OPINION

Beacon dims

Reports that Kosovo hosted US-run detention centers for terrorist suspects and allegations by the UN human rights ombudsman in Kosovo, Marek Nowicki – allegations of CIA flights transporting prisoners to countries where torture is practiced; pressure by Washington on the German authorities to turn a blind eye to the abduction and detention of a German of Lebanese descent who proved to be completely innocent; the unanimous ruling by the Law Lords, Britain’s highest court, that torture is an abhorrent practice that has no place in the British judicial system; and finally the fiery speech by Nobel Prize for Literature winner Harold Pinter who hammered at US President George W. Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair… The United States, the unmatched superpower, is on a dangerous path. America – the champion of liberalism over totalitarian regimes, the beacon of the free democratic world – is now treating democracy and justice as notions merely for domestic consumption. Individual freedoms are seen as the exclusive privilege of the American and British peoples; they do not apply to the rest of the globe. The result is prisons, torture and executions due to false judgment. People are held and tortured for months, and when they are proved innocent, do not even receive an apology. Postwar history in reverse. Washington is no longer seen as the beacon of a superior political model but as a cold regime that does not hesitate to flex its huge muscles. The Stars and Stripes, a longtime symbol of freedom and democracy, spawns nothing but fear and indignation.