...it's not dark yet, but it's gettin' there...

July 14, 2004

That's Because We're Americans

Over at Trying to Grok, Sarah has an excerpt from Teresa Heinz-Kerry's recent appearance on Larry King's show.

LARRY KING: What do you think, Teresa, would be the effect of another terror attack on the United States politically?

TERESA HEINZ-KERRY: I don't know. I think most Americans subconsciously believe something is going to happen. It's a matter of when. And it's a matter of how.

KING: Strange way to live, though.

HEINZ-KERRY: Yeah. But you know, Europeans have lived that way and other people around the world have lived that way. Americans have been very safe, at least as a nation.

First of all, why the fuck does anybody give two rat shits about anything that airhead has to say?

Anyway, the exchange reminded me of a news program i saw while on vacation in Portugal two years ago. It was on either BBC or Sky News or CNN International. One of those English language channels they have on hotel cable in Europe.

The show was a panel discussion with your typical Euro-lefties outnumbering a token representative of the Bush administration, who was a State Department guy who's name i don't remember.

One Euro-lefty said to the State Department guy, regarding the 9/11 attack: "Now you Americans know what we in Europe have been dealing with for decades."

The State Department guy (you could tell he had been holding his tongue throughout the discussion, despite all that typical Euro-condescension) then responded with words that i remember to this day, because it so clearly states the difference between America and the rest of the world.

He said something like: "Well we're not going to deal with it. We're Americans."

i'm sure that sounded pretty arrogant to the Euro-lefties, but Betty and i applauded him, right there in our hotel room. Because that's what America is all about. We fix things. Let Europe adapt to terrorism. We'll have none of that. We'll fix the problem, even if it means taking risks and pissing people off.

It may be a cliché but it can't be said often enough: true Americans don't forget that we saved Europe's ass three times in the last century. Europeans hate to be reminded of that fact, though.

What the left refuses understand is that the Iraq war was necessary in order to fix the problem of terrorism. One reason the left doesn't understand is because the Bush administration has done a poor job of explaining it. The other reason is that the left simply hates America.

The Iraq war was a first step in fixing the terrorism problem. This is not going to be a band-aid solution. Bush and Blair, and those coalition members who still have the guts to stick this thing out, understand that we are in a struggle that will only get worse if we don't change the way we "deal with it." The other option is to adapt to terrorism, like the Europeans, and we know how unsuccessful that strategy has been.

We went into Iraq and kicked out Saddam Hussein because we need to change the Middle East. We can't leave it as it is, an incubator of violent anti-Americanism and anti-semitism (which are synonyms to the enemy). We need to bring democracy to that backwards-ass area so that they will stop attacking and killing people.

Sure, not everybody believes that method will work, but what was the alternative? Bush has been pro-active rather than re-active about the problem of terrorism. We needed a bold solution, with "outside-the-box" thinking rather than what the Euros and the left want us to do - which is to continue the failed policy of responding with tough rhetoric and weak law enforcement solutions.

i, for one believe that democratization of the Middle East will work, and that we can accomplish that goal, given enough time and effort. Democracies are by their nature more peaceful than autocracies. Democracies never attack other democracies. i can't think of a single historical example of a democracy attacking another democracy (not counting civil wars, and even then, the American Civil War barely fits).

But Heinz-Kerry, because she's both a Euro and a lefty, cannot understand America and the things that make this country great. It's the optimism and can-do attitude of Theodore Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan that gives us the boldness to succeed. If the lefties and the Euros see that as arrogance, so be it. To paraphrase a favorite bumper sticker, we'll save their asses, whether they like it or not.

