Skip to comments.A Few Thoughts on Anti-Americanism
Posted on 04/17/2003 1:59:42 PM PDT by forty_years
A Few Thoughts on "Anti-Americanism" By Donnel Jones, April 16, 2003
Noemie Emery has an excellent screed in the Weekly Standard taking down the anti-Americanism (that word again, more about later) of the Liberal/Left side of America at a time that should be a celebration of American resolve and principle: the date of April 9, 2003, a day to make America proud.
Instead we get: [t]he terrible news that President Bush had pulled off a tremendous success and was being hailed in the streets as a conquering hero has sent the left into a state of despair and confusion from which it has yet to emerge.
And this:. . . Ron Rosenbaum has this to recount in the New York Observer: "Today, a friend told me a story about a spiritual person, a man of the 'peace' movement. His first reaction, when apprised of early optimistic reports of Iraqi surrenders . . . was to exclaim in anguish, 'Oh, no, this is going to help Bush!'"
You get the picture. It's all about Bush. In smart aleck mode, I'll call this "Bushophobia," a collective and terrible fear gripping the minds of people who aren't turning the pages as history's book goes into hyper-overdrive these days. Those afflicted with this fear wait at the train station, in the dead of night, under a blank and velvet sky, something Hopperesque in their solitude and alienation as they sit in near slumber on the wooden bench and . . . the train never arrives.
History is passing Liberalism by because of a paralyzing overdose of nostalgia. We all know America will never be the same again after 9/11. The difference is, conservatives have decided to take action and DO something about it. It has chosen, and by no means is this a comfort but an awesome responsibilty, to enage directly with history. Bush carpet diem. Liberalism has taken the back seat and complains like children who want a hamburger.
Yes, there are distinctions. Those on the far right hate Bush too and expressed their opposition to the invasion of Iraq. To the extreme right we get this. There are Liberals who have had their reservations but, nonetheless, declared their sincere "support of our troops." These Liberals are to be commended. They have behaved patriotically. I know of a Marine who does not fully agree with the invasion of which he has been an invaluable part. He may or may not be a Liberal. He does his duty. Why? He's a patriotic American. Why, again? He's a Marine. Semper Fi. Always faithful. God, I love the Marines!
So people of good will can disagree and oppose Bush's radical turn in foreign policy. They can still be patriotic, support our troops, but believe America has taken a wrong turn.
What is "Anti-Americanism"? "Anti-Americanism" is not necessarily betrayal or treason, but it could be depending on action and context. It is by no means confined to the left half of the political spectrum though the greater number of its sympathizers are found there. Liberals have a right to be suspicious if the term is indiscriminatingly directed against them.
In brief, the charge of "anti-Americanism" can be safely weighed against those who would be proud of the accusation or, at the very least, amused by it. Visions of McCarthy and his good 'ol boy Nixon will come to mind, the appellation becoming a badge of honor conferred by reactionaries who have no use for the "Alliance Francaise" or who are not embarrassed by the presence of MacDonald's in Karachi.
An open animus of the U.S. is a clear sign and we all respect people's first amendment rights to express this animus. "Bush is Hitler." Fair enough, though it is so unfair morally and ethically. As Ms. Emery points out, [l]et us recall that one of the first acts of George W. Bush after September 11 was to urge Americans not to misuse or abuse the Muslims and Arabs among us. The mercifully few times that he was disobeyed are played up by this press as examples of our unending bloodlust and bigotry. Perhaps you are waiting for them to utter a cross word in the direction of nos amis in Old Europe [in reference to anti-Semitism on the Continent]. Don't hold your breath.
Anti-Americanism is not always so proudly displayed but it does entail in some a queasy dose of self-loathing. In this case, anti-Americanism is self-directed and is usually the temptation of more sensitive souls. America has done bad. Yes, America has sinned. The failure that most exemplifies this mood is the constant spectre of Vietnam. Tonkin Bay is the nadir of America. Thing is, one DOES have to move on. Hell, if the Germans can forget about Hilter, almost pronto, we can at least remember our wrongs in Vietnam and make sure they don't happen again.
That's the nostalgic part of it. Anti-Americanism revels in the broken-record of American failures. Perhaps there is a certain elan at living "at the end of times," at the end of an empire America never had. This is not the place to debate what should be obvious: our invasion of Iraq is not another Vietnam. The war was lost in Vietnam. It is won in Iraq. And that occurred on April 9, 2003. For the anti-Americans, though, it is ALWAYS about Vietnam, even with the blantant military success not even the New York Times and CNN can entirely deny.
