Another response to Terrorism: "Good" vs. "Evil":
Tribute to the United States
America: The Good Neighbor
Widespread but only partial news coverage was given recently to a remarkable editorial broadcast from Toronto by Gordon Sinclair, a Canadian television commentator. The Gordon Sinclair speech was first heard on Canadian radio on June 5, 1973, and is his most famous work. What follows is the full text of his trenchant remarks as printed in the Congressional Record:
This Canadian thinks it is time to speak up for the Americans as the most generous and possibly the least appreciated people on all the earth.
Germany, Japan and, to a lesser extent, Britain and Italy were lifted out of the debris of war by the Americans who poured in billions of dollars and forgave other billions in debts. None of these countries is today paying even the interest on its remaining debts to the United States.
When France was in danger of collapsing in 1956, it was the Americans who propped it up, and their reward was to be insulted and swindled on the streets of Paris. I was there. I saw it.
When earthquakes hit distant cities, it is the United States that hurries in to help. This spring, 59 American communities were flattened by tornadoes.
The Marshall Plan and the Truman Policy pumped billions of dollars into discouraged countries. Now newspapers in those countries are writing about the decadent, warmongering Americans.
I'd like to see just one of those countries that is gloating over the erosion of the United States dollar build its own airplane. Does any other country in the world have a plane to equal the Boeing Jumbo Jet, the Lockheed Tri-Star, or the Douglas DC10? If so, why don't they fly them? Why do all the International lines except Russia fly American Planes?
Why does no other land on earth even consider putting a man or woman on the moon? You talk about Japanese technocracy, and you get radios. You talk about German technocracy, and you get automobiles. You talk about American technocracy, and you find men on the moon -- not once, but several times and safely home again.
You talk about scandals, and the Americans put theirs right in the store window for everybody to look at. Even their draft-dodgers are not pursued and hounded.
They are here on our streets, and most of them, unless they are breaking Canadian laws, are getting American dollars from ma and pa at home to spend here.
When the railways of France, Germany and India were breaking down through age, it was the Americans who rebuilt them. When the Pennsylvania Railroad and the New York Central went broke, nobody loaned them an old caboose. Both are still broke.
I can name you 5000 times when the Americans raced to the help of other people in trouble. Can you name me even one time when someone else raced to the Americans in trouble? I don't think there was outside help even during the San Francisco earthquake.
Our neighbors have faced it alone, and I'm one Canadian who is damned tired of hearing them get kicked around. They will come out of this thing with their flag high. And when they do, they are entitled to thumb their nose at the lands that are gloating over their present troubles. I hope Canada is not one of those.
Stand proud, America!
This is one of the best editorials that I have ever read regarding the United States. It is nice that one man realizes it. I only wish that the rest of the world would realize it. We are always blamed for everything, and never even get a thank you for the things we do.
I am just a single American that has read this, I SURE HOPE THAT A LOT MORE READ IT SOON.
Someone sent me this version of Sinclair's editorial. For starters, I suggest readers follow the link to the original. You'll see this version is somewhat edited and slightly garbled. The original is less persuasive and more whiny. Clearly, someone has "punched it up" to make it more effective.
Some specific comments:
>> Germany, Japan and, to a lesser extent, Britain and Italy were lifted out of the debris of war by the Americans who poured in billions of dollars and forgave other billions in debts. <<
That was more than 55 years ago, or before most Americans today were alive. It was commanded by Democrat Harry S. Truman.
What have Republicans like Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush done in the last 20 years when they were in power? Spent huge sums on helping poor people around the world? Guess again.
Anytime "President" Bush would like to propose a new Marshall-type plan to stop global warming, alleviate AIDS, or rebuild Russia, he's welcome to do so. Until then, Sinclair hasn't come up with a better example than one almost three generations old. That's a testament to how much we haven't done with our wealth, not how much we have done.
>> I'd like to see just one of those countries that is gloating over the erosion of the United States dollar build its own airplane. <<
Are people gloating over the erosion of the US dollar? If they are, it's minor compared to all the other things they're gloating or complaining over. Far from being a timely repeat, this '73 column seems woefully out of date.
>> Does any other country in the world have a plane to equal the Boeing Jumbo Jet, the Lockheed Tri-Star, or the Douglas DC10? <<
Lockheed no longer makes commercial planes and Boeing bought McDonnell Douglas. Europe's Airbus often wins competitions to supply jets against Boeing these days.
And so what if we did develop more advanced airplanes? Do jets help any hungry or sick people? Confusing technological progress with human decency is a mistake far too many commentators make.
>> This spring, 59 American communities were flattened by tornadoes.
Nobody helped. <<
I wouldn't expect the world's poor countries to help the richest country too often. When Bill Gates stubs his toe or gets a flat tire, he doesn't need much help either.
A man on the moon
>> Why does no other land on earth even consider putting a man or woman on the moon? <<
One, it's too expensive. Only the US has exploited enough people, places, and things to amass the necessary wealth.
Two, I think the USSR considered it. When they realized they couldn't beat us, they dropped out of the race.
>> You talk about Japanese technocracy, and you get radios. <<
Radios, TVs, computers, cars, stereos, cameras, video games, etc., etc.
>> You talk about scandals, and the Americans put theirs right in the store window for everybody to look at. <<
Our allies cover their scandals as openly as we cover ours, if not more so. The British press is noted for its pursuit of scandal.
>> Even their draft-dodgers are not pursued and hounded. <<
They were hounded out of the country originally. Should we be proud that we forced them to leave the country but didn't invade Canada to arrest them?
>> Can you name me even one time when someone else raced to the Americans in trouble? <<
Yes. The 9/11 terrorist attacks on America.
>> I don't think there was outside help even during the San Francisco earthquake. <<
Help would've taken three or more months to arrive in those days. Such help wouldn't have solved any immediate problems.
>> I SURE HOPE THAT A LOT MORE READ IT SOON. <<
I read it. It has several false or misleading passages. It's time to update or toss this old chestnut.
Speaking of which....
Finally, a response to the Sinclair piece? The following was written 8/2/02:
Open Letter to America from a Canadian
by W.R. McDougall
And so it has come to this. Your once-great nation has fallen into madness, an affliction of mass denial that brings shivers up the spines of millions outside your borders. Yours is a sick nation. But most of you carry on as though nothing at all is the matter.
Dark, evil operations run rampant in the secret corners of your government institutions. A dubiously constituted government pursues war at will anywhere on earth, discussing nuclear options that become points for cheerful chatter over lunch. Your military and intelligence agencies employ terrorist tactics around the globe even as they insist that such tactics are necessary in the fight against terrorism.
You have become a nation of monsters, America. Hypocrites. Murderers. Fools.
Follow the link to read the whole McDougall letter. It blows the Sinclair piece away in terms of what America is doing today.
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