When I was at the Army School, I had the fortunate experience to interact with numerous officers from other countries. It was truly an enlightening experience and I always enjoyed getting their perspective of America from the outside.
Once, a British officer told me something interesting about Americans, and it was echoed by others from around the world. He told me how America is incredibly harsh when evaluating itself. It started as a conversation about the exercise we were in, and how the staff group seemed to take forever to put a plan together because it was “never good enough” and could always be improved. But it translated into a discussion about American politics, and how our society is harsher on itself then it is on the rest of the world. It’s a valid point, and it highlights why, when events such as 9/11 happen, there’s a chorus of voices that always rise to pronounce how we somehow brought it on ourselves. Chickens home to roost and all that.
Here is a very interesting essay about a self-described Democrat’s awakening regarding the self-loathing and guilt America tends to throw on itself when other countries or religions become angry with our way of life. It’s a long read, but a good one. I recommend it. (H/T to Chap).
People I knew were generally very quick to blame their own country for the attack, and this notion was spreading fast. The ongoing email campaign didn’t hurt. Under most circumstances, I would have been happy to join in with this idea – there was comfort in it. It was familiar. But for the first time in my life, I felt it was inappropriate, and too easy. I began to realize that I did not really believe in the knee-jerk attitudes I had affected for most of my life, in New York. Like most people, I was too worried about what was yet to come