Anti-Americanism is the disease du jour for a lot of the world's envious, beginning with the intellectuals, who are carriers of the virus, and including bloggers, washed-up politicians and whatever man (or woman) in the street a lazy reporter with a microphone, camera, pad or pencil can find who wants to put in his nickel's worth.
It's more consensus than conspiracy, the ganging up on the most powerful nation in the world. Uncle Sam, meet Gulliver. Much of the envy, of course, is that America is the most powerful nation in the world. Envy easily becomes animosity and, as Freud would say, a negative "projection" pushes the argument: "There but for the grace of God go I." Not!
No cure for this malady is in sight, but certain palliatives prescribed in unscientific trials are working their way through the bodies politic, easing the pain if not curing the disease. George Bush took leave of his domestic quagmire to visit Iraq, which shows signs of not being the quagmire many of his critics earnestly hope it is.
His visit eased the anxiety of Iraqis who foolishly pay attention to the cut-and-run caucus in Congress. The death of Abu Musab Zarqawi further exposed the vanity of the congressional quitters, whose advice, if taken earlier, would have saved the second most heinous villain in the world from whatever just desserts he may be suffering this morning in what passes for Islamist paradise.
The "Schadenfreudians," ever yearning for a round of pleasure in the misfortunes of others, had expected a treat from Patrick Fitzgerald, the Captain Ahab of special prosecutors, but got only frustration and disappointment when the dogged pursuit of Karl Rove finally ran aground. The virus of anti-Americanism weakens in other places, too. Noam Chomsky, the Dr. No of the hate-America crowd, is accused (by his own fans, of all people) of playing a little too fast and a little too loose with the facts in his latest screed, "Failed States." Peter Beaumont, foreign affairs editor for the London Guardian, writes that he wants to agree with Dr. No but can't find many reasons to in this latest book.
He laments that Dr. No no longer has rigor, but his arguments suffer rigor mortis, rendered with "exactly the same subtle textual biases, evasions and elisions of meaning" as used by those he hates. Dr. No places George W. Bush in the company of the world's worst monsters -- Hitler, Stalin, Tojo, Suharto, Saddam Hussein. No reasonable man, no matter how earnestly he hates George W. Bush, accepts "analysis" like this.
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