By Alan Caruba
If there is one trend I see in ascendancy in America it is a tremendous amount of self-loathing that is expressed by all manner of people about America. It is different from the typical criticism that is endemic to a society obsessed with self-improvement. The tone of the loathing is a belief that America is inherently bad.
What was bad about removing from power a pathological dictator named Saddam Hussein? What was bad in trying to bring some understanding and implementation of modern society, human rights, and a democratic form of government to a place littered with the mass graves of Iraqis? What was bad about removing from power a man who had waged war for eight years against Iran and who had invaded Kuwait? Is not a more peaceful Middle East to be preferred over one in the thrall of Saddam’s ambitions and greed?
What Iraq represents to me is America’s courage. When other nations look the other way, surrender to tyranny, substitute rhetoric for action, America can and will take up the burden of deterring men doing bad things that ultimately can harm the general welfare of the world.
My parent’s generation, fresh from a Depression, was not cowed by the attack on Pearl Harbor and took up arms against both the Japanese Empire and the Nazi and fascist regimes in Europe. Today, I actually hear some people say that America “deserved” to be attacked on 9/11. That is appalling. And absurd.
Lost in the midst of our concern over the rise of militant Islam is the fact that, having brought the Soviet Union to its knees after some four decades or more of resolutely resisting its efforts to expand Communism and its hegemony worldwide, Americans are too distracted to see its rise in South America and, worse, here at home where all kinds of Communist programs such as universal healthcare are proposed, the attacks on private property are unending, and an endless variety of laws to intrude into and control all aspects of our lives.
Major reasons America came into being was the concept of individual liberty, the essential right of private property, and freedom from taxes without representation. These were radical ideas at a time when monarchy ruled in most places of the world.
This tendency to blame America for the world’s ill is bad for our national soul and wrong beyond description. It plays to people’s worst instinct, the desire to tear down that which is good and cast blame on everyone but themselves. America still does most things astonishingly well and much better than in other nations.
What we have been permitting since the end of World War II is the growth of the federal government and its increased control of too many aspects of our lives. Big government isn’t the answer. It’s the problem.