Quoting tpm713:
shes so hot


How´s that possible? You can´t heat the vacuum between her ears!
 
 
+129 # RMDC 2014-12-14 14:41
I've never seen Andrea Tarantos, but the claim that the US is awesome is the foundation of right wing propaganda. No matter what the US does, it is still considered the best nation in the world by these mental midgets. The fact is that the US is a dying empire, addicted to a cult of death. It revels in superfluous killings like the old man Osama Bin Laden.

The US cannot make anything anymore. Its economy is mostly the wall street gambling casino. Standards of living are declining. It cannot afford to maintain its roads, railways, electrical grid, or anything. It is miles behind the rest of the world in public transportation, internet, schools, and much more.

the only thing the US can do better than other nations is kill, destroy, torture. AWESOME if you are a fucking idiot!!!
 
 
+61 # goodsensecynic 2014-12-14 18:05
She's right!

The USA is "awesome" ...

I observe it from beyond your borders with fear and trembling and sometimes feel the sickness unto death.
 
 
0 # Granny Weatherwax 2014-12-16 15:23
More than just some. I am full of awe.
 
 
+84 # davidr 2014-12-14 15:19
"All of these excuses are designed to prevent the sort of soul-searching that one should expect from a mature democratic Republic, a country that seeks to learn from its mistakes, not cover them up or forget them."

Of course, but there is a powerful strain of antinomianism in our country, represented almost exclusively by the right wing. For these people "soul-searching " is a sin, literally a sin. Reaching a moral judgment, even raising a moral issue, is, for them, an absolute wrong. Go figure.

Just as Margaret Thatcher could claim that society does not exist, just as the anonymous spokesman (presumably Karl Rove) could assert that reality-based conceptions are irrelevant, so can Ms Tantaros conclude that America is awesome by virtue of its obvious awesomeness. Facts don’t enter into the question, because after all, they have a liberal bias.

As an antinomian, Tantaros believes that the very act of making a rational argument for American exceptionalism is in itself a denial of American exceptionalism. In paraphrase of Mrs. Thatcher she would say, along with many others on the right, that there is no such thing as objectivity. For these people, questions are never answered by facts. They are only answered by determining whose side you're on.
 
 
+40 # Interested Observer 2014-12-14 17:42
"a mature democratic Republic". The problem word there is "mature", as in growing older is mandatory, growing up is optional.
 
 
+33 # goodsensecynic 2014-12-14 18:07
There's also a problem with "democratic," a matter summed up nicely in Sheldon S. Wolin's phrases "managed democracy" and "inverted totalitarianism ."
 
 
+1 # JJS 2014-12-17 16:47
And I feel the future trembling,
As the word is passed around.
"If you stand up for what you do believe,
Be prepared to be shot down."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hOJk74QCGuw

Enjoy the tunes......
Are we there, yet?

1991 Richie Havens performs "What About Me"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZzmCPQ7jXcc

Philly Fest '81
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jWNlF0FlLhY

Live at The BBC 1974
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KOBkQA2XADw
 
 
+15 # slocan 2014-12-14 15:32
Just look at her Twitter page picture. Need I say more?
 
 
+44 # Interested Observer 2014-12-14 17:47
Makes Sarah Palin look like William F. Buckley.
 
 
+28 # goodsensecynic 2014-12-14 18:07
You overestimate William F. Buckley.
 
 
+2 # Rain17 2014-12-14 15:52
I know people won't agree with me but the message "America sucks" or a message that implies that "America sucks" is not going to get people to listen to you. In fact it'll shut people down before you say anything.
 
 
+47 # tedrey 2014-12-14 18:14
Of course, but we are demonized if we merely say "America makes mistakes." That's no way to have a discussion.
 
 
+13 # Rain17 2014-12-14 21:12
A better way is to say "America would be better if we did" or "This would make America better".
 
