The Exception and the Rule

Addendum II:

It’s difficult to listen to the self-assured reporters and the self-righteous pundits “analyzing” the situation in Afghanistan—often wrong (for decades now), but never in doubt. And not a moment of either self-criticism or serious reflection.

“The Taliban says the press will be free to criticize the government, but there’s reason to doubt those assurances…”—pair that with the fate of people who got on the wrong side of the US government for telling the straight and simple truth, like Daniel Hale, Reality Winner, and Julian Assange.

“The children are suffering under the Taliban…”—wonder for a moment about the fact that in the richest country in the world 15% of people under 18 live in poverty, including 35% of Black children and 40% of Latinx children, and that millions go hungry and have no access to excellent health care.

“The Taliban are unlikely to allow free and fair elections…”—consider the hundreds of recently proposed laws restricting access to the ballot in the US, and add at least a nod to the distortions wrought by the pillars of minority rule: the Electoral College, the Senate, and the Supreme Court.

“The progress made by women and girls is sure to be set back…”—think about the backward motion of women’s liberation, and read the legal and scholarly writings concerning women’s roles and rights by Barrett, Thomas, Alito, Kavanaugh, and  Gorsuch.

The reporters and pundits keep on talking, assuming (without deep reflection, serious inquiry, or critical thought) that the US is the exceptional nation, the greatest country on earth, the oldest and best democracy ever conceived—there are problems, of course, but they are the exception and not the rule.

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