The consequence of free speech, even at the level of sovereign state: Uncle Sam becomes authoritarian; have Americans any sense of "democracy" left, for even themselves? Chile Tests the Limits of U.S. Tolerance [washingtonpost.com]
Only days before the diplomatic breakdown at the United Nations on Iraq, Security Council member Chile made one last attempt at a compromise. Yet as soon as Chilean President Ricardo Lagos presented his idea last Friday, the White House rebuffed it. A final vote never materialized, of course, but Lagos' proposal symbolized an important moment for Latin America.
With U.S. congressional approval of a long-sought trade agreement hanging in the balance and Washington desperately seeking U.N. sanction to invade Iraq, Chile had dared to risk Washington's ire. In the end, Chile did not have to vote for or against the war, although its actions made clear that it preferred more time than immediate war. But its decision [to what, think? h_b] placed Chile's government squarely at odds with the Bush administration.
Chile's offer was an expression of its independence, a well-earned right by a nation that became a regional model for economic stability precisely because it insisted on a little freethinking along the way. Now the question is whether Chile violated the "with us or against us" mandate of current U.S. foreign policy.
Related: Diplomatic Missteps With Turkey Prove Costly
Apparently the old line about the CP is now true about the Bush Boosters' club: check your brain in at the door, and shut your mouth. Someone should inform the American psyche that we have no enlisted for boot camp. (And also, that a good number of us who have served in uniform are too too familiar with US foreign policy already.)