uploaded : Wednesday 22nd Oct 2008 at 23:59
by : Carol Gould
My forthcoming book ‘Don’t Tread on me -- anti-Americanism Abroad' is out in the UK and USA in December and I wanted to share with readers some excerpts that I excised to bring the manuscript down to manageable size. These diary entries from 2003 to 2008 are as amusingly and often disturbingly relevant now as they were in 2003.
In tonight’s ‘Evening Standard’ the legendary food maven Fay Maschler reports on ‘Tsumami’ Japanese restaurant, and in her review refers to ‘bellowing, ugly Americans’ who spoiled her meal. She goes on to observe that they would most likely have gone off afterwards to vote for John McCain. Has Ms Maschler ever been unfortunate enough to be seated in a restaurant when a group of hard-drinking, shouting Britons enters the establishment? How many times my companions and I have left early to escape the racket of drunken Britons, including ones who have drunk so much that they are sick? (I still won’t go into ASK in Fitzrovia because of the traumatic memory of this, when a bunch of Hooray Henrys drank so much they were sick next to my table.)
It might also be instructive to Ms Maschler to know that no American journalist would be so ungracious as to refer to ‘bellowing, ugly Brits.’ Frankly, I find Americans in London amongst the most courteous, sober and quiet of diners. Anti-Americanism marches on!
Watch this space for my upcoming review of Stephen Fry in ‘the hole’ that is Miami and ‘ugly’ Americans in his new BBC TV series about the USA..
My diary entries … excised from ‘Don’t Tread on Me..’
I would like to share with readers some of my writings from the immediate post-9/11 period. I do this because as 2008 unfolds nothing has changed and has in fact got much, much worse in terms of British anti-Americanism and anti-Zionism. In fact, it is chilling to read these narratives I penned in the wake of 9/11, when one realises that the rantings of America-loathing and Israel-hating media occurred long before the Iraq invasion, Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo and the Lebanon War.
Jan 1, 2003
Cartoons have been the mainstay of a free press but in times of evil they have been used to defame ethnic groups and individuals. The repugnant Joseph Goebbels used satire to defame the Jewish people.
Conversely, Benjamin Franklin would have loved the proliferation of witty and tasteful political cartoons in this era of computer and digital technology.
Notwithstanding this, I have become increasingly worried about the nature of material used in British cartoon culture. American cartoonists have been coming up with thoughtful and usually hilarious reflections on the current White House and Cabinet. One awaits with eager anticipation the many spoofs of the Bush team -- even if one is a staunch supporter of the Republican administration there is fun to be had at the expense of the men and women who make up the ‘War Cabinet’ just as there was mirth to be derived from the Clinton gang.
The British cartoonist has taken to parodying the Bush White House with increasing ferocity and perversity. This came to a head on 23 December 2002 when ‘The Guardian’ published a large cartoon by Cole (‘after Freud’ as he calls himself) entitled ‘Lap Dog,’ depicting a grotesque-looking President Bush in drag lying on a couch draped in an American flag. He/she has one large breast exposed, from which is spewing milk. The milk is being lapped up by a dog lying against his/her semi-bare leg; one assumes the dog is Tony Blair. The man/woman Bush is holding a copy of ‘The Guardian’ with the headline ‘British Forces War Alert.’
As it happens, my neighbour’s son had been called up to the Gulf and the usual emotions of a departure at Christmas had affected me, even though I am not family. I found the cartoon depraved and insulting. The troops who have left for that region may not wish to go but they are doing their duty and showing great courage. They are likely to have to endure many different injections for horrific illnesses, as we sit and eat our Christmas turkey. This cartoon went beyond the realms of decency and lent nothing to the debate on Iraq. I cannot imagine any American newspaper depicting a British leader, no matter how despised he might be, in such a degrading context.
On Christmas Eve Day 2002 ‘The Independent’ published a cartoon by Dave Brown showing President Bush dressed as Santa Claus with his posterior up in the air on which is printed ‘Merry Xmas.’ He has a grotesque face and is carrying a sack filled with missiles and is saying ‘Ho ho ho.‘ Again, I see nothing in this that brings humour or irony to the Iraq debate.
