Us vs. Them Thierry Bézecourt
Last updated on June 28, 2004

Other Everything2 writings
This is a text I originally wrote for the Everything2 web site. In order to understand it, you should probably know that it was written in March 2003, and that I am not an American citizen. The hyperlinks point to texts written by other people on Everything 2.
1. The value of life - 2. Right and wrong: the principles. - 3. Right and wrong: the implementation..

US includes the people who are right and who should be protected. THEM is the people who are wrong, and who should be fought and either converted or eliminated.

US is currently the U.S., except the criminals. A few centuries ago, US was Great Britain, or France, or the Ottoman Empire, or Rome.

THEM includes the countries that are enemies of US, and their citizens. Criminals belong to THEM. All the people who threaten the basic principles of US belong to THEM. The man who's ringing at your door right now may belong to THEM.

Between US and THEM, there are YOU, the countries that US helped in the past. US liberated YOU, set up democracy in YOU, brought YOU economic relief or simply helped YOU by standing out there, as a wonderful example for YOU to follow.

YOU are either with US or with THEM.

1. The value of life

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The life of one of US has an infinite value and should be protected by all means. When one of US dies while helping someone else, even if he only did what he was paid for, he becomes a hero. Indeed, he lost his infinite-value life while saving another infinite-value life. If the person he saved or helped was one of YOU, YOU should be grateful to everyone of US, and support all the decisions of US for an indefinite duration in the future.

The life of one of YOU has a finite, but real value: US will sincerely cry and provide money and good advice when many people of YOU die. YOU always criticize US in time of peace, but, as soon as a war erupts, YOU immediately call US for help. US waits a few years and then comes, because it's its interest and because it has a warm heart.

In THEM, the value of life is infinitesimal without being null. US do not want THEM to die whenever it can be avoided. However, in case of a war, it is legitimate to set up the military operations in such a way that one thousand of THEM will die rather than one of US.

Criminals, too, can be executed since they do not really belong to US.

2. Right and wrong: the principles.

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The difference that US makes between the life of US and the life of THEM does not derive from any kind of racism or inhumanity. On the contrary, US values multi-ethnicity and has proven it. Besides, THEM, once it has acknowledged its error or has been defeated, will instantly join YOU, i.e. the friends of US.

It's not an opposition between one people and another people. It's an opposition between a few wicked individuals and the rest of the world. It's an opposition between good ideas and evil ideas. It's an opposition between those who understand how the world works and those who do not.

US is absolutely right and THEM is absolutely wrong. The ideas of US are so true that it's legitimate to use any means to make these ideas real. YOU can be right, too, when YOU agree with US. The basic principles of US are well known. US has summarized them in a very interesting document called "The National Security Strategy of US" (September 2002):

- the rule of law
- limits on the absolute power of the state
- free speech
- freedom of worship
- equal justice
- respect for women
- religious and ethnic tolerance
- and respect for private property.

These principles are absolutely good, true and just.

3. Right and wrong: the implementation.

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US not only has good, true and just ideas. US also has extensive knowledge and longstanding experience about how to manage the world's affairs. Therefore, the actions that US defines to implement these principles are also absolutely good, true and just.

Furthermore, US has unprecedented strength, which makes US capable not only of defining these actions, but also of ensuring that they become real. And US has the courage to take decisions and stick to them, which is a major difference between US and YOU.

Therefore US will not compromise on these actions more than on the principles from which they were logically deduced.

However, US will not act hastily. US is slow to anger. US will try to convince YOU about how absolutely good, true and just these principles are, how these actions derive from them and how they are, by way of consequence, absolutely good, true and just. US wants to gather as many of YOU around US as possible. US wants to be loved and understood by everybody. This is of utmost importance.

In last resort, US will act without YOU if necessary because, after everything is finished, YOU will end up admitting that the good guy was right from the beginning. Hollywood movies have proved that this is always what happens for the good guy. He may suffer, he may even die, but at the end the other characters always acknowledge that he was the good guy.

The good guy is the one who wants everybody to be happy. The bad guy is the one who wants everybody to be unhappy. US is the good guy because US only wants everybody, included THEM, to enjoy what US enjoys already: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

It doesn't mean that every one of US has the same ideas. On the contrary, nowhere there is more freedom of thought and speech than among US. The people can and do have dissenting ideas. The superiority of US precisely lies in that freedom. Because US is free and has been free for centuries, US came out with the ideal Constitution, the most popular culture, the best social and economic ideas and the most powerful army in the world.

Freedom in US doesn't produce anarchy. On the contrary, the law of the majority makes freedom the most efficient system. The president of US is perfectly legitimate because he has been elected by the people. However, it doesn't mean that his policy should reflect the will of every citizen. The people knew who he was and what his ideas were. Therefore he may and must implement his ideas by all available means. He owes it to his citizens, and he owes it to the world.

US is a benevolent power. Whatever US will do will be the best for THEM, YOU and US alike. This is not arrogance. This is what history has shown, and, more important than history, this is what most of US intimately know in their heart. This is the values US stand for. US may have been wrong a few times in the past, but US acknowledged it. This time, it's different.

US knows what is good for YOU.