November 18, 2003

A Veritable Orgy of Anti-Bush

A Veritable Orgy of Anti-Bush Sentiment at the Guardian!

The Guardian has asked some estimable folks to write in to George Bush. So, with some trepidation, I checked out the sixty odd letters to Dubya.

Note: Bolded language below is my emphasis.

Here are some of the more memorable ones:

Dear George,

Under your friend Tony Blair, the British government has implemented harsh immigration laws. The pretext has always been that the arrival of certain immigrants would not be conducive to the public good because it would create social disorder, and that the majority of British people would not stand for it.

I am opposed to these laws on principle. But, given the number of deaths you are responsible for, the social disorder your arrival will create and the fact that most British people would rather that you did not come, your case is an exception.

If you feel this is unfair, I am sure the Home Office would be happy to incarcerate you in a hostel while it considers an appeal.

Gary Younge
New York correspondent, the Guardian
PS When you go, can you take Tony with you?

And you wonder why the Guardian is so often blatantly anti-American and has been known to have problems with fact-based reporting and such journalistic niceties?

After all, Younge (remember, their very own NY correspondent, a plum posting, it should be said) wrote that "most British people would rather that you [Bush] did not come..."

But his very own paper is running a poll to the contrary!

I mean, a majority of Guardianish Labour voters support Dubya's visit.

Say it ain't so Gary!

It's not just Guardian journalists who are all in a tizzy. Some scientists are too--as this hateful screed reveals.

Dear Mr Bush (I'd say President Bush if you had actually been elected),

"I've been asked to give advice to you on touching down in Britain. It is this. Go home. You aren't wanted here. You aren't wanted anywhere else either, but you may have been misunderinformed that Britain was the one place where you would be welcomified. Wrong. Well, presumably your best pal Tony welcomes you. But that's about it. Your motorcades, your helicopters, your triggerhappy guards will try to protect you from the people of Britain, who would otherwise spoil the photo-ops for the folks back home. But be in no doubt. We despise you here too. After you and Jeb stole the election (by a margin smaller than the number of folks you executed in Texas) you were rightly written off as a one-term president: a fair advertisement for Drunks For Jesus but otherwise an idle nonentity; inarticulate, unintelligent, an ignorant hick. September 11 changed all that. Not that you covered yourself with glory that day. You are said to admire Churchill. Can you imagine Churchill, at such a moment, panicking all around the country from airbase to airbase? Even nasty old Rummy bunkered down where he belonged.

Never mind, your puppeteers from the Project for the New American Century recognised the opportunity they had been waiting for. September 11 was your golden Pearl Harbor. This was how you'd get elected in 2004 (not re-elected, elected). You would announce a War on Terror. American troops would win. And you would be the victorious warlord, swaggering in a flight suit before a Mission Accomplished banner.

It worked in Afghanistan. But then those puppeteers moved on to their long-term project: Iraq. Never mind that you had to lie about weapons of mass destruction. Never mind that Iraq had not the smallest connection with 9/11. The good folks back home would never know the difference between Saddam and Osama. You would ride the paranoid patriotism aroused by 9/11 all the way into Iraq, and hand out oil and reconstruction contracts to Dick Cheney's boys. That escapade is now backfiring horribly, as many of us said it would. No wonder young American travellers are sewing Canadian flags to their rucksacks. What we in Britain won't forgive is that you have dragged us down too. Go home."
Richard Dawkins
Scientist

Oh the hatred!

Wait though, want the invective even worse (at least in its succinctness)?

Well, there's Harold Pinter, of course:

Dear President Bush,

I'm sure you'll be having a nice little tea party with your fellow war criminal, Tony Blair. Please wash the cucumber sandwiches down with a glass of blood, with my compliments.
Harold Pinter
Playwright

Remember, this is the eminent intellectual who has written such (what to call it?) doggerel in the past:

"There are no hard distinctions between what is real and what is unreal, nor between what is true and what is false. A thing is not necessarily either true or false; it can be both true and false." [ed. note: He wrote that in 1958]

"I believe that these assertions still make sense and do still apply to the exploration of reality through art. So as a writer I stand by them but as a citizen I cannot. As a citizen I must ask: What is true? What is false
?"

