“We have become the World War II Japanese and Germans,” a prominent American law school dean writes of the United States in a book of essays. “We do what they did, and we use similar justifications, albeit we alter them to fit our own circumstances. Meanwhile the Japanese and the Germans are now the opposite.”
In his book “An Enemy of the People”(Doukathsan Press) Lawrence Velvel, dean of the Massachusetts School of Law at Andover, says, “it is a marvelous thing” that Japan and Germany in the last half century “have very little or nothing in common with the savages of the war period. They seem to have become instead, and largely because of the U.S. one gathers, exemplary to the world.”
“They are democracies,” Velvel continues. “They are prosperous. They show no desire to make war. And all this in major part because of American tutelage and aid.”
In his essay comparing America under the recent Bush administration to Germany and Japan of World War II, Velvel writes:
“It is now America that is using torture…and that is justifying torture and is engaging in, and causing, mass killing---with the result being three million dead…in Viet Nam and somewhere between 30,000 and 100,000 more in Iraq.”
Just as Japanese militarists seek to rearm their country and expunge any mention of Japan’s war crimes from their text books, Velvel says in America supposed patriots want the public to endorse Bush-style “patriotism” that includes torture and making aggressive war.
As a result of its aggressive ways, the U.S. “is finding that other countries…are beginning to gang up against it…”
If accusations of treason and lack of patriotism are to be thrown around, Velvel writes, “in my view the traitors are those like Bush and his allies who ignore the ideals that give meaning to America, and instead are making this country into one that imitates the barbarism of our enemies of WWII and of the Soviet Union before and during the Cold War.”
Noting that right-wing U.S. backers of Bush policies claim anti-war liberals “cannot run national security and won’t fight where necessary,” Velvel replies that many necessary U.S. wars “were run at the top civilian level by liberals.” He cites the Revolutionary War that “was run by the Continental Congress, dominated by great liberals of their day”; the Civil War, run by Lincoln; World Wars I and II, run by (Presidents Woodrow) Wilson and Franklin Roosevelt, respectively; and the Korean War, run by President Harry Truman.
Velvel concludes America’s great problems include “a widely prevailing lack of imagination or empathy, so that one does not understand or care about what the other guy may be feeling, and that causes approval of torture as well as other major problems.”
Dean Velvel is cofounder of the Massachusetts School of Law at Andover, opened in 1988 and purposefully dedicated to providing a quality, affordable education to minorities, immigrants, and students from low-income households who could not otherwise afford to attend a law school. Reach the dean at firstname.lastname@example.org).
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