Tags: Those | Who | Should | Grateful | America

Those Who Should Be Grateful to America

Thursday, 08 December 2005 12:00 AM

In jokes, priests and rabbis are always going up to each other and making noteworthy comments. As do blacks and whites, Northerners and Southerners, men and women, cowboys and Indians. But this is no joke. This is as far from funny as today's headlines can get.

I'm wondering – in all seriousness – if a Japanese has ever gone up to a German and said: "How do you like those Americans. We attack them without warning on a Sunday morning. We destroy their fleet. We haul off and invade everything to our south and west. We brutalize their prisoners of war in unspeakable ways. We slaughter civilians. We act like the worst people on Earth.

"And when we lose the war, what do the Americans do? Do they unleash a vengeful riptide of rape and plunder? Nothing of the kind. They leave our emperor alone once they understand he's a religious figure to us, and they set about converting Japan from a feudalistic war cult into a modern democracy. And a prosperous one, too. And look at us today! God bless America."

"I was thinking the same thing," says the German. "Here we get drunk on the headiest brew of racial conceit and, like the supermen we think we are, we take almost all of Europe and most of North Africa. We systematically exterminate Jews, Gypsies and everybody else we don't like. We bomb enemy capitals even after they're surrendered, to make our point. We kill 75 times more Americans than they've lost in Iraq. With all due respect, we Germans – not you Japanese – acted like the worst people on Earth.

"And what do the Americans do when they win? They take the lead over their British and French allies and help us rebuild as a democracy. And look at Germany today! God bless America.

I'm not gaming. I'm not posing. I honestly wonder if that or anything LIKE that has ever been naturally, organically and spontaneously uttered from Japanese to German or vice versa. I haven't heard it.

Has a Frenchman ever said to a drinking buddy: "Consider those Americans, Pierre. They enter the battle just in time to make the big difference for us in World War I. They do it even bigger and better and with a lot more casualties in World War II. They chase the Nazi conquerors away and restore our freedom. They even changed a few marching orders around to make it look like our own French troops were liberating Paris.

"And how do we thank them? By trashing their attempt to do once for Iraq what they did twice for us. And pointing our bony fingers of indignation at them for interrogating captured terrorist suspects in camps that were once Soviet. Did we complain when the Americans handed over to us camps and facilities that used to be Nazi?"

And while we're wondering, let's wonder a bit about every country that was never taken over by communism. The countries that WERE taken over by communism and are now free are brazenly pro-American. And why not? One tends to like the cop who makes the mugger sitting on top of you drop his knife and raise both hands over his head. Who can deny that America was the moral and military leader of the successful effort to halt communism's advance until the acid of invalidity ate away the menace of the communism system?

So, thank you, Poland, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, etc. As an American I can say that your words and deeds are comforting, indeed.

But has a Venezuelan ever said to a Bangladeshi, or a Zimbabwean to a Turk, or an Iranian to an Indonesian: "For all those decades of the Cold War, American power was all that kept us unengulfed by communism. And look how we're been treating America. We show more respect for our umbrellas that protect us from the rain than for America, who protected us from communist enslavement."

So, France dashes for the high ground, the easier to roll boulders of disdain down upon America. Belgium frowns at American indiscretions in the War on Terror when they should be on their knees apologizing to God for their wretched stewardship of the Congo, Ruanda and Burundi. The European Union threatens any EU member that cooperates with those terrible Americans and their CIA excesses.

And did you hear the one about the Italian, the Frenchman, the German, the Dutchman, the Belgian, the Spaniard, the Portuguese and a few others who got together in the mid-1990s and said: "Look, Slobodan Milosevic is a bad man. But he's not as strong as Hitler. So let's make a point of getting together OURSELVES and protecting the Bosnian Moslems and the Albanian Moslems, and let's thank the Americans for being there when we needed them and let the Americans know we're making progress and we're going to do THIS European liberation mission with Europeans alone."

Some Europeans may have thought that. Some may have even SAID it. But it didn't keep America from once again going Over There to pull European villains off of European victims.

While we're on the subject, has Osama bin Laden ever said to Al Zarqawi: "How do you like those Americans? They send their troops and give their blood and money to defend our Moslem brothers in Bosnia and Kosovo against Christian Serbs. Maybe we could have thought of a more appropriate thank-you to America than 9/11."

You're not going to believe this – I hardly believe it myself – but shortly after 9/11 I clearly heard a dialogue on TV between President George W. Bush and the female minister of defense of Norway. I was in the bathtub but I heard it clearly. There was some tactical, technical situation under which America might need help temporarily in protecting the skies over Washington. And the Norwegian defense minister assured Bush that "Norwegian fighter planes would be instantly available to defend Washington, D.C."

Why did I believe that instead of running to get my hearing checked? Because Norway remains grateful for America's role in freeing them from the Nazis. Norway's sister democracy of Denmark has traditionally celebrated July 4 as an AMERICAN holiday in the Danish town of Rebild.

Why are those two Scandinavian countries, virtually alone in Western Europe, such stand-up friends for America?

We might lift a clue from the Nazi occupation of Denmark in World War II. When Danish King Christian defied Nazi orders to repress the Jewish population, he told Hitler's enforcer: "We don't have any problem with our Jews. You see, we don't feel inferior to them."

There you have it. Norway and Denmark do what they can with their small populations and limited militaries. An emotionally secure democracy that realizes it belongs behind America's war on terror feels no need to blow shame away by throwing phony fits about interrogation techniques and "secret" prisons.

History is quick to agree that Europeans never complain about WHOSE facilities America uses every time we liberate THEM!


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In jokes, priests and rabbis are always going up to each other and making noteworthy comments. As do blacks and whites, Northerners and Southerners, men and women, cowboys and Indians. But this is no joke. This is as far from funny as today's headlines can get. I'm...
Thursday, 08 December 2005 12:00 AM
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