Friday, November 12, 2004


"Bush was loathed by the British and European Left-liberals before he had done anything in office. He was detested purely and simply for what he was - a point to which I shall return. But the idea that the most recent wave of rabid anti-Americanism stems from mistakes in Iraq is simply absurd. Anyone whose historical memory goes back more than 10 minutes should recall the extraordinary effusion of hatred that spewed from sections of the opinion-forming class as a consequence of America being attacked.

Like most expatriate Americans living in Britain, it was a phenomenon I am unlikely ever to forget. The response to the deaths of 3,000 civilians, by comment writers in the Left-wing newspapers and the producers of "flagship" BBC current affairs programmes, was to orchestrate abuse of the bereaved country....

So, no - George W Bush is not hated here and in Europe because he removed a genocidal tyrant in Iraq and failed to anticipate the chaos that followed.

He is hated because he is the embodiment of everything that the United States is, and Europe is not: not just enormously powerful, militarily and economically, but brashly confident and fervently patriotic. Where Europe is steeped in historical guilt and self-loathing - so immersed in its own unforgivable past that it is trying to fashion a constitution that actually prohibits national pride - America is profoundly proud of the success of its own miraculous achievement.

What it has succeeded in doing is cracking the great dilemma of modern history: how can disparate and ethnically diverse people live together?....

The answer lies not in the post-religious, anti-clerical mania of the European Union which has just rejected a commissioner for espousing mainstream Catholic principles, but in that patriotism so despised by European elites. It is the unifying force of national self-belief with all those ridiculed school rituals - pledging allegiance to the flag, reciting the preamble to the Constitution - that makes America whole and at one with itself. Bush is the personification of that unashamed America and that is why Europe cannot bear the sight of him".

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