Posted by annika, Jul. 14, 2004 |
Rubric: annikapunditry


This is a wonderful post. We Americans are different. In today's politically-correct environment, many people don't like to hear such truths spoken---but truths are truths. Like you, I continue to believe in, and support, our efforts to democratize the Middle East. This will be a longterm process. Unlike many, I have been surprised how well things have gone in Iraq. If someone had told me two years ago that Saddam would be captured, Iraq would have an interim governing body and be preparing for elections, and that the United States would not have suffered any additional catastrophic attack at this date, I would have thought they were crazy. Liberals, here and around the globe, are enamored of process. They love meetings, dialog, mediation, compromise, treaties that aren't worth the paper on which they are printed, World Courts that move incrementally(if at all), etc. That is why they revere the United Nations. Conservatives prefer solutions to conversations, victory to impotent concessions, action to reaction, boldness to passivity. I do not want my son growing up in a country where I fear he may be blown up every time he rides a public bus, or sits at an open cafe. Most Americans have no grasp of the realities Israel faces every day. We have the right to defend ourselves from that fate. We have the finances, the industry, the military, and the options to defend our freedom--freedom that is worth defending. What some seem to lack is the patience, and the resolve. I apologize for rambling, but your post struck a nerve. I agree with every word.

Posted by: DBW on Jul. 15, 2004

Don't you guys ever think that maybe you should listen to what others have to say? That maybe those who have experienced this before might actually know what they're talking about? Are you really that arrogant that you think you can afford to ignore everyone else? You have no idea what it is to live with terrorism because thso that hijacked those plans came all the way from the middle east, they weren't your neighbours. Imagine if they actually lived in the same country or shared a border with you? Imagine if it was one of your own united states looking for independence, they'd all look and talk justlike you, they might even live on the same street as you, drink in the same bar as you and they might be planting bombs near your kids school or throwing fire bombs in your window. I bet you don't jump everytime you hear a firecracker or a car backfire, you don't see your neighbourhood orcity being bombed every other night on the news and have to worry if it was one of your friends or family that died in the blast, that they mightn't be coming home, ever. When you and everyone you know, personaly knows a victim of terrorism, when you experience the loss of a loved one or just just the oppressive fear of living with it. My cousin had a submachine gun emptied itno his abdomen by a loyalist gunman, that's 30 bullets. Another was given 30 minutes to evacuate his buisness before it was blown up by the IRA. That's what it is to deal with terrorism. Because terrorists aren't your average soldier that gets paid a wage to do a job, they have a cause they believe in and what's worse for you is that the terrorists who are targetting your country are willing to blow themselves up for their cause and that's something we in Europe haven't had to deal with. What we've learned is that when you kill one terrorist, you only create martyrs and they're only too effective when it comes to putting guns in the hands of a new generation of terrorists.

Democracies never attack other democracies? What planet are you living on? Isn't Spain a democracy? Haven't you heard of ETA? Isn't the UK a democracy too? Come on now, I KNOW you've heard of the IRA! That's just two examples.

It's not your "can do" attitude but your pig headed ignorance that we see as arrogance. Your unwillingness or inability to think outside your insular little world that gets right up our noses so you only come across as hypocritical when you say you need a bold solution, with "outside-the-box" thinking because you've already demonstrated elsewhere in your article that you haven't even bothered to consider what's outside that box, that there might be wisdom in the words of other people. Not to listen is gravely disrespectful and an affront to all those that have and will die at the hands of terrorism.

You know without the aid the french gave you in your war for independence, there would be no United States of America as you know it today. This is what civilised nations do, they help eachother in their time of need, so you see, it cuts both ways

With the advent of the world wide web, we all now have more information at our fingertips then ever before in world history and not to be informed as to both sides of the story is hugely negligent and irresponsible. Please take time to do this as I would not wish for you to have live or deal with terrorism as some of us have and many have yet to. Please open your eyes and ears, look and listen to what is going on in the world outide your own borders and your own immediate interests. Whether or not you change your mind after finding out about how the rest of the world thinks, at least you might understand us a bitbetter and if that leads to better co-operation and understanding, how can it be a bad thing?

Posted by: PJK on Jul. 18, 2004

ETA is not a country, you ignoramus. A democratic UK has never been at war with another democratic country. The IRA is not a country, you pathetic loser. If France helped us out in our war for independence, we repaid them ten times over by saving them from the Germans twice and the Russians once. And we WILL save them from the islamic fascists next. Even though I don't expect them to thank us, nor you for that matter. We've earned the right to be disrespectful, as you call us. If you don't like us, let's see shitty Ireland go and save the world. You can't even clean up your own act. Fuck off.

Posted by: Pat on Jul. 18, 2004