May 28, 2003

Adam : "The hatred felt toward America becomes absurd..."

Adam , unlike the "antiwar" critics, bears the credibility of actually having risked his life for his beliefs. Rather than demonstrating in a comfy, Western European democracy, he confronted a brutal totalitarian state and spent 6 years in a Polish prison.

Yet a German journalist has claimed that "Vaclav Havel, Adam , and George Konrad, Europe's long-standing moral authorities, [have] suddenly become undiscriminating admirers of America." has replied in a thoughtful piece in Gazeta Wyborcza. He argues against the "moral equivalency" doctrine that puts US action on a par with totalitarianism.

The hatred felt toward America becomes absurd when it ceases to be a critical stance that is normal within democratic discourse and takes up the defense of brutal, totalitarian dictatorships. The so-called peace movements of the Cold War burned effigies of American presidents and genuflected before Stalin's portraits. We will not repeat such a masquerade today.
Do we like the internal politics of the Bush administration, its projects to spy on citizens, or the rightist rhetoric of the Christian fundamentalists of the Republican Party? No, we do not, though we do believe that the American democracy, the wiser for the lessons of McCarthyism and Watergate, will be capable of protecting itself from the self-poisoning of the "open society."

An otherwise sane Canadian filmmaker told me last month that the US frightened him. Unaccountably, he claimed to be more fearful of George Bush than Islamic terror thugs with nuclear weapons!

, I suspect, would not suffer such foolishness. He at least is clear on the main enemy of civilization today, and it isn't the US:

Today, however, the primary threat is terrorism by Islamist fundamentalists. War has been declared against the democratic world. It is this world, whose sins and mistakes we know all too well, that we want to defend.

These are the reasons behind our absolute war on the terrorist, corrupt, intolerant regime of the despot from Baghdad. One cannot perceive totalitarian threats in George W. Bush's policies and at the same time defend Saddam Hussein. There are limits to absurdity, which should not be exceeded recklessly.

There you have it, one of the moral voices of our time versus the usual salon radicalism blinded by hatred of the United States.

Posted by campbell at May 28, 2003 12:58 AM | TrackBack

Excellent posting, Bruce. It's a relief to know that one of the main forces behind Solidarity hasn't joined the loony crowd.

Posted by: Paul Jané at May 28, 2003 06:26 PM

I am a bbc journalist and i wonder if you have an email address for Adam Michnik? Thank you. Henrietta

Posted by: henrietta foster at July 30, 2003 12:02 PM