 
+4 # Ema 2014-12-15 13:23
I think this discussion goes beyond the extreme right. A lot of people don't accept criticism of the US in almost any form. I really don't get why admitting to making mistakes is not acceptable. Saying that, in order for Americans to listen, they need to be told about mistakes their government makes using phrases like "America would be better if we did" or "This would make America better" is scary. Requiring this type of phrasing is childish. Grown up people and grown up nations accept mistakes in mature responsible ways. They don't need to have their errors sugarcoated with euphemisms, like children whose feelings we don't want to hurt or whose vulnerable egos we are trying to protect. It's scary that people in the most powerful nation in the world need to be treated like children.
 
 
+20 # davidr 2014-12-14 22:01
Exactly. But that's the point. People with Ms Tantaros's point of view believe that it is wrong to engage in any discussion which might address moral considerations, even "mistakes", let alone "sucking". Why is such a discussion inadmissible? Because the truth is not a matter for discussion. It is revealed to those who are privileged to see it. The truth can be heard from Fox News or an evangelical pulpit, and you may repeat it, but any real discussion is desecration. The right wing simply does not afford "a decent respect to the opinions of mankind". They think that whole concept is absurd.
 
 
+49 # fredboy 2014-12-14 17:42
They dress like cheerleaders, think like cheerleaders, talk like cheerleaders.

Do they force-feed them the Kool-Aid?
 
 
+15 # goodsensecynic 2014-12-14 18:08
Hey! Some of my best friends were cheerleaders, but that was 50 years ago ...
 
 
0 # chinaski 2014-12-16 08:58
I think she would look cute in a little cheerleader outfit. Maybe red pompoms with a white top and a short little blue skirt.
EFF OH EX! EFF OH EX! GOOOOOO FOX!! Followed by a couple of cartwhheels and a split.
Yeah, I can picture that. You just gotta put it all in the right context. Then it's fun!
 
 
+13 # leftcoast 2014-12-14 17:45
When the County Board finally approved a much cheaper light-rail mass-transit plan for South Arlington’s Columbia Pike and voted for a public pool complex in another South Arlington neighborhood, North Arlington residents rose up in fury."
What was their stated reason for opposition?
 
 
+28 # ericlipps 2014-12-14 17:49
I've got no problem with praising this country. But saying it's "awesome" and that liberals should be condemned for suggesting it's not sounds like the sort of thing some stereotypical high school cheerleader might burble out to a reporter for the school paper. Can Fox not do better than this? (I know it's Fox, but even so . . . !)
 
 
+21 # Dave_s Not Here 2014-12-14 20:18
"Can Fox not do better than this?"

Obviously, No.
 
 
+31 # DaveM 2014-12-14 17:56
Reality has become so close to satire that if present trends continue, satire will become virtually impossible.

And how "awesome" is that?

Has anyone watched the cinema classic "Network", recently? Did you have trouble realizing that it was originally a comedy? So did I.
 
 
+5 # motamanx 2014-12-15 08:48
Quote:
Has anyone watched the cinema classic "Network", recently? Did you have trouble realizing that it was originally a comedy? So did I.
Sometimes, quite often in fact, "comedy" can be quite illustrative and intellectually important. The Newsroom, and Taming of the Shrew are prime examples. Jon Stewart and Colbert Report do the news better than Fox ever could.
 
 
0 # JJS 2014-12-18 05:35
I have not watched Network lately, but I do remember it was a "film noir" comedy. It was pretty funny parody, too. The movie that tripped me up into thinking it was serious but was actually "black" humor was The Hospital (1971), with George C. Scott.
 
 
+55 # Elroys 2014-12-14 18:12
This moronic absolutism that America is infallible is the essences of our downfall. If one cannot look in the mirror and ask tough questions, learn from our mistakes (Yes - America - we make plenty of them - where shall we begin - how about GW Bush / Cheney attacking Iraq with lies, lies and more lies), then you are doomed to make the same mistakes over and over again. This is called insanity. A great nation or a conscious human being is always trying to learn, do better, make changes along the path It is a dumbed down nation and person who does not admit to mistakes and deny reality.

