|MESSAGE FROM ENGLAND
No matter what your views on President Bush's statement of upcoming war,
this, from an English journalist, is very interesting. Just a word of
background, for those of you who aren't familiar with the UK's Daily Mirror.
This is a notoriously left-wing daily that is normally not supportive of the
Colonials across the Atlantic. Well written.
London Daily Mirror
September 11, 2002
One year ago, the world witnessed a unique kind of broadcasting---The mass
murder of thousands, live on television. As a lesson in the pitiless cruelty
of the human race, September 11 was up there with Pol Pot's Mountain of
Skulls in Cambodia, or the skeletal bodies stacked like garbage in the Nazi
concentration camps. An unspeakable act so cruel, so calculated and so
utterly merciless that surely the world could agree on one thing - nobody
deserves this fate. Surely there could be consensus: The victims were truly
innocent, the perpetrators truly evil.
But to the world's eternal shame, 9/11 is increasingly seen as America's
comeuppance. Incredibly, anti-Americanism has increased over the last year.
There has always been a simmering resentment to the USA in this country; too
loud, too rich, too full of themselves, and so much happier than Europeans -
but it has become an epidemic. And it seems incredible to me. More than
that, it turns my stomach. America is this country's greatest friend and
our staunchest ally. We are bonded to the US by culture, language and
blood. A little over half a century ago, around half a million Americans
died for our freedoms, as well as their own. Have we forgotten so soon?
And exactly a year ago, thousands of ordinary men, women and children - not
just Americans, but from dozens of countries, were butchered by a small
group of religious fanatics. Are we so quick to betray them? What touched
the heart about those who died in the Twin Towers and on the planes, was
that we recognized them. Young fathers and mothers, somebody's son and
somebody's daughter, husbands, wives, and children, some unborn. And these
people brought it on themselves? Their nation is to blame for their
meticulously planned slaughter?
These days you don't have to be some dust-encrusted nut job in Kabul or
Karachi or Finsbury Park to see America as the Great Satan. The
anti-American alliance is made up of self-loathing liberals who blame the
Americans for every ill in the Third World, and conservatives suffering from
power-envy, bitter that the world's only superpower can do what it likes
without having to ask permission.
The truth is that America has behaved with enormous restraint since
September 11. Remember, remember - Remember the gut-wrenching tapes of
weeping men phoning their wives to say, "I love you," before they were
burned alive. Remember those people leaping to their deaths from the top of
burning skyscrapers. Remember the hundreds of firemen buried alive.
Remember the smiling face of that beautiful little girl who was on one of
the planes with her mum.
Remember, remember - And realize that America has never retaliated for 9/11
in anything like the way it could have. So a few al-Qaeda tourists got
locked without a trial in Camp X-ray? Pass the Kleenex... So some Afghan
wedding receptions were shot up after they merrily fired their
semi-automatics in a sky full of American planes? A shame, but maybe next
time they should stick to confetti. AMERICA could have turned a large chunk
of the world into a parking lot. That it didn't is a sign of strength.
American voices are already being raised against attacking Iraq - that's
what a democracy is for. How many in the Islamic world will have a minute's
silence for the slaughtered innocents of 9/11? How many Islamic leaders
will have the guts to say that the mass murder of 9/11 was an abomination?
When the news of 9/11 broke on the West Bank, those freedom-loving
Palestinians were dancing in the street. America watched all of that - and
didn't push the button. We should thank the stars that America is the most
powerful nation in the world. I still find it incredible that 9/11 did not
provoke all-out war. Not a "war on terrorism." A real war. The
fundamentalist dudes are talking about "opening the gates of hell," if
America attacks Iraq. Well, America could have opened the gates of hell like
you wouldn't believe. The US is the most militarily powerful nation that
ever strode the face of the earth. The campaign in Afghanistan may have
been less than perfect and the planned war on Iraq may be misconceived. But
don't blame America for not bringing peace and light to these wretched
countries. How many democracies are there in the Middle East, or in the
Muslim world? You can count them on the fingers of one hand assuming you
haven't had any chopped off for minor shoplifting.
I love America, yet America is hated. I guess that makes me Bush's poodle.
But I would rather be a dog in New York City than a Prince in Riyadh. Above
all, America is hated because it is what every country wants to be - rich,
free, strong, open, optimistic. Not ground down by the past, or religion,
or some caste system. America is the best friend this country ever had and
we should start remembering that.
Or do you really think the USA is the root of all evil? Tell it to the
loved ones of the men and women who leaped to their death from the burning
towers. Tell it to the nursing mothers whose husbands died on one of the
hijacked planes, or were ripped apart in a collapsing skyscraper. And tell
it to the hundreds of young widows whose husbands worked for the New York
To our shame, George Bush gets a worse press than Saddam Hussein. Once we
were told that Saddam gassed the Kurds, tortured his own people and set up
rape-camps in Kuwait. Now we are told he likes Quality Street. Save me the
orange center, Oh Mighty One!
Remember, remember, September 11 - One of the greatest atrocities in human
history was committed against America. No, do more than remember. Never