Friday, April 27, 2007


I implore urge command you to go and read this glorious Bryan Appleyard essay from 23 September 2001.

For let us ponder, for a moment, exactly what the Americans did in that most awful of all centuries, the twentieth.

They saved Europe from barbarism in two world wars. After the second, it also rebuilt the continent from the ashes. They confronted and, in the end, peacefully defeated Soviet communism, the most murderous system ever devised by man, and thereby enforced the slow dismantling – we hope – of Chinese communism, the second most murderous system. America, primarily, ejected Iraq from Kuwait and helped us eject Argentina from the Falklands. America stopped the slaughter in the Balkans while the Europeans dithered.

...“People should think,” the writer David Halberstam says from the blasted city of New York, “what the world would be like without the backdrop of American leadership with all its flaws over the past sixty years.” Probably, I think, a bit like hell.

There’s a lot wrong with America, I have myself catalogued many of her failings, and terrible things have been done in her name. But, when the chips are down, all the most important things are right. And, on September 11th, the chips went down.

But the Yankophobes were too villanously stupid to get the message. Barely 48 hours after almost 6000 Americans were murdered, we see the BBC’s Question Time with its carefully hand-picked audience of morons telling ex-US ambassador Philip Lader that “the world despises America.”

I am sick of my generation’s whining ingratitude, its wilful, infantile loathing of the great, tumultuous, witty and infinitely clever nation that so often saved us from ourselves.
For anti-Americanism has never been right and I hope it never will be. Of course, there are times for criticism, lampoons even abuse. This is not one of those times. This is a time when we are being asked a question so simple that it is almost embarrassing, a question that should silence the Question Time morons, the sneering chatterers and the Cold Warriors, a question so elemental, so fundamental, so pristine that, luxuriating in our salons, we had forgotten it could even be asked. So face it, answer it, stand up and be counted.

Whose side are you really on?

Beside the content, the fact that he wrote it so soon after 9/11 amazes. (Sadly, it fell on deaf ears or I wouldn't have had to keep banging on in 2004, 2005, 2006 and again this year. )

Although all anti-Americans were opposed to the invasion of Iraq, and most of them simply because of their anti-Americanism, it was not necessary to be anti-American to be opposed.

Therefore, the true test of anti-Americanism has always been 9/11. Formerly, its ugliness was cloaked in reasonableness. It used to go like this: “It’s a tragedy, a dreadful thing….but of course…” And here it comes, the “But-of-Course”. But of course, they brought it on themselves, didn’t they?

A deep and sickening malaise lies behind this But-of-Course. One is reminded of pub louts who accuse a rape victim of having it coming to her for wearing a short skirt. Naturally, the 9/11 But-of-Courser would scream down that pub lout in seconds. So where can that malaise have come from?

The But-of-Coursers have faded since 2001. The replacements are even worse. Anti-Americans don’t even bother with the polite “It’s a tragedy” prelude any more. And then there are the Conspiracy Theorists, the most snivelling, stupid, hateful kind of anti-Americans, whose only saving grace is that they are too barking mad to bother with.

America will survive all this, and no doubt worse in the future, because America is a great country and because the anti-Americans are powerless and wrong about all the important things. They know this, and that’s where the rage comes from.


Duck said...

Well said Brit. And Bryan.

joe shropshire said...

Thanks, brother.

Anonymous said...

Well done. But you forgot to mention their quaint national dress and charming native customs.

Brit said...

That's what the rest of the blog is for.