Letters to the Editor

Sunday, Sep 08 2013 11:09 PM

American hypocrisy on display in hunger strike

I'm glad to read articles like "America's shame: highest incarceration rate," "Easing sentences for non-violent acts receiving broad support," "Bill gives youth offenders a second chance," and "Jerry Brown reaping what he sowed."

The recently ended hunger strike in California's prisons brought attention to the state's policy of keeping people in solitary confinement for decades. Then I read "Holder: Snowden won't face torture, execution if returned to the U.S." What's your definition of torture?

Shane Bauer and his wife were imprisoned in Iran. He complained even Iran doesn't keep people in a hole for decades. The United Nations says seven days is long enough. You can judge a country on how it treats its own people. The word "Christian" certainly does not apply here.

As a country, we're always accusing other countries of human rights abuses. We overthrow democratically elected regimes and replace them with leaders more friendly to the U.S. (like the Shah of Iran). We're $16 trillion in debt, yet we borrow from other countries to give away foreign aid for political reasons. Our current rate of borrowing is unsustainable, ready for the meltdown.

We maintain military bases all over the world and spend five times more on our military than all other countries combined. (Some would call that imperialism.) Don't vacation next to an American military base in a foreign country; they won't like you. If a person had all these traits above, I would call them a vindictive, self-righteous, arrogant hypocrite.

Mike Francel
Bakersfield

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