America: The Good Neighbor.

Article #2 (below)     Article #3 (below)

This is a testimony of our spirit. 
Hit the buildings, Missed America . . . . 

   An open letter to a terrorist: 

 Well, you hit the World Trade Center, but you missed America. 

 You hit the Pentagon, but you missed America. 
 You used helpless American bodies, to take out other American 
 bodies, but like a poor marksman, you STILL missed America. 

 Why?  Because of something you guys will never understand. America isn't about a building or two, not about financial centers, not about military centers, America isn't about a place, America 
 isn't even about a bunch of bodies.  America is about an IDEA.  An idea, that you can go someplace where you can earn as much as you can figure out how to, live for the most part, like 
 you envisioned living, and pursue Happiness.  (No guarantees that you'll reach it, but you can sure try!) 

 Go ahead and whine your terrorist whine, and chant your terrorist litany: "If you can not see my point, then feel my pain."  This concept is alien to Americans.  We live in a country where we 
 don't have to see your point.  But you're free to have one.  We don't have to listen to your speech.  But you're free to say one.  Don't know where you got the strange idea that everyone has to agree with you.  We don't agree with each other in this country, almost as a matter of pride.  We're a collection of guys that don't agree, called States.  We united our individual states to protect ourselves from tyranny in the world.  Another idea, we made up on the spot.  You CAN make it up as you go, when it's your country. 

 If you're free enough. 

 Yeah, we're fat, sloppy, easy-going goofs most of the time.  That's an unfortunate image to project to the world, but it comes of feeling free and easy about the world you live in.  It's unfortunate too, because people start to forget that when you attack Americans, they tend to fight like a cornered badger.  The first we knew of the War of 1812 was when England burned Washington D.C. to the ground.  Didn't turn out like England thought it was going to, and it's 
 not going to turn out like you think, either.  Sorry, but you're not the first bully on our shores, just the most recent. No Marquis of Queensbury rules for Americans, either.  We were the FIRST and so far, only country in the world to use nuclear weapons in anger.  Horrific idea, nowadays?  News for you bucko, it was back then too, but we used it anyway.  Only had two of them in the whole world and we used 'em both.  Grandpa Jones worked on the Manhattan Project.  Told me once, that right up until they threw the switch, the physicists were still arguing over whether the 
 Uranium alone would fission, or whether it would start a fissioning chain reaction that would eat everything.  But they threw the switch anyway, because we had a War to win.  Does that tell you 
 something about American Resolve? 

 So who just declared War on us?  It would be nice to point to some real estate, like the good old days.  Unfortunately, we're probably at war with random camps, in far-flung places.  Who think they're safe.  Just like the Barbary Pirates did, IIRC.  Better start sleeping with one eye open. 

 There's a spirit that tends to take over people who come to this country, looking for opportunity, looking for liberty, looking for freedom.  Even if they misuse it.  The Marielistas that Castro 
 emptied out of his prisons, were overjoyed to find out how much freedom there was.  First thing they did when they hit our shores, was run out and buy guns.  The ones that didn't end up dead, ended up in prisons.  It was a big PITA then (especially in south Florida), but you're only the newest PITA, not the first. 

 You guys seem to be incapable of understanding that we don't live in America, America lives in US!   American Spirit is what it's called. And killing a few thousand of us, or a few million of us, won't change it.  Most of the time, it's a pretty happy-go-lucky kind of Spirit. Until we're crossed in a cowardly manner, then it becomes an entirely different kind of Spirit. Wait until you see what we do with that Spirit, this time. 

 Sleep tight, if you can. 

 We're coming. 

 Charles Brennan   Date:  9/11/2001 9:07p.m. 

This is from a Canadian newspaper and is worth sharing. Some would credit this as an urban legend - There is a more thorough explanation of Sinclair at the end of the article. 