Listening to the likes of Fox News only serves to dumb us down into a nation of the living dead - not minds of our own. Good luck with a future based upon the drivel that these charlatans espouse. Turn off and tune out FOX News Now and Forever!
 
 
+30 # LizR 2014-12-14 18:19
Awesome - "Inspiring awe or terror."

So, has she just admitted that America is a terrorist state?
 
 
+14 # Saberoff 2014-12-14 18:19
Of course, she thinks it's awesome.
It's been awesome for her!
 
 
+43 # wrknight 2014-12-14 18:33
America IS awesome. Anyone who has travelled across this magnificent country knows that. But it's politicians suck, its government sucks, the people who elect its politicians suck and the 1% who suck the life blood out of everything and everybody suck.

Alchemists of old struggled for generations to turn lead into gold. With the stroke of a pen and money from the 1%, today's politicians regularly turn gold into shit.
 
 
+21 # REDPILLED 2014-12-14 18:42
FOX is AWE-FUL.
 
 
+17 # reiverpacific 2014-12-14 18:56
"Awesome" eh? I'm sure it used to be before the extractive industries got their greedy manglers on it and it still is in places.
But words like "Awesome" are being used to death these days.
Maybe that's whey they came up with "Shock and Awe" for bombing and destruction of one of the former and ancient cradles of civilization, a state which the US is a long way from achieving.
 
 
+25 # vilstef 2014-12-14 19:47
If going medieval is the best this country can do, we are not awesome. We are morally bankrupt and bullies in the bargain. If giving approval for torture is the best Faux news can do, they need to pack up their Republican dog and pony show and take themselves to some Bronze Age tribal theocracy where torture is official policy and approved by everyone whom it is not practiced on.
 
 
+30 # angelfish 2014-12-14 19:57
This Country hasn't been "awesome" since the 1940's when we beat back the Japanese and the Germans. What we HAVE become, thanks to the 1%'s foisting Ronald W.Reagan, George W. Bush and the TeaThuglicans on us, is Bullies. Without hearts, without intellect, without HONOR, we have embodied the role of The Ugly American in EVERY sense of the word. I am deeply ashamed of my Country and grieve for ALL the lost opportunity that was wasted when THIS President was elected. Instead of rising to the occasion, the ReTHUGlicans CHOSE the Low Road to obstruction and ruination. I will reach my allotted "three score and ten" in a few more years and it's hard to be hopeful in the face of what has recently come to light. I AM grateful to God that this President did the right thing and didn't try and sweep it under the rug or hide it in a cellar somewhere for Decades. Our entire political system needs a thorough cleansing. If we can do that, then there may be hope for us yet.
 
 
+20 # jcdav 2014-12-14 20:26
Unfortunately, I think you are correct...I am disgusted with what my country has become at the hands of the greedheads..the shame upon us is that we do not unass and politically correct the situation (if the voting machines would let us) any warnings are stifled by the "liberal media" (yeah owned in toto by 6 corporations).. .so an "informed public" is unlikely....soo s soon as they gain control of the www our only open forum will be slowed to oblivion. Orwell just had the year wrong.
 
 
+3 # motamanx 2014-12-15 08:51
Our entire political system needs a thorough cleansing. If we can do that, then there may be hope for us yet.

Right on, angelfish
 
 
+31 # NYGranny 2014-12-14 20:08
Sad to day, I think Fox News bears more responsibility for the divisions in our country and the Republican takeover than any other influence in the US. Statistics say their viewership is greater than all other cable networks combined. And most of those uninformed watchers do not read...and they vote. Thank you, Roger Ailes and Rupert Murdoch.
 
 
+33 # Dave_s Not Here 2014-12-14 20:13
I left for Canada in 1964 and never looked back. I grew up in the deep south during segregation and was disgusted by it all... and I'm white.

Since I left I've seen in the news that the USA is circling the toilet bowl faster and faster and will soon be going down. I hope Canada will not be taken down by them too as collateral damage.
 
