Those are the words and thoughts of Jill Nelson, “journalist, teacher, and ... regular contributor to MSNBC.com.” After reading her May 2, 2003, editorial, it’s no wonder she fears America more than al-Qa'ida or the Taliban. She hates the United States of America as much as the terrorists hate the U.S.A., and, as they say, “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.” Here we have all that is wrong with America: an American teacher, journalist, and author who can speak her mind on a website visited by millions, explaining her dread at having a government that is willing to fight for her right to speak her mind.
Jill speaks of the “mean spirited” nature of America. That socalled "mean spirited" America stood up to despots and tyrants and fought terrorists and evil-doers with weapons. She discounts the monsters that flew jetliners into buildings, slaughtering thousands of her fellow countrymen (persons), speaks of the casualties in the war against Iraq as indicative of America’s callousness, and characterizes the loss of “priceless antiquities” as merely a casualty of America’s search for world domination and wish to obtain control of Iraq’s oil. “Now, the armed forces in Iraq have turned to shooting Iraqi demonstrators, the very people they supposedly came to ‘liberate’ with democracy.” Jill refuses to believe the American warriors on the ground who said they were acting in self defense. Declining to believe that Iraqis with AK-47s were in the crowd of demonstrators and were firing on the Americans, Jill prefers to accept the accounts of the fight given by the enemies of America, and Jill doesn’t mention the seven Americans severely wounded by the "peaceful Iraqi demonstrators.”
Jill and her despicable notions about America, as well as her absurd notion of moral equivalency of the terrorists to American military personnel abroad and her equally absurd notion of the Taliban as being a better alternative to the America for which millions have given the ultimate sacrifice, are indicative of an America that has for- gotten how to teach our citizens American history and America's political traditions, the basic character and operation of the American governmental system, and the traditional cultural, social, and moral values of the Judeo-Christian West. Jill's dis- torted views are indicative of an American education system which demands that Americans see their country as no better a place to live than a totalitarian island off the coast of Florida.
People who are born and raised in this country have, as a matter of natural sentiment, a kinship with fellow Americans and an affinity for allegiance to their country of birth. It is basically one of the few things we all have in common when we start out as Amer- ican citizens by birth. However, some Americans, as of late, have been bucking the tide. In some circles, it is desirable and even fashionable to damn America. Often those circles are far removed from mainstream America and the presenter of enmity is not subject to the effects any negative reaction by the multitude left in outrage.
There are some exceptions to the rule of a disloyal and unpatriotic speaker's immu- nity from the adverse consequences of a backlash on the part of an outraged public. The Dixie Chicks, Susan Sarandon, and others have felt some very unpleasant rami- fications for their “dissent.” Of course, the political Left reported that any supposed backlash was short-lived and, in any event, ineffective.
In the case of Jill Nelson, she knows that the American government is in no way on a par with terrorists. She knows that, if the terrorists were in charge and she wrote a piece about them the way she did America, she would be toast. So why the nonsense? It could be that she is trying to make a point; it could be that she wishes to endear herself to the Europeans and to the Leftwingers right here in America; and it could be that she really hates America. So why does she stay here? Because, like all socalled "dissenters" and all America-bashers and America-haters, she knows there is no other place on the planet where she could do what she is doing and still make a living.
What is most disturbing, though, is MSNBC publishing the article. This was no ordi- nary voice against the war in Iraq. This was an attack on America itself, couched in an anti-Bush cloak. MSNBC even supplied and published a distorted photograph of President Bush depicted as a grotesque monster on top of the article. The network co-owned by both Microsoft and NBC was thought of as mainstream; but that is no longer the case.
Jill explains, “I live in an America that makes my stomach hurt and fills me with ter- ror. A nation run by greedy, frightened, violent bullies.” Let’s take her beliefs one at a time. Her stomach hurts living in America. The response to that one is too easy. She is filled with “terror” because America fought back against terrorists and dictators. That one too is way too easy. We could tell her that she might understand what terror really was, if she did live under the Taliban or Saddam Hussein, but that is a fact which seems to be excessively obvious--entirely too obvious for her to have missed it.
She views the American government as “greedy,” probably because she wants her readers to believe that America went to war in Afghanistan for an oil pipeline and in Iraq for the oil. First, it is obviously not true, at least to people who want to believe reality is actual events, and, if it were true, is it possible that America and the world would be a better place in the future if America, rather than despots and mass mur- derers, had that access? If you love America, if you are an American, the benefit of the doubt goes to America.
She says our administration was frightened. Who in America was not frightened by the terrorists after 9-11? Perhaps the folks who were not frightened are the ones of whom we should all be frightened. As for her calling America an international "bully,” referring to U.S. defensive actions as "bullying" is the last refuge of an enemy.
If you are not an American, if you just live here, America’s interests are secondary to others. America’s status, well being, and sovereignty are subordinated to others. The socalled "dissenters" and “patriots” are no better than the French and, in some cases, hearkens visions of Nikita Khrushchev at the United Nations, banging the table with his shoe and saying, “We will bury you.”
Political Culture, Patriotism, & American National Identity
Paul Walfield is a freelance writer and member of the State Bar of California, with an undergraduate degree in Psychology and
post-graduate study in behavioral and analytical psychology. He resided for a number of years in the small town of Houl- ton, Maine,
and is now a California attorney. His articles appear in numerous peri- odicals and on numerous websites. He has been the featured guest
on KTSA News Talk Radio. CONTACT INFORMATION: Email: email@example.com
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