Though not a cartoon, the front page of The Daily Mirror, which throughout the year has been relentless in its attacks on America, shows President Bush holding a dog on whose face has been superimposed that of Tony Blair. The caption is ‘Warkies!’ (Let’s go for a walk.’) Inside is a long article by John Pilger describing the destruction that is being wreaked upon Iraq by British and American air raids. This is acceptable in a free society -- John Pilger makes some valid points -- but there is never any mention of the constant harassment being endured by these same pilots from relentless Iraqi bombardment in the no-fly zones monitored by the United Nations.
So what are we trying to say here? We enjoy press freedom but in what direction is the world going? Why is Bush the perpetual villain and not Mugabe, Gaddafy, Arafat, Saddam or Assad of Syria? Bush may not be the President many Americans and Europeans wanted but is he the personification of evil? I think not. The ugly and sadistic websites and chatrooms that have cropped up since the ascension of Bush Junior go beyond healthy debate on his foibles. They pray regularly that Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld be ‘soon drowning in pools of their own blood’ but spend precious little time in debate about the appalling regimes that oppress women and children around the globe.
I abhor satire that degrades Western leaders who, even in the bumbling manner of Dubya are trying to keep the forces of medieval extremism at bay, and we beseech the editors of papers like ‘The Guardian’ and ‘The Daily Mirror’ to look into their hearts and re-evaluate who the real goodies and baddies are.
Feb 1, 2003
This week an article about anti-Americanism appeared in 'The Washington Post' and the remarkable angle on the piece is that the author, Richard Cohen, has always expressed a liberal view of the world. He sits in Washington and is outraged, however, by the rantings of the British author John le Carre. Also this week, the 'Daily Mirror' shows Tony Blair with blood on his hands, and inside is a large headline, 'BLOODY COWARDS' alongside pictures of Blair and Bush. The 'Independent' newspaper last week had an appalling cartoon of a naked, leering Ariel Sharon eating a headless, bleeding infant. (Note: it went on to win a national prize.)
Is 'old Europe' sinking into its 1930s hate-mode again? Frankly, I have never seen anything like the venom directed against Israel and the United States in all the years I have lived here in Britain. Neither nation is without fault, but what is so disturbing is the nearly obsessional concentration on Israeli and American evil whilst some of the world's most detestable regimes go unnoticed.
'John le Carre, the author of some brilliant spy novels, writes in the Times of London that "America has entered one of its periods of historical madness." The present time is "worse than McCarthyism" and even worse than -- an odd choice -- "the Bay of Pigs." Maybe le Carre means the Cuban missile crisis. It's possible. After all, he gets so much else wrong.'
le Carre says "88 per cent of the American people" want to go to war with Iraq. This is not true. Worrying the Bush Administration is the dwindling support for an Iraq conflict, down to the high 50s at this writing.
Le Carre, author of "The Spy Who Came in From the Cold," "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy" and other novels, expresses what Cohen calls
le Carre's Left has for a long time referred to the United States as being run by the "Bush junta, and the novelist even refers to "poor mad little North Korea" as if the Communist dictatorship is another victim of the junta.
Cohen makes the notable observation that 'le Carre's America is unrecognisable’ and that one would think from reading that Bush, not Saddam Hussein has twice made war on his neighbours, that he has used chemical weapons on his own people and that he murders his opponents..’
What is significant to those of us who live outside the United States and who still have a deep affection for that remarkable land of our birth is that Cohen has been knocked sideways by le Carre's anger. We who live in Britain have come to expect this sort of rant as soon as we go out to dinner.
'I am reminded of a documentary I saw the other night about the late civil rights leader Bayard Rustin. He was jailed in World War II for his pacifism... Rustin, a black homosexual, would have been among the first into the ovens.'
Here is the crucial moment: Cohen observes what many of us have with increasing alarm clocked for over two years: the overwhelming number of Britons who are fascinated by Colonel Gaddafy or Yassir Arafat but who turn peuce with rage when one says 'Israel,' let alone 'Sharon.'
Cohen observes, 'I am tempted to say he hates Bush more than he does Saddam Hussein, but that may not be the case. It seems he's been seized by a "historical madness" and a repugnant anti-Americanism.’
Moving on to the 'Daily Mirror,'
Of all the venomous anti-USA, anti-Bush bile in the British papers and on TV this week -- and there has been PLENTY !! -- the poisonous
John Pilger has written the most offensive material to date.
