I hope this isn't a dupe.
Bush's 'crime'? Just being a patriot
By Janet Daley
By the time you read this, you may know who is to be the next President of the United States. Then again, you may not.
If things really are as tight as they look at the moment of writing, then the American presidency may be paralysed for months, in a time of great national peril, by a litigious frenzy. Please God, let's not go there, if only because the sight of both sides trying to sue their way into the White House would license yet another wave of supercilious European Ameriphobia.
Now - in this hiatus between my copy deadline and the election result - is probably the ideal moment to look at some of the self-regarding delusions that European and British analysis has perpetrated about this election.
The first - and the most outrageous - is that attacks on George W Bush personally and the United States generally, are a direct consequence of the war on Iraq.
In fact, Bush was loathed by the British and European Left-liberals before he had done anything in office. He was detested purely and simply for what he was - a point to which I shall return. But the idea that the most recent wave of rabid anti-Americanism stems from mistakes in Iraq is simply absurd. Anyone whose historical memory goes back more than 10 minutes should recall the extraordinary effusion of hatred that spewed from sections of the opinion-forming class as a consequence of America being attacked.
Like most expatriate Americans living in Britain, it was a phenomenon I am unlikely ever to forget. The response to the deaths of 3,000 civilians, by comment writers in the Left-wing newspapers and the producers of "flagship" BBC current affairs programmes, was to orchestrate abuse of the bereaved country. I didn't know whether to laugh or cry when I read a leader in Saturday's Guardian which pronounced with brazen sanctimoniousness: "The attack of September 11 2001, an event of historic seriousness, created an unprecedented outpouring of solidarity worldwide."
Oh really? Well, then the Guardian must have been wildly out of step with world solidarity at the time because it was gleefully leading a chorus of "America got what it deserved". And the BBC - sorry to return to this again but it remains burnished in my consciousness - staged an edition of Question Time in which anyone who expressed sympathy for the US was howled down.
Anybody who says that this kind of pathological hatred - the kind that relishes the loss of innocent life as a well-deserved "lesson" - would evaporate with the election of John Kerry, or any other contender who was remotely in tune with the American political culture, is trying very hard to deceive himself or the rest of us.
Perhaps there is a clue to the psychological logic of this argument in the Guardian leader's triumphal conclusion: "Three years later, much of that solidarity has been squandered."
Are the people who attacked the US at the time of 9/11 now trying to justify that gratuitous viciousness by claiming that it has been, as it were, retrospectively justified by the invasion of Iraq?
And they conveniently overlook the fact that the protest over America's actions in Iraq had an earlier incarnation. Try hard and you will recall that much the same doom-saying condemnations of "imperialism" and "war-mongering" were made prior to the invasion of Afghanistan.
The choir began singing this tune almost immediately after 9/11: America will "rush in" and take precipitate action to remove the Taliban regime even though it is what the Islamic people of that country want.
Well, they didn't rush in - they waited and planned for what seemed an unconscionable length of time. Then they liberated Kabul from a regime which - as it turned out - even most Muslims in Afghanistan hated.
The Afghans have just had their first free elections without any terrorist disruption from al-Qa'eda. But the Bush-haters have largely forgotten their opposition to that venture, so happily immersed are they in the more troubled outcome in Iraq. I wonder how quickly amnesia will set in if the Iraqi elections in January go surprisingly well?
So, no - George W Bush is not hated here and in Europe because he removed a genocidal tyrant in Iraq and failed to anticipate the chaos that followed.
He is hated because he is the embodiment of everything that the United States is, and Europe is not: not just enormously powerful, militarily and economically, but brashly confident and fervently patriotic. Where Europe is steeped in historical guilt and self-loathing - so immersed in its own unforgivable past that it is trying to fashion a constitution that actually prohibits national pride - America is profoundly proud of the success of its own miraculous achievement.
What it has succeeded in doing is cracking the great dilemma of modern history: how can disparate and ethnically diverse people live together? How can people of differing and deeply felt religious convictions survive, with their beliefs intact, in a single unified country - evangelical Protestants such as Mr Bush alongside practising Catholics with Jewish roots such as Mr Kerry - without their cities turning into Belfast or Beirut?
The answer lies not in the post-religious, anti-clerical mania of the European Union which has just rejected a commissioner for espousing mainstream Catholic principles, but in that patriotism so despised by European elites. It is the unifying force of national self-belief with all those ridiculed school rituals - pledging allegiance to the flag, reciting the preamble to the Constitution - that makes America whole and at one with itself.
Bush is the personification of that unashamed America and that is why Europe cannot bear the sight of him.
© Copyright of Telegraph Group Limited 2004. Terms & Conditions of reading.
We our profoundly proud of our success but it's NOT a miracle -- it's due to many, many great thinkers, inventors, businessmen, and workers being left free to do what they do best - PRODUCE WEALTH IN ABUNDANCE.
Freedom -> Wealth
I tip my hat to every person in history that has understood the fact that "you have to produce more than you consume".
Amen to that. That is certainly the key, however God has also blessed our country and that cannot be denied.