Thursday, June 09, 2005

Heal wounds, don't open them

Congress is gunning for the UN again, says Jim Lobe.

People outside the US might see this as yet another sign that it's worth giving up on the Americans. Jeremy Brecher and Brendan Smith observe,

As the rest of the world faces an aggressive, unilateralist superpower with apparent contempt for international law and the 'decent opinion of mankind,' two responses come naturally. One is appeasement: trying to moderate U.S. aggressiveness through concession. The other is anti-Americanism: bashing the United States as uniquely the source of the world’s evil. Is there a better alternative?
Brecher and Smith think so and go on to recommend a few actions people outside the US might wish to take in order to effect positive change in the US government's behavior. Their conclusion:
The goal of such action should not be to express hatred for Americans (something the Bush administration can easily utilize for its own purposes) but to convey disapproval of the actions of the U.S. government. The purpose is not to harm the American people, but rather to help them overcome an incipient autocratic regime and hold their government accountable to the rule of law.
Hear, hear. We need some help, not rhetoric that plays more into the hands of the aggressive nationalists over here.