Last night I watched a report on CNN about the unrest in Turkey. CNN star Anderson Cooper was talking over a video that showed Turkish security forces manhandling protesters. Cooper remarked that this is not the way to do things in a supposedly democratic nation. Though he never said a word about the US, it was really obvious by his indignation that he felt that the Turks could learn a thing or two about controlling public protests in a peaceful manner from US police departments.
Were the Turks indiscriminately shooting and killing protesters? Heck no. They were using tear gas, stun grenades, rubber bullets and water cannons...the very same things frequently utilized by US police departments. In fact, after 4 days of widespread protests all over the country, there has been one reported death (with hundreds of injuries).
If we look at the most recent Occupy Movement protests and the police response to them as compared to what is taking place in Turkey today, there really isn't a substantive difference between how either the Turkish or US governments addressed each situation. I'm not suggesting that I approve of the way both governments have chosen to deal with protesters, I'm merely suggesting that the strategies employed are remarkably similar.
And yet, here we have a nationally recognized news commentator making it sound like Turkish security forces are acting like thugs and that this is altogether different than the manner in which local police departments deal with US protesters! For me, this is yet another example of American Exceptionalism. When other nations behave as we do, they are brutal thugs. When we act that way, it is totally different...and perfectly acceptable!