Some may be surprised at the title I chose. Some may think that I’m being sarcastic, ironic or even sardonic. But this is not the case at all. I will propose here several different significant categories to demonstrate my point. Indeed, I feel that no one else, not even Gore, could have accomplished what President Bush has attained since 2001.
I am writing this to demonstrate the old adage, “What goes around comes around.” Over the past century, Americans have become increasingly more arrogant, more naïve, more belligerent, louder, more nationalistic and more hated. Americans weren’t always this way. In fact, the US was considered a neutral country until they entered WWI I in 1917. In fact, President Woodrow Wilson won reelection in 1916 largely due to the fact that “Wilson has kept us out of the war in Europe.” It’s amazingly ironic that he would also be the president who destroyed American’s neutrality by joining Great Britain and France in 1917.
By that time, most of the major countries of Europe were on the brink of complete economic meltdown. When the US finally joined her other allies, England and France, her troops were fresh, fully supplied and with weapons aplenty. After nearly four years of combat, their appearance spelled the end of Germany’s army. Only a year later the war ended and the US soldiers returned to the US as natural heroes. WWII provided an even better catalyst for hero-worshiping of all American troops in the Pacific as well as those fighting in Europe. A similar scene awaited the troops when they arrived with another ticker tape parade down 5th Avenue in New York.
Very little has ever been mentioned about the role our allies took during those same years, giving Americans a false pride of “We won the war. We’re the best!!” There is very little mention of the Russian front and their contributions, or the heroics of the French underground. As far as most Americans are considered, both world wars were won by the US and only by the US. By the latter part of the 20th Century, Americans all over America believed that it was indeed the entry of the US into the conflicts that accelerated the demise of the Axis powers.
However, history depicts a totally different reality. There are many around the world who would not only argue against the US being the sole winner of both wars, they would argue that the US actually entered the war towards the end and after the allies has spent billions trying to stave off the Germans. Seldom talked about is the role the Soviet Union played in both wars; fighting and dying by the millions.
This gradual acceptance of self-grandeur and invincibility found an ever increasing crowd in the US who actually believed that the American soldier is the sole reason for Germany’s capitulation in both incidents. This narcissistic attitude created a whole citizenry of people who believed the obvious propaganda of the candidates and fully supported the results. But there was never much chest-thumping nor “in-your-face” attitudes when Americans went abroad.
But after WWII, things changed rather dramatically.
The United States suddenly found itself at the top of the heap. By 1945 the US was the only large economy that hadn’t greatly suffered during the war. This fact thrust the US into the leadership role as the first super-power of the modern era. This new status started warping the logic and reason of most citizens. With each passing year, more and more Americans took up the cause and proudly proclaimed the US as the best country in the world, indeed, the best country ever. This statement was actually very prophetic.
Americans started to believe that they were better than the rest of the world. According to these people, America was always destined to be the beacon of peace and freedom for all to see and admire. This change did not go unnoticed, however, as a new term surfaced to describe the typical American tourist overseas, “The Ugly American.”
Ugly American is an epithet used to refer to perceptions of loud, arrogant, demeaning, thoughtless and ethnocentric behavior of American citizens mainly abroad, but also at home. The term originated as the title of a 1958 book by authors William Lederer and Eugene Burdick which exposed these negative attributes of our society. Two decades later I confronted this stereotypical American on the streets of Geneva, Switzerland. One Saturday, as I was walking to my favorite bistro near the center of town, I felt a huge hand grab my left shoulder and turned me completely around. But to my surprise I did not encounter the face of the person who twisted me around. Instead, I came face to face with a map of the city, Geneva, thrust in my face. Before I could make one sound, this voice from behind the map screamed at the top of his lungs and in perfect American, “Where the hell is the Planpalais Park.”
