Jewish World Review Oct. 26, 2004 / 11 Mar-Cheshvan, 5765

Jack Kelly

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American envy — and telling the Limeys to #%^&^-off | The editors of the left wing British newspaper the Guardian had the bright idea that Britons could influence the American election by writing letters to residents of Clark County (Springfield) Ohio (Gore by one percentage point in 2000) urging them to vote for John Kerry.

Some 14,000 letters were sent, some by celebrities such as the spy novelist John Le Carre and the historian Antonia Fraser:

Le Carre told the recipient of his missive that the world: "now looks on in horror, not just at Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib, but at what you are doing to yourselves."

"If you back Kerry, you'll be voting against a savage, militaristic foreign policy," opined Lady Fraser.

Not all recipients of the unsolicited British advice appreciated it. "Hey England, Scotland and Wales, mind your own business," one responded. "We don't need weeny-spined Limeys meddling in our presidential election."

But at least one Clark County resident was thrilled by the Guardian's campaign. He is Dan Harkins, chairman of the Clark County GOP. "It's hysterical," a laughing Harkins told a reporter for another British newspaper, showing him a stack of irate emails he'd received.

So for the Guardian, it was time for Plan B. Last weekend, the newspaper published a column urging the assassination of President Bush.

"On Nov. 2nd, the entire civilized world will be praying, praying Bush loses," wrote Charlie Brooker. "And Sod's Law dictates he'll probably win, thereby disproving the existence of G-d once and for all. The world will endure four more years of idiocy, arrogance and bloodshed, with no benevolent deity to watch over and save us. John Wilkes Booth, Lee Harvey Oswald, John Hinckley Jr. — where are you now that we need you?" (After the predictable burst of outrage, the Guardian withdrew the story from its website. It was a joke, Brooker said. He has quite a sense of humor.)

The two most hated nations in the world are the United States and Israel. Considering how many truly vile nations there are in the world (e.g., North Korea, Iran, Zimbabwe), this says more about the rest of the world than it does about the United States and Israel.

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America is hated by the intelligentsia in other lands for the same reason most baseball fans hate the New York Yankees: Envy.

The Yankees are vastly more rich and powerful than all the other franchises, and each year have the best players, thanks to George Steinbrenner's checkbook. The rest of the world rejoices when America stumbles, as most baseball fans rejoiced when the Red Sox humbled the mighty Yankees. But most baseball players want to play for the Yankees, and most of those who shout their hatred of the United States would live here in a microsecond, if we'd let them.

Envy of America is greatest among Europe's upper classes, where France and Germany dream of past glories even as they fall further behind.

Israel is hated by the kleptocracies of the Arab world partly for religious reasons. There are passages in the Koran that have nasty things to say about Jews.

But Israel is hated in the Muslim world largely for the same reason America is hated: Envy. Israel is one of the few countries in the Middle East with no oil. Yet Israel is by far the most successful society in the Middle East. Despite all their oil wealth, the 22 nations of the Arab League have a combined gross domestic product less than that of Spain.

Europeans hate Israel, too. This is mostly a matter of convenience. Europeans want Middle East oil, cheap. If the way to get it is to throw Israel to the wolves, the European elite has no qualms about doing so. President Bush is hated by the hateful around the world because he has those American qualities most feared and despised by the despicable. He has a firm sense of right and wrong, and will act to protect the right, and defeat the wrong.

We are so powerful that only we can defeat us. America haters from al Qaida to Europe's cafe society want to put a Francophile in the White House, either by acts of terror, manipulation of oil prices, letter writing campaigns, or (humorous?) calls for assassination. We shouldn't let them.

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JWR contributor Jack Kelly, a former Marine and Green Beret, was a deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force in the Reagan administration. Comment by clicking here.

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© 2004, Jack Kelly