Forsyth To Bush

British novelist Frederick Forsyth has an excellent letter to President Bush on his arrival in the United Kingdom:

Dear Mr President,

Today you arrive in my country for the first state visit by an American president for many decades, and I bid you welcome.

You will find yourself assailed on every hand by some pretty pretentious characters collectively known as the British left. They traditionally believe they have a monopoly on morality and that your recent actions preclude you from the club. You opposed and destroyed the world’s most blood-encrusted dictator. This is quite unforgivable.

I beg you to take no notice. The British left intermittently erupts like a pustule upon the buttock of a rather good country. Seventy years ago it opposed mobilisation against Adolf Hitler and worshipped the other genocide, Josef Stalin.

It has marched for Mao, Ho Chi Minh, Khrushchev, Brezhnev and Andropov. It has slobbered over Ceausescu and Mugabe. It has demonstrated against everything and everyone American for a century. Broadly speaking, it hates your country first, mine second.

Eleven years ago something dreadful happened. Maggie was ousted, Ronald retired, the Berlin wall fell and Gorby abolished communism. All the left’s idols fell and its demons retired. For a decade there was nothing really to hate. But thank the Lord for his limitless mercy. Now they can applaud Saddam, Bin Laden, Kim Jong-Il… and hate a God-fearing Texan. So hallelujah and have a good time.
Frederick Forsyth

Contrast that to the elementary-school rantings of Harold Pinter or some of the other pseudo-intellectual rantings on display in the article and it’s clear that the hatred of Bush by the discredited and morally bankrupt Left is about as intelligence as a schoolyard taunt.

11 thoughts on “Forsyth To Bush

  1. The juvenile rants of a highly partisan novelist (and who’s more qualified to opine on foreign relations than a British novelist?) have convinced me. Funny how accurately describing the right’s reverence for McKinley-era capitalism is breezily dismissed as a “straw man”, but one novelist suggesting that the British left revered the most brutal figures of the 20th century because they embraced a more measured approach against the enemy is proof positive of the statement’s accuracy. Jay, you continue to disappoint me.

  2. because they embraced a more measured approach against the enemy

    There’s something Orwellian about calling Chamberlain’s shameful action of giving Hitler the Sudatenland or ignoring the horrible brutality of a Mugabe or a Ceausescu as “a more measured approach”.

    In fact, comments like that merely prove Mr. Forsyth’s point.

  3. Appeasement was a bad idea, but it wasn’t what those on the Left called for in Iraq. Appeasement is giving a concession to an aggressor in an attempt to get him to stop his aggression: in Iraq, the entire country was surrounded by US forces and Saddam’s military wasn’t going to be invading anybody else anytime soon (nor would it be defending the homeland all that well, either).

    Actually, in Chamberlain’s case, appeasement was used as a stalling tactic. What was England doing with the time between the militarization of the Rhineland and the invasion of Poland? They were building an air force that could win the Battle of Britain, retrofitting their ships and training their soldiers. Had they stood up at the first sign of rearmament and not allowed Hitler to move forward, that would probably have been better, though the Nazis would certainly have still remained in office and in power, and could have continued an arms buildup for later aggression. A policy of aggressive containment, such as we saw during the Cold War and last year in Iraq prior to the invasion, probably would have sufficed. But Chamberlain’s decision was based on a desire to attack from a position of strength should an attack ever become imperative. And for clarity, the most shameful part wasn’t “Chamberlain’s shameful action of giving Hitler the Sudatenland,” but rather Chamberlain letting Hitler take the rest of Czechoslovakia away after that.

    Finally, it is important to note that Chamberlain would have been plunging into a war with an enemy that was around as powerful as his nation and its allies were–he was almost certainly hoiping to avoid a situation where around 40 million people would be killed and Europe would lay charred and broken. In that particular instance, since the Nazis had so much force behind them, such an outcome was unavoidable.

    A dialogue.

    “Hey, Officer Mike!”

    “Hey Bill. What’s shaking?”

    “Well, Officer Mike, I just shot my kid in the face.”

    “Shot your kid in the face? Why the hell would you do that?!!”

    “I caught him in the liquor cabinent, and I had told him not to be drinking my liquor. If I hadn’t shot him in the face, he might have kept trying to get my booze or, worse yet, sold my alcohol to his friends and allies, who could then themselves use it for sinful purposes.”

    “But shooting him in the face was excessive and illegal, and has only made the situation worse, in that you’re about to be stuck in an uncomfortable and unwinnable situation for many years to come, ruining you finances and destroying your personal liberties.”

    “C’mon, Mike, would you have prefered I used a ‘more measured approach’? That’s appeasement! You’re unpatriotic!”


  5. I’ve already covered why Chamberlain’s actions were foolish – had Chamberlain forced the Wehrmacht to invade Czechoslavakia it would have weakened them early on, ending the war years earlier than it did. The Germans had a year and half to arm and prepare for their blitzkrieg attacks – time that could have been denied then. (And if you don’t believe me, Winston Churchill said the exact same thing.)

