The Archbishop of Canterbury has given an interview to the British magazine "Emel" which casts itself as "the muslim lifestyle magazine".
I guess he gave them what their readership wants - anti-Americanism. In particular this section is troubling(1).
I ask him if America has lost the moral high ground since September 11th, and his answer is simple: “Yes.” There is no mitigation. He has obviously thought through what he feels the US should do now to recover, “A generous and intelligent programme of aid directed to the societies that have been ravaged; a check on the economic exploitation of defeated territories; a demilitarisation of their presence. All these things would help.”
He describes violence as “a quick discharge of frustration. It serves you. It does not serve the situation. Whenever people turn to violence what they do is temporarily release themselves from some sort of problem but they help no one else.” A long term critic of the war on Iraq, he feels that this perspective on violence also applies to Britain’s presence there. “A lot of the pressure around the invasion of Iraq was ‘We’ve got to do something! Then we’ll feel better.’ That’s very dangerous
Well which societies "that have been ravaged" is the Archbishop referring to exactly? And if he means Afghanistan and Iraq, just who was it that ravaged them? Neither of those places have been oases of tranquility, peace, harmony or justice at any time during my lifetime nor at any time in long before that.
The interview moves onto Israel and Palestine but rapidly returns to the United States
Christian Zionists support the return of Jews to Israel because they believe the second coming of Jesus will not occur until all Jews are in Israel. The Archbishop is scathing, accusing them of being connected to “the chosen nation myth of America, meaning that what happens in America is very much at the heart of God’s purpose for humanity.”
In today’s world it is easy to see why people would believe such an idea; America seems so intrinsically involved in everything. The Archbishop recognises that: “We have only one global hegemonic power at the moment.” But, he propounds, “It is not accumulating territory; it is trying to accumulate influence and control. That’s not working.” Far from seeing this positively, he describes it as “the worst of all worlds,” saying, “it is one thing to take over a territory and then pour energy and resources into administering it and normalising it. Rightly or wrongly that’s what the British Empire did – in India for example. It is another thing to go in on the assumption that a quick burst of violent action will somehow clear the decks and that you can move on and other people will put things back together –Iraq for example.”
just what does the Good Archbishop think that America is doing in Iraq if not pouring energy and resources into "normalising it" as the British "rightly or wrongly" did in India?
What the United States is doing is bending over backwards to get the Iraqi people to take charge of their own country and run it in a civilized fashion - you know no longer feeding people feet first into huge chippers or raping infants in front of their parents - that sort of thing.
In reality the United States is by far the most generous nation on the planet. What percentage of the budget of the World Health Organization, for example, comes from the United States. Perhaps some reader will care to look it up and post it as a comment but I am willing to bet it is a large percentage of the total budget and the same would go for each and any of the UN alphabet organizations.
Wherever and whenever there is a natural disaster who is there with money, resources and people to alleviate the suffering of those suffering the consequences. When Bam in Iran was flattened by an earthquake did the United States turn a blind eye - it did not. Putting people on the ground was an impossibility of course (and that would be more to do with Iranian sensibilities rather than American intransigence) immediately the United States responded with aid, money and relief supplies. The evil Bushitler was quoted at the time as saying "Human suffering knows no political boundaries"
Just think back to the Boxing day tsunami and Banda Aceh, a hard core Islamic region of Indonesia. Within hours who was there - the Saudis? Of course not. The US military, working hand in hand with the Australian military to bring relief and assistance to the people of that region.
And what happens - as life returns to normal the people there far from showing gratitude go back to chanting "death to America" even as the aid money and relief continues to flow in.
If the United States is the major "imperialist power" of the 21st century I say thank God for that because the United States, imperfect as it is both domestically and abroad is at heart a humane society where individual freedoms and rights are respected.
If there is any American imperialism that is real and damaging it is the imperialism of Hollywood which exports amongst other things the anti-Americanism the Archbishop is feeding off to pander to a predominantly Muslim audience in this interview.
(1) As far as I know this article is not available on line. I have a scanned copy (sent to be by an English associate of mine) from which I have taken the quotes. The quotes from it have therefore been manually entered and may contain typos. They are as written as far as I can tell.