Sunday, February 19, 2006

Our Allies Are Getting Tired of Us

Yesterday, I posted excerpts from a Jordanian editorial critical of the US policies in dealing with prisoners at Guantamo Bay. I suppose an argument can be made that an Arab newspaper might be just a tad biased about the subject, especially since there are probably Jordanian citizens held at Gitmo.

The Netherlands, however, has no particular bias in that sense, yet the Dutch are equally appalled by the current US policy in the Global War on Terror and People Who Dress Funny. From a recent editorial in NRCHandelblad:

The Dutch government has a lot more explaining to do regarding the secret CIA flights, than initially was thought. From information assembled by the Dutch Transportation Department, obtained by this newspaper under the government's Freedom of Information Act, it appears that there were many flights, potentially carrying terror suspects, that landed on Dutch soil or flew through Dutch-controlled airspace.

...It has to be stated again: prisoners do have rights too. In our society, there is no place for illegal practices such as kidnapping, extraordinary rendition, or worse: torture. The Americans deny they are guilty of torture, but have confessed that in the fight against terrorism they do occasionally use extraordinary renditions. By the way: strictly speaking, secret detention without access to legal counsel is also a form of torture.

Providing clarification offers an opportunity for the Dutch Government to state where the line needs to been drawn between well-intended acts of friendship between two sovereign nations and obscure cooperation with an ally that is in the midst of its own human rights problem. The time has come to start the debate over how to keep one's hands clean while fighting a shadowy, dirty war.
[Emphasis added]

There are a couple of things going on in this editorial, so I urge you to click on the link and read the entire text. First of all, the disgust at the US policies of 'extraordinary rendition' (the Emperor's euphemism for kidnapping) and torture is laid out clearly by the editorialist.

Second, and in some ways even more disturbing, is the writer's deep anger at the fact that the US has subverted his government to the point that it has become complicit in the criminal behavior of the Bush regime. How frightening that must seem to decent people, as frightening as it is to those of us who see our own government's actions as deplorable, disgusting, and, frankly, unAmerican.

Perhaps our own salvation will come only when other nations finally put their feet down and their indictments to the World Court in writing.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Dutch know a thing or two about living under the power of a state/corporate power alliance.

Some 60 years ago or so, but some still alive who knew what it means.


7:24 AM  

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