Tuesday, December 27, 2005
To the editor:
As the end of the year approaches, most of us ponder and review what has happened during the past 12 months.
It has been a very strange year in America, a very strange last few years indeed.
Who would have guessed that the president would break the law against domestic spying, ignore the constitution and actually expect U.S. citizens to congratulate him?
One wonders whether Bin Laden did not win after all. He ruined the pre Sept. 11 America, but he had a lot of help domestically.
Had anyone said the President would invade a country, kill at least 30,000 of its people, claiming a threat that never existed, one would have thought that this nation's sensibilities and honor had truly been eviscerated.
Had we been informed that the nation's leaders would embrace torture as a legitimate tool of warfare, hold prisoners for years without charges and operate secret prisons, we would have laughed at the craziness of protecting human rights by destroying them.
If anyone had predicted that the government would defy the laws against domestic propaganda, bankroll supposedly independent journalists and ridicule a 37-year veteran for questioning military policies, one would have called the prediction pure fantasy.
In 2005, the U.S. government opposed and rejected dozens of international treaties that most countries have adopted. This includes treaties such as a bill of rights for women, pollution control, the Kyoto agreementwith 4 percent of the world's population, the U.S. produces slightly more than 30 percent of its total pollution) global warming, antipersonnel mines, the international criminal court treaty, a convention on the right of the child, and many, many more.
All these things and more have taken place, and yet a large portion of the population seems more concerned about the "Merry Christmas" versus "Happy holidays" controversy.
Is it not time for a change of course? A return to the true, basic, human values that most people in this great country seem to have held in the past?
Henri E. Stetter