Populism arguments may also need integrity to be complete

Glen Greenwald takes on the international populist argument in regards to the American image being destroyed by the Bush Administration. As he notes, being popular isn’t always the right thing. But even more interesting is this.

There are ample grounds to criticize, and even be horrified by, America’s actions under the Bush Administration. One can quite rationally argue that the U.S.’s systematic polices of torture, or its abducting and detaining people and holding them in secret prisons, or its decision to wage war based on claims concerning the Iraqi threat which were false and inaccurate, are destructive and indefensible. But this is the case not because these actions are unpopular in other countries, but because these actions are harmful to America, because they are contrary to America’s values, and because they undermine the liberties and securities of its citizens. In short, those actions are good or bad on their merits, regardless of what the citizens of other countries think of them.

It is presented as absolute fact. The question is “is it?” The litany sound terrible. But it only backed by anecdotal stories where the terrible things are treated as crimes of an exceptional nature. There have been investigations but none have shown what Greenwald passes off as an accepted truth. He re-writes history.

It may indeed be that the US is not popular around the world because of actions it must necessarily take to face threats the others do not have. But it may also be that this anti-US hysteria is being driven by a propaganda campaign – one fostered by folks who just take as given what might not be true.

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