Widespread but only partial news coverage was given recently to a remarkable editorial broadcast from Toronto by Gordon Sinclair, a Canadian television commentator. What follows is the full text of his trenchant remarks as printed in the Congressional Record: 

"This Canadian thinks it is time to speak up for the Americans as the most generous and possibly the least appreciated people on all the earth. Germany, Japan and, to a lesser extent, Britain and Italy were lifted out of the debris of war by the Americans who poured in billions of dollars and forgave other billions in debts. 

None of these countries is today paying even the interest on its remaining debts to the United States. 

When France was in danger of collapsing in 1956, it was the Americans who propped it up, and their reward was to be insulted and swindled on the streets of Paris. I was there. I saw it. When earthquakes hit distant cities, it is the United States that hurries in to help. This spring, 59 American communities were flattened by tornadoes. Nobody helped. 

The Marshall Plan and the Truman Policy pumped billions of dollars into discouraged countries. Now newspapers in those countries are writing about the decadent, warmongering Americans. 

I'd like to see just one of those countries that is gloating over the erosion of the United States dollar build its own airplane. Does any other country in the world have a plane to equal the Boeing Jumbo Jet, the Lockheed Tri-Star, or the Douglas DC10?  If so, why don't they fly them?  Why do all the International lines, except Russia, fly American Planes? 

Why does no other land on earth even consider putting a man or woman on the moon? You talk about Japanese technocracy, and you get radios. You talk about German technocracy, and you get automobiles. You talk about American technocracy, and you find men on the moon - not once, but several times -  and safely home again. 

You talk about scandals, and the Americans put theirs right in the store window for everybody to look at, even their draft-dodgers are not pursued and hounded. They are here on our streets, and most of them, unless they are breaking Canadian laws, are getting American dollars from ma and pa at home to spend here. 

When the railways of France, Germany and India were breaking down through age, it was the Americans who rebuilt them. When the Pennsylvania Railroad and the New York Central went broke, nobody loaned them an old caboose. Both are still broke. 

I can name you 5000 times when the Americans raced to the help of other people in trouble. Can you name me even one time when someone else raced to the Americans in trouble?  I don't think there was outside help even during the San Francisco earthquake. 

Our neighbors have faced it alone, and I'm one Canadian who is damned tired of hearing them get kicked around. They will come out of this thing with their flag high. And when they do, they are entitled to thumb their nose at the lands that are gloating over their present troubles. I hope Canada is not one of those." 

Stand proud, America! 

This is one of the best editorials that I have ever read regarding the United States. It is nice that one man realizes it. I only wish that the rest of the world would realize it. We are always blamed for everything, and never even get a thank you for the things we do. I would hope that each of you would send this to as many people as you can and emphasize that they should send it to 
as many of  their friends until this letter is sent to every person on the web. I am just a single American that has read this. 

On June 5 1973, Canadian radio commentator Gordon Sinclair decided he'd had enough of the stream of criticism and negative press recently directed at the United States of America by foreign journalists (primarily over America's long military involvement in Vietnam, which had ended with the signing of the Paris Peace Accords six months earlier). When he arrived at radio station CFRB in Toronto that morning, he spent twenty minutes dashing off a two-page editorial defending the USA against its carping critics which he then delivered in a defiant, indignant tone during his "Let's Be Personal" spot at 11:45 AM that day. 

The unusualness of any foreign correspondent - even one from a country with such close ties to the USA as Canada - delivering such a caustic commentary about those who would dare to criticize the USA is best demonstrated by the fact that even thirty years later, a generation of Americans too young to remember Sinclair's broadcast doubt that this piece (which has been circulating on the Internet in the slightly-altered form as something "recently" printed in a Toronto newspaper) is real. It is real, and it received a great deal of attention in its day. After Sinclair's editorial was rebroadcast by a few American radio stations, it spread like wildfire all over the country. It was played again and again (often superimposed over a piece of inspirational music such as "Battle Hymn of the Republic" or "Bridge Over Troubled Waters"), read into the Congressional Record multiple times, and finally released on a record (titled "The Americans"), with all royalties donated to the American Red Cross. (A Windsor/Detroit radio broadcaster named Byron MacGregor recorded and released an unauthorized version of the piece which hit the record stores before Sinclair's official version; an infringement suit was avoided when MacGregor agreed to donate his profits to the Red Cross as well). 

