De­fend­ing the US against all odds

Yan­kee-bash­ing the in-thing

Finweek English Edition - - Openers - BY STEPHEN MUL­HOL­LAND stephenm@fin­week.co.za

PER­HAPS IT’S MY AGE but there are a num­ber of mat­ters about which I’m be­com­ing quite weary.

For ex­am­ple, I’m very weary of peo­ple who hate the United States of Amer­ica, and given how wide­spread is this ha­tred, I have much about which to be weary. At din­ner ta­bles, wher­ever they are, I’m al­most al­ways a mi­nor­ity of one de­fend­ing the US against at­tack.

Fur­ther, it’s all so puz­zling. Never in his­tory can there have been a su­per­power of such be­nig­nity as the US. It’s never been a colo­nial power in the po­lit­i­cal sense that char­ac­terised the Bri­tish, French, Por­tuguese, Bel­gian, Dutch and other colo­nial ac­tors of re­cent his­tory seek­ing ter­ri­tory and re­sources and plac­ing lo­cals un­der their rule.

In mod­ern his­tory, great pow­ers such as Hitler’s Nazi Ger­many, Stalin’s Soviet Union and Mao’s China killed at least 100m in­no­cents in their pur­suit of plun­der and dom­i­na­tion. But all this is forgotten in the rush to con­demn Amer­ica.

Fur­ther back in his­tory, there are plenty of ex­am­ples of bru­tal forms of coloni­sa­tion. In the mists of time, about 6500BC, there’s ev­i­dence that hunter-gath­er­ers at­tacked those who had pur­sued a more set­tled form of liv­ing to steal from them the sur­pluses they had stored.

Is­lam con­ducted Ji­had across the known world and, as recorded in Cas­sell’s World His­tory of War­fare (Cas­sell 2003), “...within about one hun­dred years of Muham­mad’s death, the Arabs had cre­ated an em­pire through con­quest that ri­valled those of Per­sia and Rome.”

Ac­cord­ing to the au­thors of Cas­sell’s His­tory, the “...pre­vi­ous feud­ing of Arab tribes was chan­nelled into a com­mu­nal obli­ga­tion to per­form Ji­had, or holy war, not to con­vert un­be­liev­ers but to achieve the uni­ver­sal dom­i­na­tion of Is­lam.”

An al-Qaeda leader, Maulana Inyadul­lah, speak­ing af­ter the 9/11 at­tacks on the World Trade Cen­ter, told Lon­don’s Daily Tele­graph: “The Amer­i­cans love Pe­spi-Cola, we love death.”

In his new book, Amer­ica Alone (Reg­n­ery Pub­lish­ing, 2006), the com­men­ta­tor Mark Steyn gives a fine ex­am­ple of how West­ern apol­o­gists echo the likes of Maulana Inyadul­lah when he quotes the Bri­tish nov­el­ist, Mar­garet Drab­ble: “I de­test Coca-Cola, I de­test burg­ers, I de­test sen­ti­men­tal and vi­o­lent Hol­ly­wood movies that tell lies about his­tory. I de­test Amer­i­can im­pe­ri­al­ism, Amer­i­can in­fan­til­ism, and Amer­i­can tri­umphal­ism about vic­to­ries it didn’t even win.”

One won­ders if Ms Drab­ble would be quite so free to air her views had Amer­ica not res­cued Europe and Bri­tain from the fate Hitler had in mind for them. One also won­ders if Ja­pan would to­day be the great demo­cratic power it is had not Harry Tru­man over­thrown its Im­pe­rial Army.

One also won­ders if South Korea would en­joy the free­dom and pros­per­ity it does, had not Amer­ica pro­tected it from com­mu­nism.

One also won­ders why it is that the US dom­i­nates the No­bel Prize lists and why mil­lions of peo­ple from around the world are des­per­ate to en­ter a coun­try de­monised as The Great Satan.

Steyn sums it up: “All dom­i­nant pow­ers are hated – Bri­tain was, and Rome – but they’re usu­ally hated for the right rea­sons. The fa­nat­i­cal Mus­lims de­spise Amer­ica be­cause it’s all lap danc­ing and gay porn; the sec­u­lar Euro­peans de­spise Amer­ica be­cause it’s all born-again Chris­tians hung up on abor­tion; the anti-Semites de­spise Amer­ica be­cause it’s con­trolled by Jews. Too Jewish, too Chris­tian, too god­less, Amer­ica is Ge­orge Or­well’s Room 101: what­ever your bug­bear, you’ll find it therein; what­ever you’re against, Amer­ica is the prime ex­am­ple of it.”

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