Saturday, August 07, 2004


Michael Coren of the Toronto Sun has won plaudits for his columns from last week and this week. He said in his essays that America has many faults (many, many) but Anti-American sentiment, around the world, has gone too far.

Last month, my mother was traveling through Greece and Italy. She knew she was going to encounter anti-American sentiments but what she saw was pretty ridiculous. Here are some of the more tame episodes. Mom can laugh when she tells you how the European media blacked-out any references to Lance Armstrong but acted as if the European cyclists were winning and going to win the Tour de France. And, she met one couple from France and here is what they told her in a span of five minutes

1) Oh, you're an American?! But, you're not fat, how can you be an American?
2) Don't all Americans think that fine dining is going to McDonald's?
3) George W. Bush is worse than Saddam Hussein

Which brings us back to Michael Coren. Last week, he wrote "God bless America" and this week he titled his column, "America the grateful." Coren wrote "God bless America" in order to refute irrational criticism and hatred of America despite the fact that he is unapologetic about the criticisms he made, during the aftermath of 9/11, of American policies.

But I have now written an updated version of that column because, frankly, I am sick of the smugness, the hypocrisy and the sheer hatred evinced by so many people towards the United States.

I've had enough of certain risible Canadians inflating themselves by claiming superiority over their southern neighbours.

I'm tired of the America-bashing from mediocrities the world over, and the blaming of every conceivable problem on Washington.

This week, Coren responds to American readers who were touched by "God bless America."
That wonderful blend of openness, enthusiasm and sheer largeness. Of course we find it all over the world, but in the United States it has become a national characteristic. It can irritate; but mostly it charms and impresses.

It is funny that whenever someone praises the United States, they have to mention the faults as well. It's not enough for someone to come right out and praise America. No country is perfect and America is no exception. But, if you want to praise this country, don't feel guilty about going all the way. Michael Coren wrote well-intentioned columns to defend America. Coren's essays were not the most eloquent pieces of work. However, Coren is a rare columnist who dares to remind his audience that the United States has tried to make the world a better place with the noblest of intentions. For now, we'll take Michael Coren's point of view.

Toronto Sun: July 31, Michael Coren: God bless America
Toronto Sun: Aug 7, Michael Coren: America the grateful

Update: Others on this topic... Tom Allison and She Will be Obeyed.


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