Response to Apparently, the Irish media caused 9/11


It was Belmont Club's "Wretchard", just above, who was referring to "the Left", but I highly recommend that piece for a clearer idea of what the post-Cold War Left means in general, if only by the vacuum it leaves behind. I've been a Left liberal all my life. I've never voted Republican before. I disagree with Bush on nearly every domestic policy and I totally reject the administration's environmental positions, if they can even be called that. But history has recast everything now, my entire hierarchy of priorities. And it's recast everyone else's too: look at the big spending and departmental expansions of the right in America, and look at the wave of protectionism on the left which Europeans don't even seem to grasp yet (the latter plan would penalize US companies for outsourcing to places like Ireland). I saw "The day After Tomorrow" last night and realized to my surprise that the panic-instilling scenario, ostensibly anti-Bush in its pro-Kyoto intent, will have the reverse effect. Because Kerry is seen as a flip-flopper and an opportunist whose message (?) doesn't answer the immediate and appropriate sense of peril in the American soul, the film will drive people closer to Bush's simplistic clarity, poor weather notwithstanding. The Dem's entire foundation, their fundamental principle right now, is that the Bush administration didn't work with the international community enough - which basically means the European left generally (and not just the hardline socialist fringe which has always struggled for recognition) . What you don't find enough of in the media in the US is the question of whether that widespread European complaint is really worth listening to at all, I mean in light of the real world? But the answer to that is implicit in American culture these days - indeed we have a history of wariness - and is probably one of the reasons that the fellow above is rankled by seeing the stars and stripes flying everywhere. The advice that we hear from Europe today seems to issue more from self-loathing (the point of Wretchard's piece) than from any creative response to the world's ills and any kind of realistic alternative to the war on terror. None of what we hear rings true though there's a vocal minority in the US that seems inordinately impressed with their own sophisticated posturing. No, to most Americans the European emphasis on employing the UN in every instance just ducks responsibility by way of a simplistic and relativistic formula. And that's precisely Kerry's belief too. Though you're correct that if he were to win office the appearance would be that nothing much had changed, the Islamo-fascists would understand that something had changed. And the balance of Americans know that they know, and they also know that Europeans are sleeping! Europeans become anti-American whenever there's a Republican in office. Before Sept. 11/01 I remember how Bush was villified in Ireland. I didn't vote for Bush, but the widespread notions of how he "stole" the office showed no comprehension of our rule of law. Other similar rumors combined to lessen my regard for the political sophistication of the Irish generally, and that was my preparation for comprehending the shrillness of their anti-Americanism after the US was attacked and all through the Afghanistan war. I mentioned Edmund Burke above, and his contention that the first duty of rulers and legislators is to the present, not to the promotion of an ideal order that exists only in the imagination. Perhaps the fantasy of a future order is appropriate to a European mindstyle which is given to theoretical idealisms, but that doesn't mean that Americans aren't being prudent by ignoring them.

Created By: timothy sweete