 
+6 # adolbe 2014-12-14 21:02
As a dual Canada USA citizen looks like Canada is getting there almost as fast
 
 
+8 # pwehrle 2014-12-14 21:17
I hope not..but I suspect so, since you have one of our clones as your PrimeMinister.. .where do we go from here??
 
 
+5 # reiverpacific 2014-12-15 10:09
Quoting adolbe:
As a dual Canada USA citizen looks like Canada is getting there almost as fast

At least you still have Universal Healthcare -and you can still get rid of the appalling Harper, as I hope the UK will kick Cameron out next year.
I'm a Scot/Brit'/EU citizen who's a long term US resident in, out and around the world since the late 1970's and have also watched it's accelerating decline -or "Circling the toilet" as "Dave_s Not Here" so graphically puts it with "Fixed" News as one of the group who keeps pushing the "Flush" lever into the vortex of the Nouveau Feudalism.
 
 
+13 # pwehrle 2014-12-14 20:26
Just another one of Faux Noises mindless and historically challenged front girls, who is basically a piece of s... .
 
 
+10 # jcdav 2014-12-14 20:31
this gal is a twit. if she has ANY ability to actually think I rather doubt she uses it at all--yes we have done some awesome things both positive and (lately) negative..HOWEV ER we are far from above reproach I wonder just what this brainless Palin wannabe would call out as our most awesome accomplishments ?
 
 
+1 # Jayceecool 2014-12-14 20:37
That brunette airhead might be redeemed if her comment were meant satirically. Do you think it possible?
 
 
+2 # reiverpacific 2014-12-15 15:34
Quoting Jayceecool:
That brunette airhead might be redeemed if her comment were meant satirically. Do you think it possible?

No; that would take some perceptive and creative sense of the ironic.
I'd never heard of her before this article but from my experience and long-formed opinion, Reactionaries and their ciphers have no sense of humor.
You'll have to look for Andy Borowitz for creative satire.
 
 
+8 # Rockster 2014-12-14 20:50
"Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public."
If you combine that with the relentless appeal of seeing yourself On TVOMG!! One ends up with Fox News ! I'm guessing that most of all of it from PaPa drug addict large cigar to the blondies gracing us with their " expert" analysis is a big money grubbing ACT. Which, in a way, makes it all more pathetic. Bring a country's moral strength to disaster just to make money and be on TV.
 
 
+8 # pwehrle 2014-12-14 21:26
We are truly doomed as a nation...the stupids..i.e... the modern Rethug voters have taken over..thanks to Faux Noise and the low information and intellect level of most American voters..the recent budget bill will easily send us back to where the economy crashed..now the rich assholes can fund whoever they choose to cut their taxes and help them out on Wall Street.Democrac y with an excessive dose of capitalism, a GWB Supreme court, and people like Boner and McConnell will soon fail...and those who might vote for more democratic issues and values have mysteriously fallen asleep..
 
 
+16 # adolbe 2014-12-14 21:00
So I suppose according to FOX that Germans who teach the holocaust are unpatriotic or should get over it, ditto for the crimes of Stalin and Mao or Ben Gurion,
 
 
+5 # Arden 2014-12-15 07:06
…"to do whatever it took to keep us safe", short of torture and anything else that HUMANITY had already outlawed over the course of our collective history of civilization, including the usurpation of our RIGHTS as human beings!!! It should have gone without saying, but apparently it did not.
 
 
+6 # bbaldwin2001 2014-12-15 08:49
Andrea Tantaros on Fox News... what should we expect from a bimbo hired by this ultra right wing news media?

I never watch Fox.... do not want to waste my time.
 
 
+5 # Saxguy70 2014-12-15 13:57
FOX and the Republican need a little history lesson and Quote from one of the worlds master manipulators, Mr. Hermann Goering (Adolf Hitler's Reich-Marshall if you didn't already know that and I'm guessing FOX new's doesn't), "Naturally, the common people don't want war, but after all, it is the leaders of a country who determine the policy, an it is always a simple matter to drag people along whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or nor voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. This is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in every country" Words to live by Ladies and Gentlemen!
 
