More and more, in recent months, as the situation in Iraq has deteriorated, Iran has gotten ever closer to its stated goal of wiping Israel off the map, and most of the Eastern Hemisphere (not to mention our neighbors to the north) is all but dancing in the streets in celebration of the apparent demise of the War on Terror--much as Palestinians did on the very day of 9/11--my mind travels back to those attacks, and to the global reaction to them, and more specifically to the famous Le Monde headline: "We Are All Americans."
Are you, really?
You supported our invasion of Afghanistan, because if there has ever been a case of justified retaliation in post-modern times, that was it. But when our President moved beyond that, recognized--as anyone with half a brain could--that Al Qaeda was neither an aberration nor an isolated group, and determined to work to put an end to the conditions that spawned it and other groups like it, suddenly, you stopped.
Saddam Hussein's Iraq was not only a clear menace to the world--a hostile regime known to use weapons of mass destruction in the past, and whose disarmament was never confirmed, as evidenced by the continuing sanctions against it--but a major instigator of the conditions that spawned Al Qaeda--lest we forget, Osama bin Laden explicitly cited both the sanctions against Iraq and American troops stationed in Saudi Arabia against Iraq as excuses for attacking the US. If there was ever a slam-dunk example of a situation that could not, in a post-9/11 world, be permitted to continue, that was it.
And what did you do?
You threw up every roadblock you could in defense of the status quo. Months in advance, President Bush accurately predicted Saddam's obstructionism, his half-hearted cooperation in name only, his continuing efforts to conceal either his WMD programs or the fate of them--he called every step of the dance long in advance, and you still marched to Iraq's beat.
You delayed; you derided; and when our President finally concluded that you could not be relied on and moved anyway, your howls of indignation could be heard around the globe--followed swiftly by every doomsday prophecy you could come up with.
And thus, in Iraq, we've seen the melding of two of the "great" public relations principles of the 20th century: the Big Lie, and the determinative power of the media. Tell a lie--the bigger the better--tell it loudly enough, long enough, and eventually people will start to believe it--and, thanks to the media, not only believe it, but make it a self-fulfilling prophecy--a reality. Thanks in large part to you and your anti-American allies here in the US, Iraq has been all but lost.
And you people celebrated.
The situation in Iran grows more desperate by the day, and you refuse to do anything. You treat the declining poll numbers of Mahmouhd Ahmadinejad as a sign that Iran is buckling, when the real leaders of Iran are the mullahs, who can simply replace him with another hand-selected puppet to appease your outrage, then continue unopposed on their merry nuclear way.
Only the US and Israel are seriously looking at removing, not Ahmadinejad, but the mullahs who are the root of the problem--and they are both strapped, thanks to Iraq and Lebanon, respectively.
And you people gloat.
Just what did "We Are All Americans" mean? It didn't mean you would support us as we sought to ensure that 9/11 would equal "Never Again." It didn't mean you would treat Islamofascist terror, whether Sunni or Shiite, as the global menace that it is. So just what did it mean?
Here's what I think it meant: "We Are All Americans" meant "Americans are like the rest of us, now." It meant that Americans, like the rest of the world, were now mere passive victims. It meant that Americans had been dragged down to the level of the rest of the world. It meant that Americans, like the rest of the world, could only helplessly wail after each new attack, shaking their fists to the heavens and crying out, "Why?"
And when President Bush proved it wrong--when, unlike the rest of the world, he determined to do something about it--"We" were no longer all Americans. America was suddenly once more the most hated country in the world--hated because we set out to do the necessary work that the rest of the world didn't have the balls for.
"We Are All Americans"? Please.
You are NOT all Americans.
Americans have NOT been dragged down to your level.