The saying “Each nation has such rulers that it deserves” is very popular in Russia. The saying is often repeated with variations here. However, we would like to speak not about Russia, but about the USA in this publication.
To all appearances, the above mentioned saying fully concerns the present-day United States of America. The country which is so much proud of its democracy has never been completely democratic in fact. No doubt, any American citizen can appeal to court in case if his rights are violated and may try to defend his rights. And Americans awfully like to resort to this measure. The same can be said about freedom of press, everybody knows the Watergate case. There are lots of examples to this statement, including the notorious political correctness that sometimes goes to absurdity.
However, everything has its limits, even the American democracy. A comical incident occurred in the airport of San Jose the other day. A couple was arrested there for the protest against turning the USA into a police state. According to CNN, a San Jose airport security officer checking baggage discovered an item resembling an explosive device in a bag belonging to the couple. When the bag was opened, the security officer found a box with the inscription: “Congratulations to the marionette who has opened the bag. You’ve just taken a step toward turning the free country into a Fascist police state.” The officer didn’t appreciate the joke and sent the couple to a detention ward. Now the people have all possible prospects to become “martyrs” for the triumph of the civil law.
Joking aside, elements of a so-called “police state” seem to be gaining a wide popularity in the USA. The authorities traditionally explain that these measures are necessary for security of the people. Majority of Americans approve of such measures, as they believe that they are actually cared for.
In fact, this case proves not strength, but weakness of the state. There is no guarantee that general searches, bugging of telephone conversations and registration of all foreigners coming to the country are a safe protection from more terrorism acts. It’s rather vice versa, as resourcefulness of terrorism acts organizers needs no advertising indeed. So, finally, American citizens find themselves between the hammer and the anvil: there is the state with its care on the one hand, and terrorists, drug dealers on the other hand.
Certainly, some part of the American society (this is a considerable part, by the way) realizes perfectly well that the US Administration is following a rather dangerous way. However, protests of these people are always ignored. Average citizens are too scared with the 9/11 tragic events to think that democracy may vanish without a trace. To tell the truth, majority of Americans never thought about their rights and freedoms, they were quite satisfied with their comfortable material well-being.
At the same time, many Americans dislike when someone criticizes actions of American authorities, especially when the criticism goes from foreigners. To tell the truth, the situation is very simple: within several decades the USA popularized “the advantages of the American mode of living”, they first of all meant the achievements in the sphere of human rights. Isn’t it the time for Americans to pay attention to events going on in their country? This would be more effective than obtrusive propaganda.
Vasily Bubnov PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Maria Gousseva
Read the original in Russian: http://world.pravda.ru/world/2003/5/16/43/5329_bezdna.html
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