once more with Bernard-Henri Lévy

I belong to a generation who felt, very early on, that anti-Americanism in Europe always had a connection to fascism. Now that does not prevent me from seeing, or at least trying to see, the America of today as it is. Nor from talking to my American friends about everything in America that is unworthy of this idea that I will never weary of contrasting with antagonistic ideas that the anti-Americans hold. I speak to them of their atrocious prisons. I speak to them of their absurd and deadly malls. Of their dubious gun fairs. I talk to them about the death penalty, unacceptable in a large democracy. I speak to them about Guantanamo, where I had a chance to work for a few days and which I left convinced was, though certainly not the gulag, nevertheless a disgrace. I speak to them, you’re right, of this ignoble debate on the conditions in which the use of torture could be justified. I speak to them about the massacre of the Indians and the fact that a gaping wound will remain in the flank of the nation until a real place of mourning and remembrance, a sort of Yad Vashem of the suffering of the first inhabitants of the country, is dedicated to them. I even talk to them about Mount Rushmore, this monument that is so emblematic of American democracy and about which I would nevertheless say: 1) it seems placed there as a colossal provocation, on a site that, for the Indian communities, was one of the most sacred in the country; 2) the sculptor of these icons is a former member of the Ku Klux Klan who apparently never renounced the ideas of his youth; 3) that it is called “Rushmore” after a filthy lawyer, a thief, employed by the great gold seekers and entrusted with finding legal ways to expropriate Indian landowners of their land at the cheapest cost. But all right. The little detail that changes everything and that I am grateful you have seen is that all of this proceeds from this fundamental love of America and the American people. I think that one cannot criticize America unless one is animated by a sincere love of its people and its Idea.

more from Bomb here.