uploaded : Saturday 1st Feb 2003 at 02:19
by : The Editors
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.
We expatriate Americans in London sit every day sporting our trademark 'have a nice day' smiles, and are bombarded by unprecedented venom in the media about the USA and Israel.
Wednesday's '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.
Is 'old Europe' sinking into its 1930s hate-mode again? Frankly, we have never seen anything like the venom directed against Israel and the United States in all the years we have lived here in Britain. Neither nation is without fault, but what is so disturbing is the overwhelming, 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.'
This is interesting. How many times over the years have I argued with all-knowing Europeans who lecture me about the history of my country, the USA? How many otherwise mild-mannnered expatriates find themselves in shouting matches
when non-Americans inform them of the inadequacies of their education, social graces and national morality?
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
'absolute blarney -- but for what it says about America's image abroad and, just as important, the intellectual collapse of what is called the antiwar movement.'
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 obseervation that 'le Carre's America is unrecognisable to me but that it says nothing -- absolutely nothing -- about what to do with Saddam Hussein. That something ought to be done about him is a proposition with which not even le Carre quibbles. "I would love to see Saddam's downfall," he writes -- and then adds the telling coda, "just not on Bush's terms."...It seems it is more important to oppose Bush than it is to oppose Hussein.'
Cohen continues: 'You would think from reading le Carre that Bush has twice made war on his neighbors, that he has used chemical weapons on his own people and that he murders his opponents... Bush's America is to be feared, not Hussein's Iraq.
'This is a more pernicious madness than the one le Carre says has seized the United States.'
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. He comes in from the cold wearing a clown's outfit.'
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 (another anti-Bush, anti-USA Leftie who is constantly criticising Israel--these characteristics always seem to go together)
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.'
'...Unelected in 2000, the Washington regime of George W Bush is now totalitarian, captured by a clique whose fanatacism and ambitions of 'endless war' and 'full spectrum dominance' are a matter of record. All the world knows their names: Bush, Rumsfeld, Rice, Wolfowitz, Cheney and Perle; and Powell, the false liberal. Bush's State of the Union speech lastnight was reminiscent of that other great moment, in 1938, when Hitler called the generals together and told them, 'I must have war.' He then had it.
'...[Tony Blair] is the embodiment of the most dangerous appeasement humanity has known since the 1930s. The current American elite is the
Third Reich of our times, although this distinction ought not to let us forget that 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 ...in order to destroy democracy wherever it collided with American 'interests,' such as a voracious appetite for the world's natural resources, like oil. ..'
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.
What I would like to ask the Left is: 'If Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz and Perle were so hell-bent on endless war, why did they not start this war as soon as they took office in January 2001? ' Pilger's brand of vitriol is transferred into loud, aggressive confrontation these days when Americans go anywhere. I've stopped socialising -- lately I only go out with fellow expat Yanks, Israelis, South Africans, Aussies and Jewish people from anywhere in the world, as we seem the only ones who understand what a kind country the USA is.
When Pilger refers to the Bush regime as revelling in 'endless war,' I have one further observation: Had it not been for 9/11 I suspect this would have been the most tranquil peacetime Administration since Ike. The Defence Secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, would have been able to get on with his 'Transformation' of the Pentagon that envisaged the actual downsizing and streamlining of that massive Cold War-era bureaucracy. As a result, the Left would have been bitterly complaining that this was the most 'isolationist' Administration in history.
The cherry on the sundae occurred this week 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 Bush "cannot think properly", adding,
".. 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...
"Are they saying this is a lesson that you should follow. Or are they saying we are special, what we do should not be done by anyone?''
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?
I happened to have stayed up late to watch President Bush's State of the Union address on 28th January. What was remarkable was 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? (For that matter, think of the masses of good work and aid provided the Third World by Jewish ORT.)
In summation, I am sick to death of my native land, the United States, a deeply flawed but generous country, being denigrated by the rest of the world. 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.'
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.