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Honest PatriotsLoving a Country Enough to Remember Its Misdeeds$
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Donald W. Shriver

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780195151534

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2006

DOI: 10.1093/0195151534.001.0001

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Being Human While Being American

Being Human While Being American

Agenda for the American Future

Chapter:
(p.263) 5 Being Human While Being American
Source:
Honest Patriots
Author(s):

Donald W. Shriver, Jr.

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0195151534.003.0006

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

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