Americans like to think of themselves as the ultimate “good guys” and anyone who gets in their way as a “bad guy.” Under this theory of U.S. “exceptionalism,” whatever “we” do must be moral or at least morally defensible, from sponsoring coups around the world to torture, as William Blum describes.
Many well-meaning Americans are shocked by the torture disclosures in a Senate report and can’t believe U.S. officials would sanction acts such as waterboarding and “rectal feeding.” But the uglier truth is that the CIA has long taught and encouraged torture in U.S. client states, as Jonathan Marshall notes.
Exclusive: Many in Official Washington still consider Latin America their “backyard,” a place where U.S. interests rule and where leftist and reformist governments have historically faced “regime change” tactics. But the region has finally broken from U.S. control and isn’t ready to go back, reports Andrés Cala.
Exclusive: Brazil’s President Rousseff lashed out at U.S. spying during her UN speech, but there was a deeper message – the days when South America was Washington’s compliant “backyard” are over. The U.S. government now has the choice of forging a more equal relationship with the region or facing damaging isolation, writes Andrés Cala.
Turkey and Brazil are two fast-developing regional powers that have begun to take their places on the global stage. But both are now dealing with popular unrest directed against government actions that have struck some protesters as arrogant and insensitive, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar notes.
In recent decades, the U.S. government and news media have treated international law as a matter of convenience and hypocrisy, applying rules self-righteously when they’re useful and ignoring them when a hindrance. The dispute over Iran’s nuclear program is a case in point, as Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett explain.