Tuesday, September 23, 2003
( 9:32 AM )
I. Bottomless Well of Shamelessness
It's like our government knows no shame. There is no concept so foreign to them as compromise or conflict resolution or dialogue or flexibility. There is no sense of shame. I'm not talking about the really bad kind of shame (which they should also feel), but the decent kind of shame - the sort of character trait that marks good leadership: the ability to know when you are out of line and the desire to maintain a sense of decency and dignity in all your conduct. This idea is anethema to this administration. And likewise to the pundits and foot soldiers that do its bidding. Thus, this nation further isolates itself from the rest of the world - and not out of self-defense or self-preservation, but out of imperialstic pride, ego and unwillingness to participate in a coalition of nations whose first goal is the benefit of human life on earth. Shameful.
I listened to the first speeches of the General Assembly of the United Nations this morning on my busride into work. I found that I was encouraged and even inspired by the words of Secretary General Kofi Annan. His speech really dignified the world body and its purpose and while criticizing unilateralism that has threatened world community (that's us, if you didn't catch the implication), he challenged the UN to turn a new corner into a broader recognition of its role in the world and a more urgent deadline for aiding humanity and politically protecting vulnerable people and countries from the ravages of war and violence...the original purpose of the UN. He suggested that a reform of the Security Council was in order too - a not so sly remark on the imbalance of power that now rests there.
President of Brazil, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva ("Lula"), spoke next. His speech was also rousing and he emphasized the most pressing issue of the world - and one, that I daresay, might indeed limit terrorism's reign on earth if it were properly addressed: hunger. It is "absurd," he said, that there should be hungry and dying people on earth in the 21st century. There has to be a fairness, an equality amongst the nations of the world. If all the technology and science available today is only used to gain riches and power, then what good is it? This is also a point of shame for the U.S. Why we, the richest nation on earth, which uses more resources than any other, despite our small population, are not able to share technology and science for the benefit of poor nations instead of to take advantage of them is a question that must be answered by this generation. If we wait much longer, it will be even harder for this country to sustain any sense of reliability or respect amongst the nations of the world.
Finally, our own President addressed the Assembly. I've already commented on the lack of shame. Kos has a good rundown of the speech. There's not much more any of us can say that hasn't already been said. Despite the country's and the world's recognition of the lies and misleading, Bush still chose to repeat the same old stupid reasonings for his war - he refused to acknowledge that more diplomacy should have been sought by the US and he as much as suggested that the countries of the world should just forget all that we did and now step in line.
This seems to be the prevailing theme of this administration: Get Over It. They try to say that regarding the stolen election in 2000. They are trying to use this with the world regarding Iraq. Perhaps they should try it with the economy next: "Hey, all you jobless freaks - we gave you a tax cut, get over it!"
Yep, this is all gonna work out just fine.
UPDATE: Tom Burka, Humor King of the Blogosphere, best summarizes the entire attitude:
"I do think it would be helpful to get the
United Nations in to help write a constitution.
I mean, they're good at that," Bush told Fox
News in a taped interview over the weekend.
"And maybe they can mop."