RE: US Tragedy

From: Vincent Campbell (
Date: Mon Sep 17 2001 - 12:01:19 BST

  • Next message: Wade T.Smith: "RE: US Tragedy"

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    From: Vincent Campbell <>
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    Subject: RE: US Tragedy
    Date: Mon, 17 Sep 2001 12:01:19 +0100
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    There is a bit of European attitude that I understand in Kenneth's comments.
    In Britain where we have spent some 30 years or more under threat of
    terrorism linked to Northern Ireland, and in European countries that
    experienced invasion, occupation and devastating bombing during WWII, it may
    seem that the US response to what is an entirely new experience for them,
    somewhat strange. Some of the British survivors from the towers have
    commented, very obliquely and not with critical intent, at the response of
    some to the initial crashes. Experience of bombs in central London meant
    that many Brits in the towers headed out straight away, whilst it's quite
    clear that some others didn't move (people apparently often behave in
    completely unexpected ways in disasters- like not running for exits and so
    on). The response of the community subsequently in Britain after such
    attacks tends to be very stoical rather than jingoistic.

    I don't think we can really criticise or call it childish, given that
    they've never had this kind of thing before. Pearl Harbour doesn't count,
    because there was already a World War going on, that the US administration
    was basically trying to pretend wasn't happening. This time around the
    incredulity is more genuine- in American terms. Remember, I believe I'm
    correct in saying that only about 7% of Americans have passports, Bush was
    mocked for not knowing who the president of Pakistan was when he was running
    for office (I bet he knows his name now), and jokes about Americans
    routinely mock perceived ignorance of the rest of the world. Most Americans
    may not have a clue why this has happened to them, even if most of the rest
    of the world does.


    > ----------
    > From: Scott Chase
    > Reply To:
    > Sent: Sunday, September 16, 2001 12:38 am
    > To:
    > Subject: Re: US Tragedy
    > >From: "Kenneth Van Oost" <>
    > >Reply-To:
    > >To: <>
    > >Subject: Re: US Tragedy
    > >Date: Sat, 15 Sep 2001 21:39:17 +0200
    > >
    > >
    > >----- Original Message -----
    > >From: Lawrence DeBivort <>
    > > > Drove past the Pentagon this morning early still smoking badly. How
    > much
    > > > more real to see it in person than on the little screen. And by
    > >coincidence
    > > > this afternoon I'll be driving past Manhatten and will see the new
    > >skyline
    > > > there, two teeth missing like a prize fighter that has taken a
    > beating.
    > > > News media and politicicos still not asking 'why' this happened, so
    > the
    > > > lessons are unlikely to be learned and the situation ripe for further
    > > > incidents of terrorism. Alas. I am going to try and prod 'why'
    > questions
    > >and
    > > > discussion.
    > >
    > >Hi Lawrence,
    > >
    > >I don 't want to rip up more wounds, but I think the next will be of
    > >interest of how people, like me reflects on what happened.
    > >I did follow up CNN the last couple of days, and it seems to me that
    > >it turns this tragedy into a show.
    > >Breaking News, at about six o 'clock this evening, local time, was the
    > >announcement that the NY police department did not need more
    > >volunteers. Therefor they interrupted an interview with an ex- general
    > >on how to invade Afghanistan.
    > >
    > >I wonder, this seems strange to me. I understand that each tiny bit
    > >of information is of some importance to someone somewhere but
    > >this seems odd.
    > >This reminds me of one other interview which I saw this week with
    > >an American woman living in Brussels, who calls this kind of beha-
    > >vior " childish, playful and naive. "
    > >She sees this troughout the American society.
    > >This grasped my attention.
    > >
    > >Could the fact that Americans show such a behavior not be linked
    > >to the fact that "Americans do not have a history " !?
    > >Let me explain, in a sense, here in Europe we all lived such events,
    > >WO I and WO II by which Germany get the blame and the trauma,
    > >Belgium had the Dutroux- affair, England the death of Lady Diana.
    > >These are only the recent examples, but our history is full of such
    > >events.
    > >
    > >America had only three, recently, Pearl Harbor, JFK and WTC.
    > >In a way, in historic time, America is still in its infancy and the
    > people
    > >acts accordingly.
    > >If America can' t get it, noone will and if somebody has what America
    > >wants they will take it....
    > >This is IMO, yes indeed childish behavior and than there are two
    > >possibilities, it makes you popular or it does not, most of the time, not
    > !
    > >And children behaving like that on the schoolyard don 't have many
    > >friends. They think they do, (NATO !?), but bullies always get what
    > >they deserve.
    > >
    > >That is of course no way to see things, I understand, but in the context
    > >of this list of some importance.
    > >In my mind there is no doubt that people get memetical determiniated
    > >by the way they live, I posted this view this week, so couldn 't it not
    > >be that American folks in contrast with Europeans are still, on some
    > >memetical scale, in their infancy !?
    > >
    > >It seems to me, watching CNN all the time, that Americans can 't
    > >grasp the fact that they did something, somewhere to somebody wrong.
    > >And this seems to fit in the general picture of the child- analogy.
    > >A bully turns always things upside down. He is not the blame, it is
    > >always the others who don 't understand the way by which he behaves.
    > >
    > >What do you think !?
    > >Hope I did not offend you, or others, in any way;
    > >
    > >
    > I think I'll bite my lip on this one and not bite the hook.
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