Tony Parsons does remember

Published 12:00 am Sunday, March 30, 2003

The London Daily Mirror newspaper in England is a notoriously left-wing daily that is normally not supportive of us &uot;Colonials&uot; across the Atlantic. Yet this appeared back in Sept. 11, 2002, and was written by Tony Parsons, a well-known English journalist.

&uot;One year ago the world witnessed a unique kind of broadcasting – the mass murder of thousands, live on television. As a lesson in the pitiless cruelty of the human race, that day compares with Pol Pot’s Mountain of Skulls in Cambodia, or the skeletal bodies stacked like cordwood in the Nazi concentration camps. An unspeakable act so cruel, so calculated and so utterly merciless that surely the world could agree on one thing – nobody deserves this fate. Surely there could be consensus: the victims were truly innocent, the perpetrators truly evil. But to the world’s eternal shame, 9/11 is increasingly seen as America’s comeuppance. Incredibly, anti-Americanism has increased over the last year. Resentment to America’s power is one thing, but this turns my stomach.

&uot;America is this country’s greatest friend and our staunchest ally. We are bonded to the U.S. by culture, language and blood. A little over half a century ago, over half a million Americans died for our freedoms. Have we forgotten so soon? And exactly a year ago, thousands of ordinary men, women and children – not just Americans, but from dozens of countries, were butchered by a small group of religious fanatics. Are we so quick to betray them? What touched the heart about those who died in the Twin Towers and on the planes, was that we recognized all of them. They were young fathers and mothers, somebody’s son and somebody’s daughter, husbands, wives, and children, some unborn. And these people brought it on themselves? Their nation is to blame for their meticulously planned slaughter?

Email newsletter signup

&uot;The anti-American alliance is made up of self-loathing liberals who blame the Americans for every ill in the Third World, and conservatives suffering from power-envy, bitter that the world’s only superpower can do what it likes without having to ask permission. The truth is that America has behaved with enormous restraint since September 11th. They remember those people leaping to their deaths from skyscrapers, the gut-wrenching tapes of weeping men phoning their wives to say, &uot;I love you,&uot; before they burned alive. They remember the hundreds of firemen buried alive. We should remember – and realize that America has never retaliated for 9/11 in anything like the way it could have. America could have turned a large chunk of the world into a parking lot. That it didn’t is a sign of strength. American voices are already being raised against attacking Iraq – that’s what a democracy is for. How many in the Islamic world will have a minute’s silence for the slaughtered innocents? How many Islamic leaders will have the guts to say that the mass murder of 9/11 was an abomination?

&uot;When the news of 9/11 broke on the West Bank, those freedom-loving Palestinians were dancing in the streets. America watched all of that – and didn’t push the button. I still find it incredible that 9/11 did not provoke all-out war. Not a &uot;war on terrorism,&uot; a real war. Don’t blame America for not bringing peace and light to these wretched countries. How many democracies are there is the Middle East, or in the Muslim world? I love America, yet America is hated. But I would rather be a dog in New York City than a Prince in Riyadh. America is hated because it is what every country wants to be – rich, free, strong, open, and optimistic. Not ground down by the past, or religion, or some caste system. America is the best friend this country ever had and we should start remembering that. No, do more than remember. Never forget.&uot;

Robert Pocklington is a resident of Suffolk and a regular News-Herald columnist.