Here is an excerpt from his 'BLOODY COWARDS' article that appeared in 'The Daily Mirror' of January 29 '03:
'..in 1946, the judges at Nuremberg, who tried the Nazi leaders for war crimes, left no doubt about what they regarded as the gravest
crimes against humanity. The most serious was an unprovoked invasion of a sovereign state that offered no threat to one's homeland. Then
there was the murder of civilians, for which responsibility rested with the 'highest authority.'
'…The current American elite is the Third Reich of our times…. they have merely accelerated more than half a century of unrelenting American state terrorism, from the atomic bombs dropped cynically on Japan as a signal of their new power, to the dozens of countries invaded …’
Be advised that these are not the rantings of a madman but the journalism of one of the world's most honoured writers, read by millions of Britons and Europeans.
The cherry on my ‘2003 diary sundae’ occurred when Nelson Mandela decided to use the forum of an international convention of women's groups in Johannesburg to issue forth with a tirade about the United States.
The Nobel prize winner and former South African president said of President Bush:
".. He is making the greatest mistake of his life by trying to cause carnage. What I am condemning is that one power, with a president who has no foresight and who cannot think properly, is now wanting to plunge the world into a holocaust.
"Why does the US behave so arrogantly? Their friend Israel has got weapons of mass destruction. But because it's their ally they won't ask the UN to get rid of them."
"Both Bush and Tony Blair are undermining [the UN]...
"Is this because the Secretary General (Kofi Annan, from Ghana) is now a black man? They never did that when Secretary Generals were white...
This is shameful nonsense. What European country has had a black Chief of Staff of the military and a senior Cabinet figure who is a black woman?
Mandela even dredged up the American nuclear attacks on Hiroshima and Nagaski:
"Because they decided to kill innocent people in Japan, who are they now to pretend they're the policeman of the world?
"lf there is a country which has committed unspeakable atrocities, it is the US...they don't care for human beings.''
Has Mr Mandela heard of Nazi Germany? Rwanda? Sudan? Cambodia?
I always stay up late in London to watch President Bush's State of the Union addresses each year. What is remarkable is the amount of time he spent discussing the tragedy of AIDS in Africa. If we Americans, according to Mr Mandela, 'don't care for human beings,' why do we send billions of dollars of aid to every Tom, Dick and Harry? .
When the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbour, the Admiral of the Japanese fleet said, 'This is a great victory, but I fear we have awakened a sleeping giant.' Had the Pacific War continued unabated with a land invasion of the Japanese mainland islands, the casualty figures would have been catastrophic. The bomb was a terrible weapon but Hiroshima and Nagasaki ended what could have been a fifty-year conflict. Japan is today a flourishing democracy. My aunt was based in Occupied Japan and witnessed the transformation of that nation under the benign tutelage of the United States. The same may be said for postwar non-Soviet Germany, and lest one forget the Berlin Airlift. That my native country is constantly being accused of an endless litany of crimes against humanity disgusts me when one considers the virtuous legacy of its involvement in World War II.
September 11th was a spectacularly successful attack on the United States by well-off, well-educated young men. The relentless attacks by the well-paid media and intellectuals on America and Israel may soon reach a point where the sleeping giant will strike back -- not with a vengeance but with splendid isolationism.
In the Space of Two Weeks.. Three years on….
August 2007 Diary
I decided to set aside some morsels from London’s evening newspaper over a period of a fortnight in late July-early August 2007 and sure enough I found some gems.
Michael Aspel, a television personality who is a household name to Britons of a certain age but unknown outside the United Kingdom, complained in ‘The Evening Standard’ of 7th August 2007 that proper pronunciation has gone out of the window on the news. He says he does not expect the plummy accents of yesteryear, or ‘old-style formal bulletins in dinner suits’ but laments the ‘Americanisation that we don’t need.’
Inasmuch as many presenters on British television have such appalling command of the English language, saying, for example, that they ‘was sat here’ I would like to know if Mr Aspel has ever listened to the beautifully-spoken Brian Williams, Katie Couric or Charles Gibson? Tom Brokaw, Peter Jennings and Dan Rather, not to mention Walter Cronkite and the Huntley-Brinkley duo were and are examples of splendid articulation. Aspel’s accusation that presenters chat to one another using first names is a valid one, but to suggest that Richard and Judy annoy him because of some crime committed by Americans is absurd.
Frankly, notwithstanding the quality of BBC ‘Newsnight,’ and ‘Question Time’ there is no evening line-up on British television to match CNN USA’s nightly Lou Dobbs, Paula Zahn, Larry King, Anderson Cooper and Wolf Blitzer.