Deep, huh? Talk about a mega-poseur and a charlatan.

Oh, check out this missive from a Princeton prof that fairly drips with contempt.

Dear George,

First, do no harm. Your state visit to the UK is risky, unpopular and awkward enough. Many Americans will be nervously peeking at the TV news from between our tightly crossed fingers and praying that you don't utterly disgrace us. Don't go all folksy and Texan, thanking Tony Blair for his friendship. He has enough to deal with already in the Labour party without receiving any more public kisses of political death from you. Don't interrupt when someone is asking you a question. Try not to puke on the Queen.

Second, despite all the security arrangements, physical barriers and traditions that make a state visit - as you have said yourself - like travelling in a bubble, you can make an effort to learn from this trip. You've said that you admire the longstanding British tradition of free speech. This week, free speech will be blasting in Trafalgar Square and in the streets. Pay attention. To British ears, your claim not to read polls sounds like stolid indifference to public opinion, not moral strength and political courage. Even if you are sheltered from the demonstrations, read the British newspapers - the whole raucous range of them. Watch television; listen to the radio. Competition as well as tradition makes the British media the feistiest in the world. If you argue your position from awareness of what they are saying, rather than ignorance, you may win some respect.

Ride in a London taxi. Why don't we have those superb vehicles here in Washington? Please get us some. And meditate upon the traits of intelligence, humour and dignity that will always make Britain great, whatever her status as a military power.
Best wishes for a safe journey,

Elaine Showalter
Writer and professor of literature, Princeton University

While she's at it, Ms. Showalter might dig into her previously published tracts to enhance her self-understanding.

Shall we go back a bit more towards the hateful screed motif rather than contemptuous dribblings from points Princeton?

Here's a "human rights" lawyer:

Dear George Bush,

I address you, George, in your capacity as the world's leading terrorist fundamentalist. Secure in your multimillions of dollars and your helpfully reinforcing pieties, I doubt you will see any reason to be interested in what the rest of the world makes of you. Thankfully, an increasing number of Americans are beginning to see you through the eyes of the rest of the world, so your reign could be shortlived.

Truthfully, George, you are a disaster. You have managed, in a few short months and years, to identify the first part of the 21st century as the time when a voracious new American empire burst upon the world. In the world outside the US, nobody believes in your calls for democracy. You stole your own election. You try to strangle democracies, like Venezuela, which do not deliver pliant regimes. And everywhere the ordinary people of the earth, the overwhelming majority, will pay the price for your corrupt adventures.

Nearer your home, hundreds of men rot in Guantanamo Bay without access to justice. Thousands have "disappeared" on the US mainland. You preside over the worst witch hunt in public life since Senator McCarthy. Poverty, unemployment, racism are all on the rise. Like most "emperors", you poison your homeland while trying to devour the resources of the world.

We live in a world, George, where we have to live together, to find common solutions to the huge problems that afflict us. The horrific irony is that there are answers to poverty; to war, racism, disease and ignorance. You, in the name of your god and your country, are deliberately drowning out those answers in your patriotic and bellicose clamour, because as you know they imply a world without you or your kind.

Imran Khan [ed. note: No, no, this isn't Jemima's hubby]
Human rights lawyer

Tell me Imran, who are these "thousands [who] have disappeared"?

I mean, you're a lawyer. Might you essay the merest of evidencings of your wild and baseless contentions then?

Oh, but why bother? The chaps in Shoreditch, Islington and Hoxton will have just loved your letter.

Of course, you can't even begin to evidence your absurd claims, can you? Your credibility thus plummets.

Anyway, have you, dear B.D. reader, a pretty good taste by now? It's pretty much a veritable orgy of anti-Bush (read: anti-American?) sentiment.

