I watched an interesting discussion on the BBC the other day. It was a group of panelists consisting of two Americans, a Frenchman who sat on the French National Assembly, a Brit, a German, and a journalist from one of the newly democratized countries of Eastern Europe. I don’t recall from which country she came, other than she was quite articulate and very attractive. And at the least, she added her good looks to an otherwise not so good looking show.
The discussion dealt exclusively with the USA, as the ONLY superpower left in the world. And America’s obligations thereof. This was a typical BBC ultra polite “debate” amongst moderates. Including the two Americans.
I will sum up the entire discussion with this one anecdote from part of what the Frenchman had to say:
“Everyone knows that the Americans planned this invasion (of Iraq), even before 9/11”.
What made this statement incredible, was not in its veracity or lack thereof. It was that it was NOT challenged. Not even by either of the two Americans.
I don’t know that the invasion of Iraq was planned before 9/11. Or even soon after 9/11 for that matter. What I DO KNOW, is that there would have been no invasion if the UN had done its job, opposed to giving their own resolutions to disarm Iraq nothing more than lip service.
I also know that France was a major supplier to Iraq, even during the UN sanctioned embargo. To sort of quote the Frenchman: “Everyone knows this”.
Part of what France supplied to Iraq included weapons of all description and ammunition, parts for nuclear research and production, and scientific equipment that had so-called dual use purposes.
One of the purposes was for medical and biological research which was non existent in Saddam’s Iraq. But the other dual use purpose dealt ominously with Chemical and Biological Weapons of Mass Destruction, which was very much part of Iraq’s research, development and production.
ALSO: don’t forget France’s Nuclear reactor the Israelis took care of in 1981, or the Mirage Jet Fighters France supplied to the Butcher of Bagdad. France has a long and shady history with Saddam’s Iraq.
I listened and watched these talking heads swirling around the myriad of issues like bees swarming a hive. They made a lot of noise, but unlike the bees, there was no production. The Frenchman was condescending as he lectured the USA, while the others sat there nodding their heads like trained seals.
In all; this group of Europeans, including the two Americans convinced me of just one thing. The Europeans, and much of the rest of the world have no problem with America’s failures. It is the successes that bother them.
When the Towers came down in pulverized dust on 9/11, much of the entire world cried with crocodile tears while most Arabs and Islamists danced in the streets.
Watching America bleed at the hands of a rag tag band of terrorists was as good as it can get for most of these leaders. And signing on to help the Americans kick the crap out of the Islamic fundamentalist leadership in Afghanistan, along with Osama Bin Laden’s Al Qaeda, was their “proof” that they stood with America.
But not long after; and in the case of the Saudi Prince who had his Ten Million dollars thrown back in his face by Mayor Giuliani for declaring equivalence between he attack on the USA (9/11), and America’s support of Israel, the smoke cleared and the truth once again shone through.
Even Canada’s pathetic Prime Minister (Jean Chrétien) found that the Americans had to some degree provoked 9/11 because of their incredible success, while so much of the rest of the world lived a pauper’s existence.
During the BBC discussion, I heard how America is this or that. And how the world, especially Europe must create a counterbalance to America. But, I heard not one good thing that America should be credited for. NOT ONE! Not even from the two Americans.
The Frenchman had the most to say. No big surprise there: “Winning wars” he said, “is no big deal. It is what happens after you win the war that matters”.
How would he know? This came from a Frenchman who can’t remember the last time France won a war. Or the last time the French said thank you to the Americans for saving them during the First and Second World Wars.
Nor does he seem to remember that it was American money that rebuilt Europe after WW II, while at the same time, they brought democracy and security to much of the continent. Not to mention the defeat of Communism and the fall of the Berlin Wall.
The Frenchman also seems to have conveniently forgotten that it was Americans who stopped the slaughter in the former Yugoslavia, as Europe (France included) debated at the UN.
Once again, America to the rescue of Europe.
It makes no difference what the Americans do or don’t do. The world will never appreciate them, or give them the credit they deserve. And as long as the USA continues to rock, America will be the target for every sort of derision imaginable.
Nothing the USA could ever do, will be good enough. So what else is new?