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Monday, August 19, 2002
 
Uh-oh.

According to the USA Today, the rest of the world (ROW) really dislikes the U.S. right now. And not just because it publishes the USA Today, either.

No, they REALLY dislike the U.S.. They write "virulent prose" criticizing its government. Their politicians "ferociously attack" its policies. Even in Great Britain, "snide remarks and downright animosity greet many Americans these days."

So says a person named Ellen Hall in a piece that might just set a new standard for left-wing disingenuousness and hand-wringing at McPaper.
www.usatoday.com/usatonline/20020814/4358473s.htm

"What else is new," the typical American might ask? "They've always hated us - A lot of them, anyway."

Ahhh, but not like they do now. At least not according to renowned Dutch social worker Tiny Waslandek. Ms. Hale quotes Tiny as offering this assessment of why the U.S. is under siege by the ROW: ''Why do people attack Americans? Because they have a big, big mouth and they mind everybody's business.''

Now the typical loud, nosy American might be tempted to respond to such a statement by suggesting that Tiny shut his big, big mouth and mind his own business. But that would be a mistake.

Because THAT would most certainly upset Meghnad Desai, Director of the Institute for Global Governance at the London School of Economics and Political Science and a member of the House of Lords. Here's what Meghnad had to say about the "goodwill" America had engendered with the 9/11 attack:

"It was squandered. America dissipated the goodwill out of its arrogance and incompetence. A lot of people who would never ever have considered themselves anti-American are now very distressed with the United States.''

Like Ellen Hall, perhaps.

"Bush's plan to topple Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein is stoking anti-American hostility to bonfire levels," Ms. Hall warns us - leaving us only to speculate at what, exactly, is stoking Ms. Hall. Among other Bush actions that have the ROW "enraged," according to Hall, are Bush's support for steel tariffs and farm subsidies, and his refusal to involve the United States in the new international criminal court.

Please. Are we REALLY expected to believe that the streets of Europe are simmering with rage over Bush's decision to slap some tariffs on imported steel? That the coffee shops of Greece are abuzz over his refusal to submit to the jurisdiction of an international criminal tribunal? Such things are the concerns of the political class. Granted, the political milieu of Europe is skewed much further left than that of the U.S.. And their Ecoloons are taken even more seriously than are ours - giving credence among too many to such frauds as the Kyoto Treaty.

But this still sounds suspiciously more like the projected rage of Ellen Hall and European leftists than anything over which I am inclined to lose sleep.

Suppose she's right, though? Suppose that the ROW really IS all aflutter over Bush's policies. Suppose her assertion that "polls have shown a less-than subtle change in attitudes toward Americans, U.S. foreign policy and, in particular, the president from Texas" is correct? Should we be concerned?

Well, we've been down this path before, haven't we? The ROW hated Ronald Reagan with an intensity they haven't even BEGUN to muster (yet) for Bush. If you believed the predecessors of Tiny and Meghnad, the senile old fool was going to destroy the world through his incompetence, warmongering and senility. As it turned out, all that incompetent senile warmonger did was destroy the Soviet empire and lay the foundation for an economic boom that lasted the better part of 20 years.

Imagine what he might have accomplished if he had Le Monde in his corner.

That the whining twits of which Hall speaks are wrong on substance is the reason to disregard them; that they are hypocritical blowhards is the reason to enjoy their vexation. It seems that every time some state is about to irrevokably terminate the cable TV privileges of yet another murdering swine, we are treated to this same crowd pontificating about how the U.S. is (all together, now) "THE ONLY INDUSTRIALIZED DEMOCRACY IN THE WORLD THAT STILL HAS THE DEATH PENALTY."

And it isn't just the death penalty. The buttinskys of the ROW Left feel no compunction sharing their views on what U.S. policy should be on gun ownership, immigration, health care, environmental regulation, or anything else for that matter. The U.S. should sign treaties that are clearly not its economic interests....why?

Because the ROW left thinks the country's too darned prosperous for its own good, that's why. You know the line by heart: "The U.S. has .002 percent of the world's population, but consumes 153 percent of it's resources......" Or something like that - I forget. But I'm absolutely sure there's no envy involved.

Yet this same crowd has the unmitigated gall to wax indignant about Americans bullying people around. My favorite complaint is about "cultural imperialism" - as if the U.S. military attacked their countries, stormed their TV broadcast facilities, and forced them to show "Mad About You" reruns at gunpoint. I know that's the only way you could get ME to watch them.

No American not employed by the McDonalds Corporation cares one whit if the French eat Big Macs or not; but apparently enough French (and Brits and Germans....) want to eat the damned things that McDonalds makes money selling them in those countries. This isn't "cultural imperialism" any more than Altoids are British Mint Hegemony. This is people exercising free will - understandably problematic to the European left, but hardly an act of aggresion.

If accusations of "cultural imperialism" are good for a chuckle, the very real geopolitical situation we face right now is not. The U.S. faces a real threat from a dangerous enemy. President Bush, from what I can tell, is inclined to seek the support of the ROW for whatever actions may be necessary to protect our citizens. He also seems willing to make compromises to obtain that support. What he DOESN'T appear ready to do is swap the prerogatives of economic sovereignty for public relations points in support of his exercise of the prerogatives of self-defense.

And I have a hunch that in the final analysis, THAT's what REALLY has Ellen and Tiny all worked up.

Ed Mick

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