Mostly mendacious claptrap, to boot, of course. But boy is it hateful mendacious claptrap!

NB: But click through the link at the top of the post for more. I didn't just "cherry-pick" the worst of the lot. There's more!

Don't miss a 12 year old Bush-hater trotted out (an opinionated little chap, he starts his letter thus: "I would just like to say how much I hate you"!), the obligatory note from a sibling of a Gitmo detainee, a pretty lame missive from Salam Pax, some offensively poor poetry (about, you guessed it, Pinteresque 'bomb' themes), and more.

The Guardian, of course, had to print a few pro-Bush missives too.

I mean, you know, they aren't the Independent or some such ultra-left outfit...

Here are the better ones:

Dear Mr President,

Today you arrive in my country for the first state visit by an American president for many decades, and I bid you welcome.

You will find yourself assailed on every hand by some pretty pretentious characters collectively known as the British left. They traditionally believe they have a monopoly on morality and that your recent actions preclude you from the club. You opposed and destroyed the world's most blood-encrusted dictator. This is quite unforgivable.

I beg you to take no notice. The British left intermittently erupts like a pustule upon the buttock of a rather good country. Seventy years ago it opposed mobilisation against Adolf Hitler and worshipped the other genocide, Josef Stalin.

It has marched for Mao, Ho Chi Minh, Khrushchev, Brezhnev and Andropov. It has slobbered over Ceausescu and Mugabe. It has demonstrated against everything and everyone American for a century. Broadly speaking, it hates your country first, mine second.

Eleven years ago something dreadful happened. Maggie was ousted, Ronald retired, the Berlin wall fell and Gorby abolished communism. All the left's idols fell and its demons retired. For a decade there was nothing really to hate. But thank the Lord for his limitless mercy. Now they can applaud Saddam, Bin Laden, Kim Jong-Il... and hate a God-fearing Texan. So hallelujah and have a good time.
Frederick Forsyth
Novelist

Oh, and check out this wonderful note from Charles Powell that also echoes my previous post of yesterday on Mugabe etc:

Dear Mr President,

You will certainly have been briefed that various quaint rituals have their place in a state visit to Britain. One of them is a noisy and possibly violent demonstration. This is reserved only for the heads of state of Britain's closest allies. If you are merely President Mugabe or erstwhile President Ceausescu, you don't qualify for a demonstration, and poor old Saddam would never be paid the compliment were he to make it to Britain - certainly not by the people who will be demonstrating against you.

There are many of us in Britain who admire the way in which you have declared war on terrorism in what our own prime minister has described as "the battle of seminal importance for the first part of the 21st century". We respect you for ejecting the Taliban from Afghanistan and Saddam Hussein from Iraq, even though the situation in the latter country still presents serious challenges. We share, too, your belief that the proliferation of nuclear weapons into the hands of plainly evil and dangerous regimes is something which cannot be tolerated and must be stopped.

Sadly, there are so-called allies who do not have the stomach to face up to these threats but prefer to duck them or procrastinate. We in Britain don't hesitate to challenge your decisions when we think you are wrong. Such as your overambitious initial plans for postwar Iraq, your steel tariffs or your rejection of the Kyoto accord. We shall continue to push you in directions in which you are reluctant to move, like the road map for peace in the Middle East. But when the chips are really down, Britain is as always a firm ally, standing alongside the United States in the cause of making the world a safer place. That is what we have done for well over half a century and what we shall continue to do, whatever the chants of the demonstrators. It's called the special relationship.

So welcome to Britain, Mr President. The state visit is a compliment to your great country, to your high office and to you.
Yours sincerely,
Charles Powell
Member of the House of Lords; foreign affairs adviser to Margaret Thatcher and John Major

Well, Maggie's foreign affairs adviser would say that, wouldn't he? Bravo.

Posted by Gregory at November 18, 2003 11:19 PM
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