The Blog

See No Good

In the aftermath of April 9, lefty publications couldn't bring themselves to recognize the good coming from American policy.

11:30 AM, Apr 16, 2003 • By NOEMIE EMERY
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To date, few on the antiwar side has come out and actually wished that Iraq would actually defeat the United States, though Jonathan Schell came very close in the April 14 Nation, where he praised game Iraqis for defending their country, and brave little Turkey for not being bullied into letting us invade from its turf. What the peaceniks have been, however, is very explicit in their open desire to see France, Belgium, and Germany win their cold war for the direction of Europe against Britain and the United States.

"Americans must hope . . . we are not at the brink of the American century," writes Harold Meyerson in the American Prospect. "The battle between Europe and America for the power to shape the century . . . is already joined. And may I gently suggest that the best possible outcome for the American democratic republic . . . would be an American (or more precisely Bushian) defeat."

"The French have been better Americans than we have," says Jonathan Schell. Perhaps the America he is referring to is the one once represented by the KKK. Here is Michael Gonzales writing from Brussels for the Wall Street Journal on April 10: "'How did we get here?' asked a former French minister in a newspaper column recently. 'Here' is a situation in which French Jews are being beaten up in the streets of Paris and in which President Jacques Chirac has to write to Queen Elizabeth II to apologize for the desecration of British tombs in France."

Let us recall that one of the first acts of George W. Bush after September 11 was to urge Americans not to misuse or abuse the Muslims and Arabs among us. The mercifully few times that he was disobeyed are played up by this press as examples of our unending bloodlust and bigotry. Perhaps you are waiting for them to utter a cross word in the direction of nos amis in Old Europe. Don't hold your breath.

Which brings us, of course, to the bad part of this story. It doesn't matter much if the left doesn't want to toss flowers to Bush, or even if they portray America as evil and meddling. What does matter is that, because it may make the United States appear good by comparison, they excuse, downplay, or omit completely evils committed by others. Not a word from them on Saddam's atrocities; not a word on the arms and oil deals between Saddam's Iraq and the "peace-loving" governments of France, Russia, Germany, and Canada; not a word on the anti-Semitism rampaging through "peace movements" in Europe (as well as at home in America).

Like April 9, these things never happened.

Noemie Emery is a contributing editor to The Weekly Standard.