Alex Epstein: Forget About World Opinion

Writing for the Ayn Rand Institute, Alex Epstein has published an article at FrontPageMag taking issue with the “perverse priorities of our politicians and journalists” over “world opinion” about Abu Ghraib.

His original title put it more frankly: “World Opinion Be Damned.”

From his commentary:

The alleged solution to this alleged crisis of “world opinion” is to show more deference toward the rest of the world. Otherwise, we are told, the world’s anger will bring more terrorist attacks and less “international cooperation” against terrorism.

All of this evades one blatant truth: the hatred being heaped on America over Abu Ghraib is undeserved. Throughout the Middle East, torture–real torture, with electric drills and vats of acid–is official policy and daily practice. Yet there are no worldwide condemnations of the dictatorships that practice such atrocities–let alone the Arab-Islamic culture that produces so many torturers. But when, during a war, a handful of American prison guards subject a handful of Iraqi POWs to comparatively mild humiliation–which the U.S. government denounces and promptly investigates–”world opinion” proclaims itself offended and condemns America.

Abu Ghraib is just the latest example of the injustice of “world opinion.” Since September 11, the United States–the freest nation on Earth–has been ceaselessly denounced for any step in the direction of self-defense against terrorism, while terrorist regimes Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia, and the Palestinian Authority get a moral free pass.

See the full article for further analysis.