    As for your analogy, there’s no comparison. A more accurate analogy would be the father (the UN) willingly looking the other way while the kid slipped deeper and deeper into alcoholism. We didn’t murder the Iraqis, we liberated them from a tyrannical and bloody regime.

  6. Could you please remind everyone how many missiles were sent in downtown Baghdad during operation “Shock and Awe”, and explain how this is not murdering of civilans? (take this figure of missiles, and imagine it in NY city. then tell me it’s feasible not to hurt anyone innocent!)
    And this is just ONE example of the many ways the US army has been inappropriate in Irak.
    I think that only Iraqis can say that “we (were)liberated from a tyrannical and bloody regime”, but I haven’t heard many Iraqis stating that recently. The opposite is true. Most Iraqis feel their country is being occupied!

    But let’s go back to your analogy: what would be best?:
    1-kill the kid for a sip of whiskey?
    2-let the kid turn into an alcoholic?

    Even though both options are terrible, one is maybe a bit worst than the other.
    Moreover, can you explain how is the younger sister/brother going to react to this “justice” the dad decided to apply? Is the dad gonna be loved, trusted and respected again by the rest of the familly?

    The war on terror creates terror. The longer it will take for Bush to understand, the worst will the world situation be. I don’t want a nuclear and/or biological attack on a major city of the world. If we continue this path, it is more than likely to happen. Soon.

  7. I think that only Iraqis can say that “we (were)liberated from a tyrannical and bloody regime”, but I haven’t heard many Iraqis stating that recently.

    How about this one?

    Or how about this one?

    In fact, every poll taken of the Iraqi people has said by a vast margin that they’re all A:) happy Saddam is gone and B:) don’t want the Americans to leave until the security situation is resolved.

    This whole ridiculous example of killing somone for taking a drink is completely unrelated to the subject at hand. The Iraqi people are alive, and the ones doing the mass killings were the Ba’athists – they’re the ones who murdered at least half a million Iraqis, with new mass graves still being found.

    The war on terror creates terror. The longer it will take for Bush to understand, the worst will the world situation be. I don’t want a nuclear and/or biological attack on a major city of the world. If we continue this path, it is more than likely to happen. Soon.

    Well, I guess the war on Nazis created more Nazis too. The war on German imperialism sure created a lot of people willing to die for the Kaiser didn’t it. I guess the American Civil War only made slavery stronger didn’t it? Oh, and your French Revolution sure strengthened the monarchy, didn’t it?

    In short, that argument is foolish in the extreme. Let’s review recent history, shall we? al-Qaeda bombs the World Trade Center in 1993 – we do nothing. They bomb the Khobar Towers – we do nothing. They bomb embassies in Africa – we launch a few cruise missile attacks but basically do nothing. They bomb the USS Cole – we do nothing.

    Then they pull of September 11. We kill or capture 2/3rds of al-Qaeda’s leadership. What happens after that?

    The lowest number of terrorist attacks in 30 years.

    Weakness in the face of terrorism invites more terrorism. Hell, read what bin Laden himself says and it’s obvious. The worst thing anyone could do is allow the terrorists another hudna to rearm and re-equip themselves for yet another attack – the very thing we did throughout the 1990’s, allowing al-Qaeda to plan and execute the September 11 attacks.

    If you want to ignore the threat of terrorism, fine. Just don’t try to stand in our way when we do what we have to do.

  8. Bravo to Mr. Forsyth! This piece should be required reading at the next US Democratic National Committee meeting! 😉

  9. Iraq war has swollen ranks of al-Qaida
    Richard Norton-Taylor
    Thursday October 16, 2003
    The Guardian

    War in Iraq has swollen the ranks of al-Qaida and “galvanised its will” by increasing radical passions among Muslims, an authoritative think-tank said yesterday.

    The warning, echoing earlier ones by MI5 and MI6, was made in the annual report of the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies, The Military Balance.

    It said US claims after the invasion of Iraq that al-Qaida was on the run, and that the “war on terror” had turned the corner, were “over-confident”. John Chipman, the institute’s director, warned that the full effect of the war might never be known, because of the chaos it had left behind.

    “Whatever one may or may not find in the next six months will not be proof of what may or may not have been there … There will always be a degree of uncertainty,” he said. The report notes that, according to the US, more than 3,000 suspected al-Qaida operatives have been arrested, including the third in command, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.

    But it adds: “The counter-terrorism effort has also perversely impelled an already highly decentralised and evasive transnational terrorist network to become more ‘virtual’ and protean and, therefore, harder to identify and neutralise. If al-Qaida has been compromised since the Afghanistan intervention from an offensive point of view, from a defensive perspective it is better off.”

    Al-Qaida’s great advantage, the report says, is its operational flexibility as a result of it not having a state to defend. The institute believes the network is present in more than 60 countries, has a rump leadership intact, and that there are more than 18,000 potential terrorists at large, with recruitment continuing.

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