I am sure many of you have heard of the comment made by Sarah Palin, the ex-politician from Alaska. For those that have not heard it, I will explain it. The half-term governor made comments about US and its involvements in the Middle East. Here is the quote…
“[We are trying to] promote democracy in places that do not have any values for civilized societies, values like respecting minorities and women’s rights and independent judiciary and rule of law. How much longer do we not support and fund Sharia democracy?”
I’m not going to talk about the inherent hypocrisy of that statement based on the right wing track record on human rights specifically but I’m going to discuss this entire idea that these places we are bombing and killing civilians in are less “civilized” then we are. You may think that this isn’t important since this is merely one ex-politician, a person begging for attention, that had spoken those words but she continues to represent the right wingers and the conservatives as a whole in my opinion. So it would seem that this kind of opinion would resonate with those types of people.
They think that Islamic people are “uncivilized”? Let’s look at the definition of “civilized” quickly here. The American Heritage Dictionary defines it as…
“Showing evidence of moral and intellectual advancement; humane, ethical and reasonable”
So I’m sure the right wingers would define it specifically as “morality”. Let’s define it.
“conformity to the rules of right conduct; moral or virtuous conduct.”
Does the US represent morality? Morality is usually seen as doing the right thing. To not hurt others and to save lives, protect freedoms. That is what it is usually seen as.
Let me look back at ways the US has failed to represent morality.
The War in Afghanistan and Iraq that killed many civilians. Wars perpetrated on lies and deceit. Does anyone call that morality? How civilized is that?
What of other wars? Gulf War killed thousands. Moral?
The War against sovereign Libya? Civilians were killed there too.
I can continue with more wars where the US has killed civilians like in Vietnam but I am sure the message is clear. The US murders civilians. It topples governments for its own benefits and it invades countries at will without justification. It is hard to be more uncivil then that. Furthermore, it tortures people and locks people in prison without facing charges for years. We have laws now that allow the US government to kidnap people and hold them as “terrorists” without charges or a trial. None of that in the above paragraph can be seen as civilized.
Now the US has many laws that blatantly oppress people. We do not need to look far in history to find many cases where it was the engine of tyranny. During WWII, we threw over 100,000 of our own people in concentration camps when we were fighting the Nazis. For years, the state attacked protesters like Iran is doing now and it is doing it today in places like NYC and Oakland. The government oppresses people based on race with some of the nation passing racist laws that allows government forces to arrest and intimidate those that are considered to be an undesirable race. Women suffer from political persecution with laws designed to oppress the sexual rights of females and blatantly humiliate the female people at both state and federal level. Men and women suffer equally if homosexual with laws designed to crush their human right to marry at both state and federal level. And don’t forget perhaps the most widespread mass persecution in the world right now. The mass imprisonment of drug users. All of that is incredibly immoral but the right wing would be the first to defend those inhumane laws and anti-freedom ideology. The US can’t even stop governments from passing laws from unconstitutional public swearing laws in New York to the fascist law that dictates how much soft drink can be consumed in one object. Let’s see again. I would say that hurting rights is immoral. Undermining freedom is immoral. So none of that listed above is anything remotely civilized.
Now from what I have gathered, the US isn’t even close to what I would call civilized. We kill people when we feel that is justified. We impose our ideology on others through laws and hurt those that do not conform. We persecute others based on race, gender, sexual orientation and even political ideology. We have lost our freedoms we have once enjoyed. We have armed troops that police our streets that can kill unarmed people and get away with it.
I am not saying that other nations are necessarily good but what does Palin mean? Is this “civilized” place somewhere we can go and visit? Because it is certainly not this country. Of course even flying to a civilized place overseas would expose us to the legion of rapists known as the TSA.