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September 12, 2006

The Myth of "Squandering The World's Good Will"

Good Anne Applebaum piece that restates the obvious that nevertheless needs to be restated.

[This] initial wave of goodwill hardly outlasted the news cycle. Within a couple of days a Guardian columnist wrote of the "unabashed national egotism and arrogance that drives anti-Americanism among swaths of the world's population". A Daily Mail columnist denounced the "self-sought imperial role" of the United States, which he said had "made it enemies of every sort across the globe".


And all of this was before Afghanistan, before Tony Blair was tainted by his friendship with George Bush, and before anyone knew the word "neo-con", let alone felt the need to claim not to be one.

The dislike of America, the hatred for what it was believed to stand for – capitalism, globalisation, militarism, Zionism, Hollywood or McDonald's, depending on your point of view – was well entrenched. To put it differently, the scorn now widely felt in Britain and across Europe for America's "war on terrorism" actually preceded the "war on terrorism" itself. It was already there on September 12 and 13, right out in the open for everyone to see.

The Europeans offered us approximately the same level of "support" and "goodwill" that Jerry Springer's crack staff of psychologists offers its damaged guests after a show. They had hoped that a mere disingenuous statement of solidarity would satisfy us, and foreclose any requests for actual solidarity.

When we asked for tangible assistance in seeking justice, not merely "closure," they showed their true colors.

Same Old, Same Old: Ron Reagan Jr., who never had an original thought in his head that didn't involve garden vegetables and his ass, spins the same old tired leftist cant:

I'm sure I'll carry some of those memories with me forever. But now, five years on, other thoughts, newer thoughts, crowd in. Today, when I think of 9/11, I think, among other things, of missed opportunity.

For a short while - an instant in geopolitical time - virtually the whole world stood with America, even those who didn't really care for us. What did we do with this moment?

Are we better off for not more effectively pursuing the architect of this atrocity, Osama bin Laden? Could we not see that to a culture steeped in a tradition of honor and vengeance, this failure to bring bin Laden to justice shamed us? Did we think that would make it easier to win hearts and minds?

Secret prisons, torture, and an unnecessary war against the wrong enemy - were these signs of wisdom or panic? Was there no more constructive way to approach that part of the world which spawned our attackers - not to appease but to creatively engage? Have we, in the intervening years, done our nation proud?

We will all remember 9/11 in our own ways. For me, the tragedy merely began on that day, then continued every day since in a litany of missed chances and squandered opportunities.

"Creatively engage" = the new euphemism for "appease."

What concrete sorts of "creative engagement" is he suggesting? He dares not say, as the specific examples of "creative engagement" would be seen to be appeasement. So he sells appeasement under a new brand name with very vague features.

If we just give them blowjobs, maybe they'll be nice to us.

Um, maybe. But I doubt it, and I'm not getting on my knees. If some Americans think this tact may work, I strongly suggest they take the next flight to Islamabad, make contact with the local jihadist community (i.e., pretty much every man on the street), and try it out.

And then get right back to us with an after-action report. Assuming their heads are still contiguous with their necks.

Thanks to Slublog for that.

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posted by Ace at 12:29 PM

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