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The LA Times notices the "double standard" on Iran

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Today we have a pleasant and exceedingly rare surprise: a major media outlet noting that the very behavior which the U.S. Government and all Serious People are now righteously condemning is behavior in which the U.S. itself routinely engages. From The Los Angeles Times Editorial Page, entitled "Iran's plot -- and a U.S. double standard?":

But wait a minute. Two weeks ago, the United States assassinated one of its enemies in Yemen, on Yemeni soil. If the U.S. believes it has the right to assassinate enemies like Anwar Awlaki anywhere in the world in the name of a "war on terror" that has no geographical limitation, how can it then argue that other nations don't have a similar right to track down their enemies and kill them wherever they're found?

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It's true that the assassination of Awlaki was carried out with the cooperation of the government of Yemen. That makes a difference. But would the U.S. have hesitated to kill him if Yemen had not approved? Remember: There was no cooperation from the Pakistani government when Osama bin Laden was killed in May.

It's also true that there's a big difference between an Al Qaeda operative who, according to U.S. officials, had been deeply involved in planning terrorist activities, and a duly credited ambassador of a sovereign country. Still, the fact remains that all nations ought to think long and hard before gunning down their enemies in other countries.

As the United States continues down the path of state-sponsored assassination far from the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan, all sorts of tricky moral questions are likely to arise. But this much is clear: The world is unlikely to accept that the United States has a right to behave as it wishes without accountability all around the globe and that other nations do not.

Actually, a significant chunk of the world has long rejected the asserted American "right to behave as it wishes without accountability all around the globe and that other nations do not." In fact, the only ones who still affirm that right -- to the extent that they are even aware that it's at the center of their worldview -- are Brookings "scholars," Washington Post Editorial Page Editors, the scam industry calling itself "Terrorism experts," and other similar Washington hangers-on such as think-tank and academic mavens of the Foreign Policy Community, Pentagon reporters, and assorted neocon and "liberal hawk" nationalists whose purpose in life (and careerist fuel) is to supply justifying theories for any and all U.S. Government conduct undertaken to sustain its crumbling imperial rule.

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As As'ad AbuKhali says of this LA Times Editorial: "Notice how timid the US press is in criticizing the government: notice that with every criticism there is a qualification and defense of US actions embedded." That's definitely true, but given how rare it is to hear any relatively clear discussions of glaring American double standards in venues of this sort, I'm willing to emphasize the positive here. ...

Read the rest of this article -- and updates -- at Salon
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Glenn Greenwald is one of three co-founding editors of The Intercept. He is a journalist, constitutional lawyer, and author of four New York Times best-selling books on politics and law. His most recent book, No Place (more...)
 

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