 
+1 # Capn Canard 2014-12-16 09:13
Andrea Tantaros is AWESOMELY STUPID, but amongst Conservative Americans that distinction makes people like her a dime a dozen. But her awesomeness is not just mental retardation but
awesomely vile
awesomely putrid
awesomely foul
awesomely corrupt
awesomely debauched
ad infinitum
 
 
+2 # kenrogers 2014-12-16 11:43
I want to suggest that it behooves all of us to avoid the fallacy of talking about "America" as though it were some individual person whom it makes any sense to praise or criticize.

"America" is comprised of some 300 million individual people with widely divergent perceptions of reality and extremely disparate abilities to act on those perceptions.

"America" includes Richard B. Cheney and the theologian David Ray Griffin, two people whose views of reality and motives for action in the world have so little in common that they exist on virtually different intellectual, emotional, and spiritual planets.

Assigning personal attributes and responsibility to a country, e.g., "America is awesome" or "America is evil," allows the apologists for individual Americans who commit criminal acts to defend that criminal behavior by appealing to "patriotism," i.e., to a collective identity by virtue of which we are either all responsible for the crimes of other "Americans," or by virtue of which the acts aren't actually crimes, because "Americans" have committed them.

The only way we're going to save ourselves as a species is for enough of us around the world to start thinking more logically and concretely, and this includes our thinking about the nature and limits of our responsibility for the criminal (or benevolent) behavior of others with whom we happen to share the same geographical space.

Nations aren't agents---indivi dual people within them are.
 
 
+1 # tm7devils39 2014-12-16 13:10
We're awesome alright...it you look at it from the dark side. A critical look at our history, especially the last 60 yrs, shows that our government is the largest and most prolific terrorist organization in the World - militarily, financially and politically - which makes every American patriot a terrorist by proxy.
This means that anyone who acts against us, in responding to our actions, is not a terrorist.
Isn't reality a bitch...?
Nothing good can come from going down the road our country has picked...and the America public has only itself to blame.
 
 
0 # heraldmage 2014-12-16 19:11
Now we need the other half of the torture report that deals with the torture of female victims, which was excluded because of the fear of the outrage it would cause.
Let's demand ITS RELEASE NOW! Get the outrage over with and start corrected our nations problems. Instead of wasting taxpayers money interferring in the domestic affairs of other nations, funding protests, regime change & civil war to bring down governments who refuse to implement US economic policy & imposing sanctions in an attempt to bring down every nations that uses non-capitalist economics we should be spending our money fixing the USA. Having discussions on economic policy rather than continuing to use the same economic policy left over from English colonial rule. It assured American wealth would remain in the hands of the younger sons & relatives of English aristocracy & wealthy merchants & maintain the class structure.
If we solve our economic problems & eliminate the influence campaign donors has on government we will solve most of our social problems which is rooted in greed & protection of wealth. Capitalism by its very nature it establishes inequality, bias & racism. To the wealth anything the protects & enhances their wealth is acceptable. The only way to stop torture is to severely punish everyone involved; everyone from the top down ! That might make us awesome.
 
 
0 # randi1randi1@yahoo.com 2014-12-17 12:55
What female victims are you referring to? I'm not familiar with this information. Please provide referencecs. Thank you.
 
 
0 # socrates2 2014-12-17 16:59
I pity poor Ms Tantaros. One day history will judge her mind guilty of being simple...
Be well.
 
 
0 # kurtatwork 2014-12-18 12:58
Awesome article by Mr Parry, as he addresses so many issues that take more than a 30 second sound byte to cover.

I know a lot of people are focusing on how stupid Tantaros is, that's so obvious why bother commenting, but how about some thumbs up for Parry for such a provocative article that ties together a lot of big issues that everyone needs to be thinking deeply about.
 

THE NEW STREAMLINED RSN LOGIN PROCESS: Register once, then login and you are ready to comment. All you need is a Username and a Password of your choosing and you are free to comment whenever you like! Welcome to the Reader Supported News community.

RSNRSN