When I was a child, America was a world leader in humanitarian projects. Although the government under both Republicans and Democrats sometimes engaged in questionable escapades, Americans were still perceived as the most generous and well intentioned people in the world.
Today’s America seems to be abandoning this benign posture.
For example, both houses of Congress have overwhelmingly adopted resolutions defending the Israeli onslaught in Gaza, even parroting the Israeli defense that Hamas is using civilians as human shields.
But the refugees blown up in UN shelters could not conceivably be considered human shields. The families blasted into eternity while sleeping in their beds were shielding no one.
As Israel pursues its reign of terror, using American weapons and American financial support, most of the world is recoiling in horror. Several Latin American nations, for example, have called their Israeli ambassadors home in protest.
But, shockingly, Canada has joined America in defending the Israeli massacre. Denouncing the UN for criticizing Israel, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Hamas is entirely to blame for the bloodshed. And neither of Canada’s opposition parties has challenged his position.
I know that pro-Israeli groups exert enormous influence in US politics, and American politicians live in fear of losing their campaign contributions. But Canada has campaign finance limits to prevent elections from being bought and sold.
So what on earth is going on?
I lived in Canada for 20 years and watched that country evolve into one of the world’s most enlightened and progressive societies. But I understand from my Canadian relatives that there has been a recent drift to the right.
The mystery is why.
I know as a fact that powerful “conservatives” organized a massive propaganda crusade in the United States in response to the “liberalism” of the Sixties. And I can see the crusade bearing poisonous fruit after four decades and billions of right-wing dollars.
Is a similar crusade under way in Canada?