November 16, 2003
Bombs in Turkey Bush's Fault?

I am speechless.

Al Qaeda blows up two synagogues in Istanbul, and somehow, readers at the BBC website manage to make it the fault of George W. Bush. I kid you not. From their website, feedback on the attacks include gems such as this:

The events in Turkey only highlight the fact that things have got worse since September 11. I think it's about time the world leaders of all faiths come together, rather than let Bush make the problems worse.

(From an idiot university student)

or this:

Winning a war on terrorism is impossible. It was a doomed project from the start similar to the war on drugs and it will take some very brave and courageous leaders to take a more radical approach and reverse the failed policies of Blair, Bush and the Israeli state.

...which seems to imply that we should let the terrorists continue unimpeded.

Both of the above commenters were from Arabs living in the United Kingdom (judging from their names and stated locations), but other BBC fora make it clear that plenty of non-Arab Britons hate George Bush with a frightening, pathological intensity. America has its xenophobes, but (outside of France, which goes out of its way to antagonize us) there is little hostility in the US to countries that don't host people who try to blow us up. Hatred towards Britain or Germany is far lower than the obverse; in fact, a clear majority of Americans LIKE Britain, especially so given their government's support (morally and materially) of ours in the War on Terror.

The thing that amazes me the most is that those who blame Bush for the attacks either forget or willfully ignore Al Qaeda's similar ventures during Saint Bill's term of office, including the attacks on the USS Cole, and the attacks on our embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, or the first WTC attack in 1993. Even the September 11 attack had its roots in the Clinton Administration; Al Qaeda was known to plan attacks up to three years out, and a complex undertaking such as the simultaneous highjacking of four airliners (and the training required to fly the aircraft to their targets) was not a snap decision on the part of Al Qaeda, in response to the election of Bush. Those who criticize Bush conveniently forget that it is extremely unlikely that Al Qaeda would have cancelled the attacks had Gore been elected, as their hatred of America and western values goes beyond the Democrat/Republican split.

posted on November 16, 2003 04:03 AM


I thought the anti-Americanism in the UK was already pretty bad, but I think it has got much worse recently. What has prompted my comment is that in contrast to what you say, I think many Brits are sure the Americans dislike them, partly due to all the English-accented villains in Hollywood films, and partly because there is a belief that Americans did nothing to stop US funding of the IRA (I am only passing this on, don't shoot the messenger it's not my personal view at all!) After the Oklahoma bombing talk radio here was full of people saying that after their support for the IRA the Americans finally had learnt what terrorism was like (disgusting and dumb I know, as the US suffered many terrorist attacks on its citizens in different parts of the world if not on its own soil and IRA support was hardly a majority thing). I don't know if argument can reach people who have already made up their minds, I am at a loss to account for why people hate America. It seems to have got to a stage where rational arguments have no effect. That doesn't mean all is lost but it makes life more difficult of course...

posted by s in the UK on November 17, 2003 03:35 AM

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