Throughout my thirty-two years in Britain I have been lectured in no uncertain terms about aspects of the United States of which I have tried to disabuse the plaintiff but to no avail. These obloquies always emanate from people who have visited the USA for two weeks and stayed in a Marriott, or those who have never been across the ocean at all.
The first slur I have tried in vain to dispel is the one about the American media.
Recently I attended an excellent seminar at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London. It went well until the participants, mostly British journalists, began defaming American news programmes. How can people who work nine to five in an office in London and spend the rest of their waking hours in pubs and wine bars drinking endless pints know what is on American television in the evening?
We were reliably informed at the ICA event that American news providers are almost non-existent and that the quality of news is abysmal. I vehemently deny this. In the wake of what is being acknowledged as a ‘crisis’ in British television output and the dumbing-down of the great BBC, I have spoken in this book about British television personality Michael Aspel’s extraordinary attack on the American news presenting format, and at the risk of repeating myself I never cease to be staggered by the high quality of the news I start to watch every evening in London at 11:30 PM when the first of three American network news programmes is broadcast: the aforementioned Brian Williams, followed by Katie Couric and Charlie Gibson.
I often have to find out what is going on in Europe and the world from these programmes because the BBC is obsessing on a football manager, house of dead bodies or benefit cheats as its top news story. Because I am an insomniac I often stay up into the wee hours to follow these excellent news programmes with Larry King and Anderson Cooper. There is nothing in Britain like Hannity and Colmes or Greta van Susteren, nor does British television have anything remotely resembling the nightly brilliance of Stephen Colbert, Keith Olbermann, Gwyn Ifyll, Chris Matthews, Paula Zahn, the aforementioned Lou Dobbs, Bill Moyers, and Charlie Rose. On the Right there is a wealth to choose from: Robert Novak, Charles Krauthammer, Bill Kristol, the Beltway Boys and of course the legendary Bill O’Reilly. Some of the most dynamic debate programmes are Face the Nation, Meet the Press and the McLaughlin Group.
Lest we forget Edward R Murrow of CBS exposed Senator Joseph McCarthy; a succession of brave anchormen and reporters have pursued with brave tenacity many a dubious man and woman of power.
In the United States there is the remarkable CSpan network, all three channels of which those ‘stupid’ Americans I hear so much about demand from their cable providers or they refuse to subscribe. CSPan provides twenty-four hour comprehensive coverage of every aspect of national government in Washington as well as endless literary programmes and coverage of major lectures and seminars by outstanding international and national figures in politics, science, literature, music, visual art and business. Britain has no such thing. Cspan is a revelation and I grieve for it when I am in London.
A friend once told me that she went to Chicago and had never read such ‘rubbish’ as the ‘American newspapers.’ I asked her what she meant and she said she had looked at a local paper and could see why ‘Americans know nothing about anything.’ She then said she had glanced at the New York Times, which she also dismissed as ‘dreadful.’ This evaluation of American newspapers has been thrown at me for all the years I live in Britain. Again, I ask: if a person lives in the UK for fifty weeks of the year and reads the British papers, how can they know with such alacrity that American daily newspapers are abysmal? To me, reading the Sunday New York Times is still an education. The Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Boston Herald and Philadelphia Inquirer can also educate as well as enrage and amuse. Investigative journalists on the left and right, of the monumental influence of Seymour Hersh, Bob Novak and Bob Woodward have come from those roots. Yes, Britain has John Pilger, Robert Fisk and Max Hastings but America also has its great journalists. The Joseph Pulitzer Prize is a testament of the high standards of American journalism.
The dynamism of the American media has been demonstrated time and again with coverage of Hurricane Katrina, the Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo issues, global warming (Seymour Hersh, Al Gore and Michael Moore are American, not British) and the outing of CIA agent Valerie Plame. When American voted to oust the Republicans from Congress and the Senate in November 2006 they were responding to the information imparted by a dynamic press. Had the British media spent less time on whether Wayne Rooney would play in the World Cup and whether the tattooed and mini-skirted ‘WAGS’ ( wives and girlfriends) of the football stars would travel to Germany, and more time on the election issues, perhaps those who wanted Labour ousted would have had their wish in May 2005.
