Fries and Fredom

Something about this story alarms me. Basically, somebody in the US has had the bright idea of renaming French Fries and referring to them as Freedom Fries in protest at France’s stance to the action against Iraq.

Sure, it could be a humorous aside to some very serious issues facing the world. It’s not the actual story that I find distressing but the ideas behind it. I suspect that I am exaggerating the importance and relevance of it but why do some Americans find it so hard to accept that other nations have a different take on events and may have genuine reasons for opposition? It doesn’t make other nations bad.

Similiarly, the suggested “restrictions on French participation in any postwar construction projects in Iraq” [Yahoo] already implies that the US will be taking over and running things should war happen and the Iraqi regime be toppled. I do not believe that’s in the best interests of anybody.

Elsewhere, A US appeals court has ruled that prisoners held at a US military base in Cuba do not have the right to hearings in American courts [BBC]. It is suggested that they are not covered by the US Constitution as they are not being held on US soil. This may be fine but surely the basis of a democratic society is that it affords basic human rights to all. That’s also one of the things that sets us apart from the terrorists. Yet we continue to hold these people without charge and without access to legal advice. The very things that are supposed to make us civilised democracies are slowly being eroded and it’s allowed because we’re presented with a scenario that is supposed to make us scared. This can not be right.

On this day…