Two recent stories about the US Government could cause one to question values learned as a child. A nation so often touted as being the beacon of righteousness is appearing in a different light.
On the one hand, they are bringing the full weight of political and economic bullying against any country willing to help the NSA contract employee that revealed a secret surveillance program, not to mention what they plan to do with him.
On the other hand, innocent Iraqi citizens have no recourse against having been tortured by US contract employees, who were granted immunity from prosecution by the US Government. Those employees were able to break whatever law they chose, because Americans pick and chose at will, even if the government signed up to a convention.
Many might see this as hypocrisy, but not a country chosen by “god” to lead the world.
Such stories were in my mind, when I noticed the following headline in the London Telegraph:
Can the state be trusted to do anything right?
There have been a number of stories in the media about powerful men being naughty. Powerful men are always being naughty, but the media don’t normally take an interest...especially in Europe. Of course, many seem to claim that the victim was at fault or complicit. If a trial should ever ensue, expensive lawyers always attack the victim and praise the benefits to society that only their client can bestow. Powerful men must be exonerated, and weak victims must be punished. Naturally, such a case would never arise in France, because the weak are not permitted to accuse those in power.
When listening to commentators and reading editorials, I could not help but wonder about all those victims that do not make it into the news. They do not have to worry about powerful or influential friends rallying to the support of perpetrators. They must be concerned only about destroyed lives and recurring nightmares. According to some, these women should be grateful for the attention of such a great man or, if attacked by a nobody, the woman should be grateful for the attention of any man.
In the case of the powerful, other men seem to avoid pointing a finger out of fear of being branded “not one of the boys”, fear of losing access, fear of losing job opportunities, or fear of not being invited into the club, where lavish hospitality is always copious and free. Of course, many are guilty of similar loutish behavior and secretly applaud such antics. After all, men are supposed to act that way, which explains why Berlusconi remains in power for so long.
I’ve heard commentators in the French media complain about harsh treatment in the United States of one of their own, ignoring the fact that they might be complicit in the suffering of many of his victims over the years. Because he felt immune to having his behavior revealed in the French media, perhaps the man felt free to commit the crimes he has been alleged to commit. The sense of entitlement arises out of more than ego. Not surprising, each day reveals new stories about his behavior, which past victims have been afraid to admit.
The United States may have its faults, but at least the weak are permitted to have their day in court, which is hardly possible in France. Still, the weak must be strong...and have a good lawyer...because the tables are turned in a courtroom.
The behavior of these men is difficult for me to understand, because I have never felt the urge to take what was not mine or what was not offered to me...
Prior to writing novels, the author enjoyed a multifaceted career: from decorated combat aviator to advertising professional to global communications director of a major consumer brand. He has traveled the world and met sports, film and television stars, political leaders, and royalty. He graduated from Middlebury College, is married, lives in Germany, and has two grown children.