‘The Evening Standard,’ Londoner’s Diary of August 2007, observed how ‘different’ ( code for dumb) ‘our American cousins are’ because the New York Public Library has bought 1,484 copies of the new Harry Potter book, ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.’ All are already out on loan, with 1,500 on the waiting list. The point was made that the London Library has bought just one copy. For some reason this is meant to show how daft Americans are. Well, I have an explanation: the New York Public Library, funded by the fabulously generous Astor heiress, serves an enormous city and community. Many of its citizens cannot afford to buy books but having a chance to borrow from the library is next-best. I like to think that an inner-city youth who might have otherwise gone out and committed a crime might instead be wrapped up in a book makes the huge supply bought by the New York library a good thing. Americans are mad about things British and this is a factor in the popularity of Harry Potter for book-borrowers.
I am reminded of a story told to me by a train conductor on Amtrak last year. He made amusing and often lyrical announcements to passengers and on my journey told them that I was onboard, ‘a visitor from the land of John Keats.’ It transpired that he was a member of the Keats Society in the United States. But that was not the end of the story: he told me he had been a ‘good-for-nothing’ delinquent hanging around the houses of wealthy folks and waiting for them to die so he and his fellow gang members could take goods from the outside of houses of the deceased when the house-clearance people appeared. One day he took a box of books, but instead of selling them started to read them. Soon he was a Keats devotee. He said ‘One old lady dying changed my life; one box of books led me to become a decent guy;’ he made me promise I would pay homage to Keats in Hampstead when I was back in London. He said that on his train conductor’s schedule ( all Americans get just two weeks’ holiday a year, compared to Britain and Europe’s five or six weeks) but that one day, perhaps in retirement, he would make it to England to pay his own homage.
So, dear ‘Londoner’s Diary,’ Americans may in your eyes be odd but if a book in plentiful supply from a library to its local community inspires a deprived child to an honourable life, long may the New York Public Library prosper.
In ‘The Evening Standard’ of 31st July 2007 Will Self, in an item entitled ‘Dubya’s Latest Caddie,’ makes the following observations: ‘Sickening to see our latest ‘Great Leader’ visiting Dubya..’ Yes, a huge majority of Americans feel nothing but loathing towards Bush 43 at this point in the summer of 2007, but I never cease to be niggled by the contempt with which the British press are very quick to show towards any event surrounding him. Let’s face it, Will, Prime Minister Brown has to meet the American President. I still find these meetings infinitely less alarming than the sight of Hugo Chavez and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, or our London Mayor calling a Jewish newspaper reporter a ‘Nazi concentration Camp Guard.’
Self goes on to say that Tony Blair was ‘that well known poodle.’ What is so objectionable about this kind of journalism is that it is immature. Countless cartoons of Blair as Bush’s poodle have proliferated in Britain since 9/11 but the reality of world affairs is that the great powers have to talk to each other.
Self continues with the usual mantra that many feel is true ‘Don’t make me laugh. It’s the Bush regime’s disastrous Iraq adventure that has promoted global terror..’ Readers need not be reminded that World Trade Centre 1993; the terrible attacks on the American embassies in Tanzania and Kenya in 1998, and the attack on the USS Cole in 2000, and for that matter 9/11 occurred well before the Iraq entanglement. Self concludes with an analogy between Brown and a golf caddie. Again, I would rather caddy for Bush than for Ahmadinejad, Mugabe or Chavez.
July 2007 was a fertile time for anyone writing about anti-Americanism in Britain.
In ‘The Guardian’ ( where else?) of 16 July 2007 former Labour minister David Clark asked, ’ Will the Brown government make it clear that the US unwillingness to put serious pressure on Israel is the main obstacle to a two-state solution?’ Has Mr Clark not thought it might be an idea to put pressure on Hamas and Hezbollah as well?
In the ‘Evening Standard’ of 27 July the eminent London-based historian Felipe Fernandez-Armesto makes some interesting observations based on his viewing of the new ‘Simpsons’ movie and the erstwhile television series. Considering he was badly roughed up by traffic police in Washington DC for jaywalking earlier in 2007, he ought to be more anti-American than most Britons, but he makes the following point: ‘…maybe the rest of the world, which hates, resents or even envies the United States, can also endorse the show as gratifyingly anti-American….yet American viewers recently voted it the programme they would be most likely to record. In a country where self-respect is a cult and self-deprecation almost unknown…it seems amazing that people should love to watch themselves being demonised..’