The total rudeness and belligerence of this American was just unbelievable. I instantly screamed back at him, in French, calling him every name I could think of, and walked away. I thought to myself, “What an idiot. No wonder Europeans call Americans nothing more than big babies.” But I could never have imagined in my wildest dreams that the typical American of today has become 100 times worse than that incident 30 years ago. What had been a study of egotism in the 1958 book, “The Ugly American,” had become an all out disdain by Americans of anything and everything else. We have become a nation of cry babies and elitist wannabes. The absolute culmination of this attitude arrived when the Supreme Court decided the winner of the 2000 presidential elections. Never before had the Supreme Court intervened this way. They are judges, not election voters, but this irony was far overshadowed by the events that took place in September of the following year. Even his stealing of the elections of 2004 has barely been contested by anyone.
As Bush, Cheney and their lackeys started populating the White House, the lobbyists, and major industries of the military industrial complex, few people dared imagine what was to occur merely eight months later. The September 11, 2001, attack would dramatically change the course of this administration as well as the public at large. Along with most of the nations around the world, Americans condemned the cowardly act and demanded immediate retribution. Less than one month later, the US had started bombing Afghanistan. The admin promised conclusive and definitive proof that Osama Bin Laden and his group of al Qaeda terrorists were the mastermind behind those attacks and that the US will make sure they don’t repeat their performance.
Yet, even today few Americans investigate the evidence they promised to show to the world but never did. Fewer still check the FBI’s Most Wanted List to see if Osama had been charged of this crime. Even fewer try to paste together the events prior to that attack to see if our government dropped the ball on something they knew was coming. For if they did venture forth to review the facts and the truth of what really happened that day, they would demand an immediate change in our government and its policy. The real elitists are very fortunate that the American people have learned to never question their leaders nor their actions.
The truth is this. The Bush administration had received ample forewarning from German intelligence, Israeli intelligence, and others as well. They decided to ignore these warnings, even when National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice spoke of immediate danger only a month prior. The FBI states that the reason Osama is not listed in connection with the attack that day is because they don’t have enough evidence to even charge him. To date, no one from the government has ever explained the collapse of WTC7 which fell 8 hours later without showing any signs of being n the verge of falling. Nevertheless, these major blunders by Bush et.al., are rarely even mentioned on American news. Only a few handfuls of Americans have ever really investigated the events from that day and they have all come forth to blame the US administration for negligence and poor security over the most heavily defended air corridor in the entire world. People the world over have condemned them for their obvious failure, yet most Americans won’t even bother to seek out the truth and they cling to the lies and propaganda shoved down their throats by their non elected president and his lackeys.
As a direct result of those attacks, Bush started a new war, the “War on Terror.” He rushed through Congress legislation that would increase his powers significantly while almost obliterating the fabled Bill of Rights which were inserted to protect us from tyrannical governments. The Patriot Act I and II, as well as countless other legislation, have essentially killed our rights to free speech, to our privacy over the phone, our rights under the writ of habeas corpus, and other freedoms our forefathers fought and died for. When it was found out later that few in Congress actually read these laws before voting for them, nary a whimper was heard from main stream media nor the citizenry. As Bush pushed time and again for increased powers for him and fewer for Congress and the American people, only a handful cried out against it. Most Americans were quite content to pretend nothing was wrong and just go shopping. After all, that’s what their hero, Bush, had asked them to do. So in October, 2001, and without any authorization from any international body, Bush invaded Afghanistan. Though promising to make it a short war, it has now been going on for over 8 years and rather than getting better over time, it has become apparent to everyone in the world, except the Americans, that Afghanistan is a lost war.
But Bush wasn’t content with just one illegal war. He also wanted to take out an old nemesis, Saddam Hussein. While his administration piled lie atop lie in their quest to stoke the fires of a second war, no one in or out of the media ever questioned why a former CIA operative was now such a hated man. No one bothered to review, cross check or inquire about the hundreds of lies his administration spewed forth daily. Oh, the rest of the world wanted to learn the pertinent details being claimed by Bush, but Americans could care less. They constantly went marching along praising Bush and condemning Osama and Hussein. Even after Bush admitted that Osama had no ties to Iraq and not one Iraqi was part of the events of 9/11, Americans proudly pumped their fists in the air decrying the evil doers around the world.