Shame of America: In trying times
Recently, I reprinted on my own website an article written by Tony Parsons and published by The Daily Mirror – a British publication – on September 11, 2002. The title of that article is, Shame On You America-Hating Liberals. It always amazes me to find such understanding of America and what America is all about in a citizen of a foreign county when there is as much ignorance of the same things in so very many American citizens. In this article, Tony Parsons does not come out in support of a war with Iraq, but he so completely paints the truth of America’s place in history and the restraint that we have shown that it should give pause to anyone who would even consider that Americans should not support their country in the prosecution of ANY international dealings – especially war.
America has nothing to be ashamed of except for the utter ignorance of some of her citizens. That is the only true shame of America.
This country has set a shining example for all the rest of the world, even as many of her own citizens were turning into her worst enemies. Someone once said something to the effect of, ” . . . the true measure of a country is the number of people trying to get in compared with those trying to leave.” I’d say America more than “measures up” – wouldn’t you?
Americans used to teach their children pride in their country; now, all too often children are taught to be ashamed of so much about American history. The courageous people who explored to find, and then settle here are presented as the worst that Europe and the rest of the world had to offer. They are ridiculed for their puritan ways, their hostility to the natives they found here, and their cruelty to African slaves.
This land had been here as long as the “Old World” but the native peoples had done their share of warring among themselves with a far greater savagery than the “pale faces” exhibited to them. These native people had many peaceful groups among them, but they also contained destructive elements that regularly abused the land itself as well as those who were “different” in heritage or bloodline. These natives were conquered at great cost to our European ancestors who came here to settle, civilize, and form this great nation. They ended up getting a far better deal than any other conquered people in history had gotten from previous conquerors. We should not feel shame. We should instead try to imagine what life could have been like for these people if they had been treated differently. They could have had their entire culture wiped from the face of the earth instead of protected with laws that sometimes discriminate against the culture of their conquerors.
America is not the only country that allowed slavery to exist within its borders – but it is the only one that abolished it so completely after the slave population had done nothing but flourish here for generations. The fact that slavery existed in the first place was not unique to European culture, even though many Europeans came here as slaves themselves in indentured servitude. Do those people who would so protest the cruel treatment of African slaves really think that the Africans were such a noble race that they never displayed cruelty to their own kind? Indeed, it was “their own kind” who had enslaved great numbers of Africans in the first place and sold them to the slave traders of all nationalities. We have no need to feel shame that America began as a country that utilized slaves. Instead we should consider how very different life might be today for those Americans who can claim ancestry from African slaves if they had not been spawned on American soil – if, indeed, their ancestors had remained in their “beloved” Africa, how would they have faired in that country where much slavery and human cruelty still exists today?
Those who would protest treatment of non-European American citizens as “shameful”, do not have a grip on the reality of true shame. Yes, Japanese Americans were interned against their will after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, but they were not led off to ovens. Indeed, this “shameful” internment may have very well protected these people from a much worse possible fate. Americans did not take too kindly to being so violently attacked on their own turf. Some individuals could have retaliated in a much worse way than internment. Consider also, how would they have been treated if the Japanese and the Germans had invaded America, won that war and placed this country under imperial or fascist rule?
Then there are those who point a finger at the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki to end World War II. No other nation has ever ordered such complete destruction with such a terrible weapon, they say. “They” haven’t bothered to do their homework on the incident or what lead up to it. They also haven’t bothered to consider what might have happened with the “button” for that weapon under someone other than an American’s finger.
All that is taught in our schools and universities is American shame. No one bothers to explore the thought processes of those Americans faced with that terrible choice – and few know that the targets could have been far more devastating. If the first choice considered as a target had been bombed, (Kyoto), thousands of years of Japanese culture would have been destroyed. If the obvious choice, (Tokyo), considered for a target had been bombed, Japan would not have become the technological industrial giant and important player on the world stage that she did. Either one of those choices would have placed America in a better position to take far more advantage of the rest of the world economically. Where is the shame in a newly installed president, who had no idea of the existence of such a weapon before he was suddenly thrust into the position of the most powerful man on earth, ordering the strategic bombing of those two cities in order to save not only many more American lives, but also many more Japanese lives?
The invasion of the Japanese mainland was the only other thing that might have ended that terrible war. The death toll from that would have been utterly devastating to both sides. Consider also that since that order to use the atomic bomb, peace has been inserted into the world language as a permanent consideration, where before, the same European powers seemed destined to start such wars within merely a generation of unstable peace. The decision gave the world pause. The continued development of such weapons has made man think of war in a whole different light. Even the communists who have managed to get their fingers on their own “buttons” have not been able to use them because America has maintained her super power status, thus, everyone with a brain knows better than to initiate such a nuclear war against anyone else. Do we teach our children to understand what this all means, or do we teach them to be ashamed of this lesson that America has taught the world? What other country on earth has ever rebuilt the countries of her enemies after conquering them in war instead of permanently occupying and taking them for their own? Where is the shame?
Every day that goes by a number of “shamed” American citizens join those from other countries in the world that seem to find the need to bash America for one thing or another. We are too wealthy, too cocky, and too free even! We “deserve” any bad thing that happens to us. We bring hate on ourselves through our own attitudes and the actions of our government. If we were not out in the world “meddling” in the affairs of other countries, we would not be so hated according to some. The truth is that if we ever ceased to maintain a presence in these other countries – with our military or our missionaries or our business employment and trade – we would be hated ANYWAY! Only then, we would be hated for not caring what happened in those countries. Make no mistake; America is probably the only country in the world that truly does not need any other country on earth for its existence. We can sufficiently defend ourselves and provide for ourselves with a minimum dependence on any other country – yet we have chosen to intertwine our own welfare in that of countries all over the world. We have entered into binding treaties and trade agreements that have threatened our well-being, diminished our resources and threatened our own economy. Partly because of ill-conceived selfish benefit to some American businesses, but mainly out of concern for those we call our friends and allies in the world, America IS very much involved in world events.
There are those who believe we should scrap what’s left of our own government and our military and justice system in favor of a world order, a world court and a commitment of our military to U.N. command only. These are starry-eyed “Trekies” if you will, who dream of some sort of “World Federation” existing in complete peace and happiness on earth. Socialists and communists that have no understanding of or respect for individual rights paint these pictures. They are the ones who wish to rule the world, and the ignorant would throw America to them like so much raw meat to a lion. That IS the shame of America. Ignorance and irrational thought from too many who refuse to take responsibility for fixing the problems that do exist BECAUSE of just such irresponsibility – and that could very well be her downfall.
Looking for obvious scapegoats in a country filled with so much false shame would naturally lead even the less ignorant, if gullible, to unite against that one man in charge of the aforementioned button, wouldn’t it? We have been walking softly and carrying a big stick for over half a century. If the ignorance and shame isn’t overcome, the “stick” will eventually be utilized or laid aside. Perhaps it is time to put some forethought into what would happen then. One man does not carry such a heavy stick so easily, nor should he feel that he is all alone – not in such trying times.
“Published originally at EtherZone.com : republication allowed with this notice and hyperlink intact.”