Notwithstanding the article’s inclination towards a grudging affection for American culture, Dr Fernando-Armesto misses the point about the mocking tone of ‘The Simpsons.’ The programme and film is devised by Americans. The genre would be less loved were it generated by Europeans or Britons. One of the most endearing aspects of ‘What’s Cooking?,’ the 2001 film directed by Gurinder Chadha, is her unconditional love for the November tradition of ‘Thanksgiving Day’ and her depiction of five families from diverse backgrounds celebrating the national observance with passion and occasional family rancour. Had the film been a mocking critique of American patriotism and eccentricity it would have been less of a success. It was released just after 9/11 and I recall weeping as the opening sequence shows a mother shopping for a turkey with a jazzed-up version of the Star Spangled Banner playing against the credits. Even though a friend who saw it with me less than a week after 9/11 said ‘I do not know why you people are making such a fuss about September 11th -- we got far worse in the Blitz’ I still felt nourished by this film, made by an Anglo-Indian woman who obviously loved the American culture she had been visiting.
On a more sombre note, Joshua Walker in ‘The Jerusalem Post’ of 15 July 2007 in an article entitled ‘Truly Democratic -- and anti-American,’ writes ‘Turkey has slid from opposing US policy to opposing all the US stands for.’ This could be said for scores of countries in 2007. I am reminded of my Pakistani neighbours who leapt out of their car on September 11, 2001 excited and breathless, shouting to me, ‘Well, Carol, you lot finally got it in the neck, and about time, too!’
The fact that Turkey, in recent years an ally of sorts to Israel and possibly of least concern to western powers in terms of an Islamic fundamentalist insurgency, is now simmering with hatred of the United States is a worrying phenomenon. If my otherwise charming, well-read English friends simmer with hatred of the United States and Israel, the level of hatred in Muslim and US-loathing Christian countries -- for example, Venezuela -- is no doubt palpable. The big difference between my perception of this phenomenon and that of much of the British and European media is that America has done nothing except try to bring stability to turbulent societies whose festering chaos is spilling out into the west and causing death and terror. It will be argued that Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo have nothing to do with spreading western values to turbulent societies. My argument is that Abu Ghraib was an aberration rather than the norm, and that Guantanamo is a waste of American taxpayers’ money. The terrorists ‘scooped up’ by Donald Rumsfeld should have been dealt with swiftly. Without the two prisons my belief is that anti-Americanism would have been as high as ever across the world. All major terror attacks against American interests, going back as far as the Khobar Towers atrocity and the singling out of Americans on airplanes hijacked by the PLO in the 1970s and 80s, unfolded long before Abu Ghraib and Gitmo.
In Joshua Walker’s article it is noted that the Pew Global Attitudes Project’s 47-nation survey released on July 11, 2007 reports that it is not Venezuela, the Palestinians or Pakistan that is most anti-American but Turkey. Only 2% of Turks feel American Middle East policy is balanced. Look at a dinner party in London: if I so much as dare to wax lyrical about Israel the dark looks of anger will be universal around the table. Imagine the fury in Turkey. According to the article Turkey has the lowest Pew rating for supporting the war on terror. Walker observes that anti-Americanism in Turkey stems from the dangers in the country due to increased PKK terrorists entering from Northern Iraq. The USA is perceived as doing nothing about this and Turks now regard Americans as duplicitous. Walker asserts, ‘Hating America and Americans is a disturbing trend that requires serious attention and prolonged engagement.’
One is inclined to wish Joshua Walker good luck in the proposed prolonged engagement and serious attention, but my conclusion is that no matter what the United States of America does or does not do, it is hated to the depths of its core. Had Al Gore taken the Presidential oath and been fiercely isolationist after 9/11, earnestly trying to engage with the forces who hate America, there would not have been a hugely unpopular Iraq War but the Jihadists would have carried on as before and there would have been more attacks on American interests around the world. If Britons who think 7/7 was caused by the Iraq War, all they have to do is read the leaflets being produced by radical groups inside the UK long, long before the time of Bush 43. I know, because I was threatened with death in 1998 by local Muslims in my sleepy, leafy London suburb, when Bill ‘shake hands with Arafat’ Clinton was in office.
America will always be hated. I love America and most everything about it. Call me nuts but I can’t help it. I cannot understand how anyone can hate its good-natured soul. And yet millions, indeed billions hate it in perpetuity, as do their children and grandchildren. World without end, amen….