Novelist Barbara Kingsolver let it be known in the San Francisco Chronicle that “the American flag stands for intimidation, censorship, violence, bigotry … and shoving the Constitution through a paper shredder.”
In case anyone was feeling deprived for having missed that particular outburst, Kingsolver obligingly returned shortly afterward with another testament to her judgment and clarity, this time in the Los Angeles Times:
“It is not naive to propose alternatives to war. We could be the kindest nation on earth, inside and out…. I’d like an end to corporate welfare so we could put that money into ending homelessness…. I would like a humane health-care system organized along the lines of Canada’s. I’d like the efficient public-transit system of Paris in my city, thank you. I’d like us to consume energy at the modest level that Europeans do…. If this were the face we showed the world, and the model we helped bring about elsewhere, I expect we could get along with a military budget the size of Iceland’s.”
And what if the U.S. had followed that prescription and still come under attack? That’s easy. Here again the brilliant Ms. Kingsolver: “The World Court and the entire Moslem world stand ready to judge Osama bin Laden and his accessories. If we were to put a few billion dollars into food, health care and education instead of bombs, you can bet we’d win over enough friends to find out where he’s hiding.”
Also weighing in was the late Studs Terkel, whose popular oral histories caused many to mistakenly label him a writer when in fact he was nothing more than an energetic tape recordist, to use the memorable term coined for him by Chicago Sun-Times columnist Steve Neal.
Terkel, an old leftist whose worldview was described by the writer Jacob Weisberg as a “dogmatic insistence that American society is bigoted, ignorant and greedy,” informed a radio interviewer after the 9/11 attacks that the U.S. is “the only country in the world that has been fighting a war since 1940.”
Apparently intent on painting 9/11 as an overreaction by incorrigible militarists, Terkel went on to say, “Count the wars. Count the years. We’ve built up a body politic of old men who look upon military service as a noble adventure.”
Another leftist who can always be counted on for a bad word about the U.S. is Columbia University professor Eric Foner, who came through with this gem for the ages in the Village Voice: “I’m not sure which is more frightening, the horror that engulfed New York or the apocalyptic rhetoric emanating daily from the White House.”
But Foner was topped by cartoonist Ted Rall, who wrote: “We’ve been treated to some astonishingly vile images…. Office workers hurling themselves into a 100-floor-high abyss. A gaping, smoldering hole in the financial center of our greatest city. George W. Bush passing himself off as a patriot, even as he disassembles the Constitution with the voracious glee of piranha skeletonizing a cow.”
Yet another dose of idiocy came from the novelist Alice Walker: “In a war on Afghanistan, Osama bin Laden will either be left alive, while thousands of impoverished, frightened people are bombed into oblivion around him, or he will be killed in a bombing attack for which he seems quite prepared. But what would happen to his cool armor if he could be reminded of all the good, nonviolent things he’s done? Further, what would happen to him if he could be brought to understand the preciousness of the lives he has destroyed? I firmly believe the only punishment that works is love.”
We’ll close with novelist Arundhati Roy, who used the pages of the London Guardian to unburden herself of her disdain for “America’s foreign policy: its gunboat diplomacy, its nuclear arsenal…its chilling disregard for non-American lives, its barbarous military interventions, its support for despotic and dictatorial regimes, its merciless economic agenda that has munched through the economies of poor countries like a cloud of locusts. Its marauding multinationals who are taking over the air we breathe, the ground we stand on, the water we drink, the thoughts we think.”
The above is just a very small sampling of the calumnies heaped by leftists on America in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 – nearly a year and a half before George W. Bush invaded Iraq and provided them a fig leaf for their never-changing and never-ending hostility to the United States and what it stands for.
Jason Maoz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org