Rogue state.

From the Human Rights Annual Report 2007 just released by the UK House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee:

The UK can no longer rely on US assurances that it does not use torture, and we recommend that the Government does not rely on such assurances in the future.

The report lists multiple examples of statements by George W. Bush and White House representatives that the US does not engage in torture – statements made during periods when, as we now know, the US was actively engaged in torturing detainees.

The United States is a party to the United Nations Convention Against Torture. By its own logic, so forcefully demonstrated when small nations offend its will, the United States should now be liable to international sanctions. Other countries have done far less to receive the label of “rogue state”.

As usual, Glenn Greenwald has an excellent analysis of this, and reminds readers that it appears to be the general will in Washington neither to investigate nor to prosecute anyone connected to the Bush administration for their crimes.

Just a few days ago, Greenwald was discussing the sea change in world opinion of America that has occurred since George W. Bush took office. It is true that America has never managed to live up to its professed ideals, but it is hard to believe that we now live in the same country that we did a few short years ago. The US government is now fully divorced from the people it claims to represent; the opinion of the citizenry does not matter, only the opinions of those within the circles of power.

Does the US still fit the definition of a democracy if this is the condition of its political establishment? Corporate power and special interests group always had a disproportionate influence on government policy, but today theirs are the only voices that are heard; the will of the people, to use the antiquated and obsolete phrase, no longer enters into it.

John Edwards was fond of the phrase “two Americas”. By that, he meant a division between the rich and the poor. There are two Americas, but their division goes even deeper than Edwards described: there are the American people, and there is the government itself. The latter rules the former, but the way an empire rules its colonies: with disdain, condescension, and an eye for exploitation.

With that in mind, it is the Bush regime itself that is the rogue state.

Despite what you hear on the TV news, the Iranian people are not fond of their government, and they are smart enough to recognize a division between the US government and the American people. The Mullahs represent the Iranian people no more than George W. Bush represents the American people.

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