Letter To The Irish Times

Letter To The Irish Times: In one of our commentary sections, someone named Ron posted an email he sent to the the Irish Times a while back. He said it wasn’t published but I thought it deserved to be seen by a larger audience than the people who read the comments on that post. Therefore, I decided to reproduce it on the front page….

“Sir – About six months ago, I found your newspaper on the Internet and decided to read it on a regular basis. I thought at the time, hmm, Irish Times. Ireland. Well, let’s see what the average Irishman has to say.

Well now I’m sorry I found your newspaper. For the past six months I have read letter after letter from, what I assume are, average Irish men and women, and what I have read has disturbed and disappointed me greatly. It would take me a considerable amount of space to write the many points with which I disagree with the letters I have read so I will confine myself to just a few.

First, for your information, the average American is very much like the average Irishman. We have spouses, children, we have jobs, we go to church, and we do care about people throughout the world. We are not arrogant, selfish, or self-centered, or at least, not any more than anyone else is. And, if I may say so, certainly no more than most of those letter writers.

Second, we are tired. We are tired of trying to mediate all the disputes between peoples who want peace and prosperity but do not want anyone else to have it. We are tired of trying to solve all the problems with little help being provided by other countries, many of which have a substantially greater interest in seeing the problems resolved. We are tired of sending our sons and daughters to foreign lands and worrying whether they will come back. We are tired of spending $300 billion (yes, billion, with a “B”, and in dollars, not lira or argentinos or punts, whatever those are) on soldiers and ships and planes used in patrolling the Sea of Japan and the Korean DMZ, in safeguarding Kuwait and Western Europe. We are tired of watching our schools decay, our poor suffer from the lack of affordable medical care, and our inner cities dying from a lack of capital investment, all the while wishing we could direct some of our defense budget to our own domestic needs as so many of our allies have chosen to do.

I could say more but I won’t. I won’t explain how a charge of the US being “corporate America” is ludicrous when we consistently incur billions of dollars in trade deficits, year after year. I won’t respond to those who accuse us of waging war on Afghanistan that we are actually waging war on Al Qaida and its enablers, have strongly supported those Afghan factions which seek peace and prosperity for all Afghans, and that the accusers know very well we are doing this but still they say otherwise. I won’t ask those persons who accuse us of killing innocent citizens that if we are, in fact, doing this, why did the Taliban move its soldiers and weapons into homes, mosques, and hospitals if not with the understanding that Americans would never intentionally bomb such places, and if the enemy knows it, why don’t the Irish? And I will not ask those who accuse America of only being concerned with maintaining its empire to please tell me just what lands make up our empire. Puerto Rico?

I will only say this. Maybe the critics are right. Maybe we should eliminate our army, our special forces, our jets and ships. Maybe we should reallocate the hundreds of billions of dollars to our own dire needs. And when the Indians wage war on the Pakistanis, the Arabs conduct their umpteenth war on the Jews, when the Koreas clash, when Saddam continues his grand design of acquiring the Iranian and Arabian oil fields, and when the Hutus massacre the Tutsis, the Wutsis, or whoever they hate this week, then maybe we can ship a few tons of wheat to the victims and give them a couple millions dollars of cash, all the while congratulating ourselves on our compassionate response. And if any country, any country, takes the courage to try to do something, anything, to make the situation just a little bit better, then, by all means, let’s criticize that country while all the while proclaiming ourselves neutral and better.”

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