Chapter

Being Human While Being American

Donald W. Shriver, Jr.

in Honest Patriots

Published in print March 2005 | ISBN: 9780195151534
Published online September 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780199785056 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0195151534.003.0006
 Being Human While Being American

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This chapter celebrates public occasions and measures in recent years where the American government and citizens’ groups acknowledged national “misdeeds” in international relations, especially in its wars. The chapter begins with the 1998 Pentagon award of three soldiers’ medals to the helicopter crewmen who sought to call the My Lai massacre to a halt. It then describes recent presidential apologies for American failures to curb massacres in Bosnia and Rwanda. The author then nominates some still-to-be-acknowledged occasions for repentance in this country’s recent international affairs: the civilian-bombings of World War II, failures of public leaders to mourn — or even to count — the deaths of enemies in war, and the arrogance of American claims to global “full spectrum dominance”. The chapter concludes with pleas that America listen more carefully to its friendly critics in other countries, especially the two countries with which the book began: Germany and South Africa.

Keywords: Vietnam; My Lai; war crimes; public mourning; imperialism; full spectrum dominance; arrogance of power; apology; repentance

Chapter.  10304 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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