Sinclair passed away in 1984, but he will long be remembered on both sides of the U.S.-Canadian border - both for his contributions to journalism, and for his loudly proclaiming what no one else at the time would stand up and say. 

Leonard Pitts Column From the Miami Herald 
Published Wednesday, September 12, 2001 

We'll go forward from this moment.  It's my job to have something to say. They pay me to provide words that help make sense of that which troubles the American soul.  But in this moment of airless shock when hot tears sting disbelieving eyes, the only thing I can find to say, the only words that seem to fit, must be addressed to the unknown author of this suffering. 

You monster.  You beast.  You unspeakable bastard.  What lesson did you hope to teach us by your coward's attack on our World Trade  Center, our Pentagon, us? What was it you hoped we would learn?   Whatever it was, please know that you failed.  Did you want us to respect your cause? You just damned your cause.  Did you want to make us fear? You just steeled our resolve.  Did you want to tear us apart?  You just brought us together. 

Let me tell you about my people. We are a vast and quarrelsome  family, a family rent by racial, social, political and class division, but a family nonetheless.  We're frivolous, yes, capable of expending tremendous emotional energy on pop cultural minutiae -- a singer's revealing dress, a ball team's misfortune, a cartoon mouse.  We're wealthy.  Spoiled by the ready availability of trinkets and material goods, and maybe because of that, we walk through life with a certain sense of blithe entitlement. We are fundamentally decent, though -- peace-loving and compassionate. We struggle to know the right thing and to do it. And we are, the overwhelming majority of us, people of faith, believers in a just and loving God. 

Some people -- you, perhaps -- think that any or all of this makes us weak. You're mistaken. We are not weak. Indeed, we are strong in ways that cannot be measured by arsenals.  IN PAIN?  Yes, we're in pain now. We are in mourning and we are in shock. We're still grappling with the unreality of the awful thing you did, still working to make ourselves understand that 
this isn't a special effect from some Hollywood blockbuster, isn't the plot development from a Tom Clancy novel. Both in terms of the awful scope of their ambition and the probable final death toll, your attacks are likely to go down as the worst acts of terrorism in the history of the United States and, probably, the history of the world. You've bloodied us as we have never 
been bloodied before. 

But there's a gulf of difference between making us bloody and making  us fall. This is the lesson Japan was taught to its bitter sorrow the last time anyone hit us this hard, the last time anyone brought us such abrupt and monumental pain. When roused, we are righteous in our outrage,  terrible in our force. When provoked by this level of barbarism, we will bear any suffering, pay any cost, go to any length, in the pursuit of justice.  I  tell you this without fear of contradiction. I know my people, as you, I think, do not. What I know reassures me. It also causes me to tremble with dread of the future. 

In the days to come, there will be recrimination and accusation, fingers pointing to determine whose failure allowed this to happen and what can be done to prevent it from happening again. There will be heightened security, misguided talk of revoking basic freedoms. We'll go forward from this moment sobered, chastened, sad.  But determined, too. Unimaginably determined. THE STEEL IN US. You see, the steel in us is not always readily apparent. That aspect of our character is seldom  understood by people who don't know us well. On this day, the family's bickering is put on hold. As Americans we will weep, as Americans we will mourn, and as Americans, we will rise in defense of all that we cherish. 

So I ask again: What was it you hoped to teach us? It occurs to me that maybe you just wanted us to know the depths of your hatred. If that's the case, consider the message received. And take this message in exchange: You don't know my people. You don't know what we're capable of. You don't know what you just started. 

But you're about to learn. 

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