After the umpteenth attack on our country, I interviewed U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Thomas O. Melia and asked him whether the U.S. still has some moral basis to criticize Hungary, bearing in mind the recent wars, Guantánamo and other similar incidents.
“I do not think that these controversial issues weaken our moral authority” — this is how the interviewee tried to avoid answering my question, while behind his spectacles his eyes were reflecting the learned incomprehension that is so typical of American diplomats when faced with such a confrontation.
I’m not quite sure, after the Sept. 11 attacks or even after the CIA released — obviously only partially — numerous Cold War files, what kind of naïve souls continue with the illusion that the U.S. is a moral authority. However, now that the Obama administration has gotten into another democratic scandal we have a new great opportunity to tell them off. All the signs show that the U.S. administration — run by liberal Democrats, by the way — which is criticizing us with some kind of governor’s pride, illegally accessed the phone records of journalists and editors from the biggest U.S. news agency regarding some investigations. The Internal Revenue Service “targeted” organizations that did not want to hide their conservative commitment, Hillary Clinton and her team embellished — or if you prefer, censored — reports about the tragic Benghazi attack. What a nice “list of sins” from an administration that can be so firm when it comes to lecturing Hungary about its supposed “democratic deficit!” Of course, we must add that these are tiny issues compared to other well-known or suspected problems, based on which Americans really don’t have the right to criticize us. The fact that they killed hundreds of thousands in pointless wars, deported and tortured many on the suspicion of being terrorists, and that they support collaboration with dictatorships on business and geopolitical interests, certainly does not put them on any moral pedestal. If the international legal system actually worked and its influence could be obtained, hundreds of soldiers would be accused in The Hague and would then enjoy the Dutch capital’s great hospitality, which is so vehemently forced on petty war criminals from the Balkans to Africa. However, in the world the law of power prevails, and the winners own the truth: In the United States the patriot legislators adopted a law giving the administration permission to use any means to free its soldiers accused under international law.
When we feel very indignant and angry toward them let’s not forget that the U.S. is the world’s greatest power, our most important ally and prominent investor, who indirectly saved us from Soviet occupation and made it possible for our contemporary state to develop, however this development process may have gone. Let’s think about them pragmatically, as they deserve and as they have earned. And meanwhile, let’s extend the list of their sins to include the new ones. We should not hesitate for even one second if they accuse us wrongly. We must always have counterarguments and be ready to counterattack at any moment. Don’t worry, we have plenty of things to be proud of and there are plenty of things from which they had better back off.