Fintan O'Toole argues that the historical treatment of
Native Americans by the United States was an act of
evil that permanently disqualifies the United States
from any sort of moral leadership. But if we are to
follow his reasoning who can assert such leadership?
Britain, France, Belgium and other former colonial
powers are obviously disqualified. Russia isn't going
to pass the test. Let's not even mention Germany. Or
Austria. Sweden might be peaceful and fun loving now
but applying the O'Toole test we have to count them
out due to a long track record of military adventurism
in neighboring countries. And while we're on
Scandinavia what about those vikings? That means we
can rule out Denmark, Norway and Iceland as well. We
have to pass on Central and South America due to all
those nasty Juntas, which involved the locals
oppressing each other, albeit with outside assistance.
Since South American generals kept their money in
Switzerland we 're going to have to make them
ineligible as well. Wait! The Canadians! No, they club
baby seals to death. How about Africa? Granted the
invention of the Kalashnikov and the demented national
boundaries dreamed up by imperial mapmakers haven't
helped but the place wasn't exactly a garden of eden
before the Europeans showed up, as the slavers could
rely on the Africans to catch other Africans for them.
What about China? No, the Dali Lama just objected.
Wait! Nepal! No, they have some weird stuff with
Maoists and a Royal family. We're going to have to
pass on Japan - all that 'Co-Prosperity Sphere' stuff.
Maybe somewhere in the Middle East? No. Drew a blank
there. How about the Pacific Islanders? No - 'Not
Being Eaten' may not be an enunciated civil right but
they used to do it and it's probably covered by the UN
Coming back home Ireland doesn't count, because the
Irish spent several hundred years providing the
manpower to expand the British Empire before they got
down to the real business of fighting each other. De
Valera's signing of the condolences book when Hitler
died doesn't really help either.
The bottom line is that no nation passes the "Fintan
O'Toole Moral Superiority Test" - and if we find one
that does it's only because they haven't been given
the opportunity to fail it yet.
Monday, January 19, 2009
In today's Irish Times Fintan O'Toole argues that George W. Bush isn't the worst president in history because all US presidents are bad and the US is an irredeemably bad society. You really have to wonder about Fintan - does he really believe this stuff? If so there's clearly hope for us all as apparently having an arm's length relationship with reality doesn't prevent you from holding down a job at the IT. I penned the letter below but then decided to put it in my Blog instead...