I suppose when conservatives write about liberal media bias, this is what they’re talking about. AlterNet drops the bomb on a piece giving just three reasons why America is screwing up the world: “no body counts”, the war on drugs, and torture. Conservative bloggers and pundits that I’ve read and heard tend to reject what they perceive as a liberal tendency to position the US as the center of all evil deeds in the world. These same analysts (the term could not be applied to the psychotic, anti-rational types like Coulter and Malkin) assert that the US is generally following a rational and universal approach to crime and conflict that most nations would apply if the choice were theirs. I have to say, there is a great deal of truth to that.
The US has not been alone in waging wars where the enemies’ body counts were widely disseminated. Nor has the US been alone is the war on drugs. While the demand for drugs in the US outstrips that of other nations, the combined demand within the European Union is considerable. It is sufficient to sustain the wholly illicit practices decried in the referenced article. Another corollary to the drug trade is the sex trade. Europeans and Americans, clearly suffering from Hollywood-induced “blond fatigue” or some other social degeneracy, have flocked to Asia and all points non-blonde to indulge themselves in activities that are harder to hide at home. The United States of America is hardly the only state in which vice is so lucrative. Are all of those tourists to Thailand really going to visit the temples?
As for the torture conversation, the renditions are happening in European nations that no moral compunctions about battering a few Muslims or suspected terrorists. Europeans have refined torture techniques for centuries. Former colonial masters like Spain, Portugal and France tortured Indian and African peoples for centuries with relative impunity. Today, the snatch-and-grab operations in these nations, and others, must be seen as part of a cultural tradition. The lip service that is paid to democracy and human rights is really for the masses, the priests (some of them), the blue-haired old ladies (some of them) and the children. When folks reach maturity (or gain some sense of the real world) they can drop the pretense. Until then, history must be prettied up.
The present-day situation may point to America because this nation has the biggest belly, but the diet, the menu and the utensils are strickly European. Liberals and conservatives of European ancestry should be able to agree on that.