Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Hello, Hello....Anyone there?

I seem to recall that there was a tsunami somewhere in the world late last year. Which nation was it that responded from half a world away and provided the assistance no other nation could even begin to hope to furnish? The Great Satan, ahem, I mean the United States, of course! As a result of our compassionate efforts, the loss of life from disease in the aftermath of the Indonesian Tsunami was dramatically reduced.

I think by now it is relatively safe to assume that Hurricane Katrina is going to go down as one of the United States' worst natural disasters, right up there with the Galveston Hurricane of 1900 and the Great San Francisco Earthquake of 1906. Where, then, is the rest of the world? I have heard of no airlifts of aid, or of sailors, airmen and troops rushing to our assistance. What's worse is that Germany's environment minister, Jurgen Trittin, stated that the whole thing was really the United States' fault for failing to ratify the Kyoto Treaty(fortunately, at least one of Herr Trittin's fellow Germans have taken him to task for his outrageous statement).

All of this brings to mind a speech given by a Canadian broadcaster some thirty years ago in reaction to all the liberal-left America bashing then taking place during the Viet Nam War. Gordon Sinclair, who was fed up with all of the snarkiness of the liberal elite journalists, had the following to say:

This Canadian thinks it is time to speak up for the Americans as most generous and possibly the least appreciated people on all the earth. Germany, Japan and, to a lesser extent, Britain and Italy were lifted out of the debris of war by the Americans who poured in billions of dollars and forgave other billions in debts. None of these countries is today paying even the interest on its remaining debts to the United States. When the franc was in danger of collapsing in 1956, it was the Americans who propped it up, and their reward was to be insulted and swindled on the streets of Paris. I was there. I saw it. When distant cities are hit by earthquakes, it is the United States that hurries in to help. This spring, 59 American communities were flattened by tornadoes. Nobody helped. The Marshall Plan and the Truman Policy pumped billions of dollars into discouraged countries. Now newspapers in those countries are writing about the decadent, warmongering Americans. I'd like to see just one of those countries that is gloating over the erosion of the United States Dollar build its own airplane. Does any other country in the world have a plane to equal the Boeing Jumbo Jet, the Lockheed Tristar, or the Douglas DC-10? If so,why don't they fly them? Why do all the International lines except Russia fly American planes? Why does no other land on earth even consider putting a man or woman on the moon? You talk about Japanese technocracy, and you get radios. You talk about German technocracy, and you get automobiles. You talk about American technocracy, and you find men on the moon — not once, but several times — and safely home again. You talk about scandals, and the Americans put theirs right
in the store window for everybody to look at. Even their draft-dodgers are not
pursued and hounded. They are here on our streets, and most of them, unless they
are breaking Canadian laws, are getting American dollars from ma and pa at home
to spend here. When the railways of France, Germany and India were breaking down through age, it was the American who rebuilt them. When the Pennsylvania
Railroad and the New York Central went broke, nobody loaned them an old caboose.
Both are still broke. I can name you 5,000 times when the Americans raced to the
help of other people in trouble. Can you name me even one time when someone else
raced to the Americans in trouble? I don't think there was outside help even
during the San Francisco earthquake. Our neighbors have faced it alone, and I'm
one Canadian who is damned tired of hearing them get kicked around. They will
come out of this thing with their flag high. And when they do, they are entitled
to thumb their nose at the lands that are gloating over their present troubles.
I hope Canada is not one of those. (Ed. note: That's a forlorn hope, as it turns out)

Well, the world has changed a lot in the three decades since Gordon Sinclair gave that little speech, but one thing has remained constant -- the United States of America still gives and gives and gives, asks nothing in return, and, for its efforts, still gets kicked in the mouth.

That's ok. I wouldn't have it any other way.

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