Undoubtedly, the loyal opposition can, and should, offer their constructive criticism of how to deal with a post-war Iraq. Instead of berating Bush and seeing the invasion as sheer opportunism, patriotic Liberals can offer their perspective that can prove quite useful and necessary in the months ahead.
"Anti-Americanism" is the belief that no counsel will ever help, that America is doomed to failure, that looting is worse in a liberated Baghdad than a riot at a soccer match, that it is all about oil and not national security and moral principle, that morality itself is reserved for stuffy patriotic fools unless, of course, one speaks of America's moral wrongs.
Yet this anti-Americanism will very much play a role in our national politics. It must not be countered by censure or undue opprobium, but confronted by a clear belief that the battle, the war, against Islamist terrorism or any form of international terrorism must be defeated and that, in the process, the peoples of the Middle East are freed from their tyrannical governments. Yes, those same governments the U.S. and the rest of the West have supported for too long.
Terrorism. Never to be appeased. Never to bring us down.
My quess would be the victims of "Bushophobia" have very little perspective political history.
Oh, I can just see their useful input:
Blocking oil exploration along the scenic Shatt-Al-Arab waterway.
Guaranteeing rights to gay Iraqis
Blocking cleanup of a chemical weapons site because an endangered newt lives there.
Instilling the same level of excellence in post-Saddam public schools that we have here in the United States
Yep, liberals can do so much for Iraq!
The lefties below are wearing out our tolerance in America with their anti American Mantras 24/7/365.
Whatever that means?
Perhaps those who are turning the pages of history books consider "Bushmania" more destructive than "Bushophobia".
That means the same "read my lips" group that was assembled under old Bush is now assembled under junior Bush and their direction then was tax and spend and prop up the UN and I'm not so sure that will not be the final result this time.
The term 'liberal' used to have a quite different connotation. It used to be applied to those wishing to ease restrictions in our culture. Applied to the assimilation of other nationalities entering this country and our fellow minority citizens, it defined those willing to accept and assimilate 'others' as fellow citizens. Too quickly that willingness shifted to embracing 'immigrant' languages in such fullness that programs which used these 'other tongues'had to be instituted for minority comfort, instead of requiring they learn and apply correct English as the primary language of America.
The resulting shifts, from being liberal in acceptance of others, too quickly turned into liberalism, with resulting denegration of the culture in place, seeking to alter the culture to empower all manner of minority views, corroding the collective culture in favor of radically changing the culture, to reflect some ghostly 'bigger tent' filled with special interest groups easily manipulated for voting blocks. The result was a loss of the original culture, the inability of the culture to change slowly so that the values proven to work no longer gave worth to the changing paradigm.
Liberalizing America, as if acquiring a comely tan, mutated quickly into liberalism, an insidious cancer that now threatens the life of the nation as we slide toward all manner of immoral and, in some cases, inhuman practices.
What caused this mutation?... Political correctness, as an imperious tool that served to stifle opposition in the slide toward immorality/amorality. As example, what did the clinton defenders use to stifle voices opposed to the continuance of a moral degenerate in our White House?... 'He who is without sin, cast the first stone' and 'Judge not that you may be judged'. It was demonically brillaint, but just as incorrect for application to the reality. It was a gross manifestation of political correctness run amok! Think: what if the same standard were applied to judges and police and ... well, to any elected representative tasked with writing law? And, after all, who is the sovereign of this nation? Is it not We the People? Do we not have the right to demand moral behavior from our elected representatives? Of course we do, and without being perfect in our own moral stature! It's the fundamental right of the sovereigns to establish the limits of behavior beyond which we the people will not be tolerant.
With Liberalism, tolerance is the whoring bedfellow of political correctness, applying sleazy assumption regarding intent for the partnership.
Will America re-assert a demand for morality, in our elected representatives, in our public servants, in our cultural icons, and in our own behavior as fellow citizens? If we don't, this nation as so conceived by our Founders, will not much longer endure.
As we seek to operate on the basis of a new paradigm of pre-emption and/or regime change for endangering terrorist sponsoring states, our international posture will fail to hold that which our honorable Soldiers have achieved, if We the People do not learn to value a higher moral stature than what we've slipped to under the guise of tolerance and 'liberal civility'. Never miss the reality that Liberalism has a totalitarian aspect to it, an intolerance where demands for morality and humanity are raised. Abortion on demand is the classic example of this totalitarian mindset; 'choice' is applied only to a woman, never to the alive babies waiting to be born ... and therein rises a holocaust. and one last example, regarding Islam as a major religion in America: we the People are called to be tolerant of Islamic practice ... as long as that practice does not serve to seditiously and violently undermine our Constitutional and moral rights. Freedom of religion does not demand that we be tolerant of religious practices that threaten OUR Republic's survival.
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