Culture Archives

Another 9/11 Myth – Squandered Goodwill

With a hat tip to James Taranto, it’s time to bust the myth that we had all this store of goodwill built up because of what Muslim terrorists did to us on 9/11, but Bush squandered it when he went to war. From the London Telegraph, Anne Applebaum writes:

But it’s also true that 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”.

That week’s edition of Question Time featured a sustained attack on Phil Lader, the former US ambassador to Britain – and a man who had lost colleagues in the World Trade Centre – who seemed near to tears as he was asked questions about the “millions and millions of people around the world despising the American nation”. At least some Britons, like many other Europeans, were already secretly or openly pleased by the 9/11 attacks.

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.

There was outpouring of sympathy, to be sure. But to confuse that with some sort of policy shift is just wrong.

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.

And really, was the breaking of the UN sanctions by the likes of France and Russia really a result mostly–even partially–of some sort of lost love for the US? Please. It was selfish interest, plain and simple, by economies that couldn’t handle the loss of a trading partner very well.

Anne does note that American may have turned folks off with our “go it alone” mentality (although a coalition of 20 groups in Afghanistan and a few dozen that have or had participated in Iraq doesn’t sound too much like we’ve “spurned traditional alliances”), but faults Europe as well for already being “disinclined for their own reasons to sympathise with any American tragedy”.

Frankly, Democrats are blaming Bush for losing something we never really had.

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There She Stands

by Michael W. Smith.


Five years later, I fear we’ve forgotten the reason we came together those weeks and months after 9/11. It’s not the flag, but the flag reminds us of the reason. We are a diverse nation that can come together as we have done so many times in the past. It can still happen, if we remember why we fight and what’s at stake.

The first response to the attacks in September, 2001 was on Flight 93 over Pennsylvania. It would be a pity if we’ve already forgotten why they fought. They had a clarity we’re losing. They had a purpose that’s getting foggy in the minds of too many Americans.

We were united. We can still be. Remember why.

Previous 9/11 posts:


The Super-Rich

Want a good look at a member of the super-rich? Take a look in a mirror. Most likely, by historical standards, the person you will see is extremely wealthy.

So says Donald Boudreaux at TCS Daily. He ticks off a short list of things that show how truly wealthy we are (e.g. longer life expectancy, indoor plumbing, no smallpox). However, his answer to the question as to why we have all this advancement isn’t the typical answer of “technology”. While that’s a big reason, there’s a deeper answer which, among other things, allows that technology to be invented.

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The ACLU vs. America

Wow. I knew that the ACLU promoted many positions that most Americans don’t, but “Stop the ACLU” has a long list, fully documented, of comparisons between the ACLU’s position and polls and statistics on Americans’ views. It’s truly amazing that our tax dollars help fund an organization so far to the left out of the mainstream of America.

But, you may say, sometimes what’s legal isn’t always popular. They cover that angle.

The reaction from ACLU-types will predictably be something like: “What is right and Constitutional is not always popular.” Easy answer: What the ACLU does is invent rights and distort the Constitution, which is why the ACLU is so UNpopular. The ACLU has used dubious interpretations of law NEVER imagined by our Founders with compliance from radical judges to push an agenda abhorrent to most Americans and indeed to the intent of the Constitution. Look no further than the ACLU’s pro bono defense of a website that advocates pedophilia and instructs its visitors in how to rape children and evade prosecution. So…the ACLU considers encouraging instruction on how to commit and get away with child rape a First Amendment right…does anyone believe that the Founders would agree? Therefore, can’t we conclude that if the ACLU is so wrong on this, that it may be wrong on many other things? Judge the evidence for yourself.

Being wrong once doesn’t mean you’re wrong all the time, but the example gives you an idea of what sorts of things the ACLU thinks are protected by the Constitution, and it speaks to how awful their interpretation can be.

Read the whole thing.

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The Future of Dissent

Joseph Farah, on why the recent ruling requiring the condoning of homosexuality, bisexuality, and transsexuality in California institutions that get government money is a big deal.

I don’t want to overstate this, but this is the end of religious freedom in the biggest state in the union. The only alternative left for Christians and Jews and people of other faiths in California is quite literally to drop out. That means homeschooling. It means creating new institutions that won’t touch any public funding – even when it is as tenuous as one student accepting a state grant. When you submit yourself or your institution to government regulation in California now, you tacitly accept the official state religion of paganism.

And don’t think it will end here. It never does.

When more people choose to drop out, as they inevitably will, the coercive state will find new creative ways to come after them as well.

Just ask German homeschoolers. Yes, Farah’s editorials are generally overheated, but this time I think he’s really on to something. How far of a stretch is it, really, to imagine a law that makes this sort of coercion required for any business or institution simply operating in California, regardless of whether it gets state money? Not that much, in my mind.

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Rediscovering Christmas

Sam’s Club has brought back “Christmas”.

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Dissent is Futile, You Will Be Assimilated

It’s now illegal in California schools to criticize homosexuality.

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has tossed out all sexual moral conduct codes at colleges, private and Christian schools, daycare centers and other facilities throughout his state, if the institutions have any students who get state assistance.

The governor yesterday signed a bill that would require all businesses and groups receiving state funding — even if it’s a state grant for a student — to condone homosexuality, bisexuality and transsexuality.

Note the phrase I bolded. Not only does this affect state-run schools, but it affects any private institution that has students who get state education grant money.

There is no exception for faith-based organizations or business owners with sincerely held religious convictions, critics note.

Read the rest of this entry

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Is Religion Making Us Fat?

A very interesting article by Cathleen Falsani of the Chicago Sun-Times on how religion, specifically Protestant Christianity, and more specifically the typical social events, is making folks fat. I can attest to the fact that much of the article’s observations are right on, and it’s something really worth thinking about.

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