Moral Equivalence Insults Real Dissidents

A false equivalency.

John Bass, the U.S. ambassador to Turkey, gave a speech at the Istanbul consulate’s Independence Day reception, in which he urged Turks not to make the same mistakes the United States had in combatting terrorism. According to the Embassy’s transcript of his speech, Bass said:

We support the Turkish government’s ongoing efforts to bring to justice those who were responsible for the terrible events one year ago. In our own experience in dealing with terrorism in recent years, in the United States we have learned some painful lessons. Among those lessons we have learned that a rush to justice or an overly broad definition of terrorism can erode fundamental freedoms and undermine public confidence in government. We learned those lessons the hard way and it is our fervent hope that our friends here in Turkey will avoid making some of the same mistakes that we have made.

There is tendency deeply engrained both in State Department culture and that of U.S. international broadcasting to self-efface and even criticize the United States as a way to build bridges and credibility. Seldom, however, has such conventional wisdom been so wrong.

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Moral Equivalence Insults Real Dissidents

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