Friday, January 07, 2005
On this day:

Imagine No America

National Review: The Disenchanted American -- Are we growing world-weary? by Victor Davis Hanson
Imagine a world in which there was no United States during the last 15 years. Iraq, Iran, and Libya would now have nukes. Afghanistan would remain a seventh-century Islamic terrorist haven sending out the minions of Zarqawi and Bin Laden worldwide. The lieutenants of Noriega, Milosevic, Mullah Omar, Saddam, and Moammar Khaddafi would no doubt be adjudicating human rights at the United Nations. The Ortega Brothers and Fidel Castro, not democracy, would be the exemplars of Latin America. Bosnia and Kosovo would be national graveyards like Pol Pot's Cambodia. Add in Kurdistan as well — the periodic laboratory for Saddam's latest varieties of gas. Saddam himself, of course, would have statues throughout the Gulf attesting to his control of half the world's oil reservoirs. Europeans would be in two-day mourning that their arms sales to Arab monstrocracies ensured a second holocaust. North Korea would be shooting missiles over Tokyo from its new bases around Seoul and Pusan. For their own survival, Germany, Taiwan, and Japan would all now be nuclear. Americans know all that — and yet they grasp that their own vigilance and military sacrifices have earned them spite rather than gratitude. And they are ever so slowly learning not much to care anymore. [...] In the first days of the disaster, a Norwegian U.N. bureaucrat snidely implied that the United States was "stingy" even though private companies in the United States, well apart from American individuals, foundations, and the government, each year alone give more aggregate foreign aid than does his entire tiny country. Apparently the crime against America is not that it gives too little to those who need it, but that it gives too little to those who wish to administer it all. When the terrible wave hit, Kofi Annan was escaping the conundrum of the Oil-for-Food scandal by skiing at Jackson Hole, so naturally George Bush down in 'ole Crawford Texas was the global media's obvious insensitive leader — "on vacation" as it were, while millions perished. [...] All this hypocrisy has desensitized Americans, left and right, liberal and conservative. We will finish the job in Iraq, nursemaid democratic Afghanistan through its birthpangs, and continue to ensure that bandits and criminal states stay off the world's streets. But what is new is that the disenchanted American is becoming savvy and developing a long memory — and so we all fear the day is coming when he casts aside the badge, rides the buckboard out of town, and leaves such sanctimonious folk to themselves.