The Bitter Camp Speaks

Earlier today, I spoke of the Bitter Camp.  Well, I already received an email from a leftist in the UK.  Paul sent me a bunch of questions that an anti-American had created.  I'm sure the email was written long ago, but the fact it resurfaced today is no accident.

The answer to all of the author's anti-American questions are the US - at least according to the author.  Most of the question are on par with "Have you stopped beating your wife?" - that is, they were designed to have no defense.  However, despite the close-mindedness of the writer, I will attempt to answer each of these questions in a straightforward manner.

As you read the questions, note how the author tries to isolate the US.  This is similar to the liberal media's earlier attempts to present the opinions of France and Germany as those of Europe.  The author interchanges UN, Western, and G7 to try to make the US appear to stand alone.  The use of G7 is especially telling, it usually means that Russia, China, and India also disagree with the leftist author.

1) Which is the only country in the world to have dropped bombs on over twenty different countries since 1945?

Answer:  The country that has liberated more countries than any other government in history.

I asked Drew, a friend of mine in California who studies military history, to list how many countries the US has liberated from WWII onward.  He suggested it would be easier to look at a map and just count the countries the US did not liberate or protect from conquest.  If we just looked at the past 20 years, he listed Serbia, Kosovo, Haiti, Kuwait, Panama, and Grenada off the top of his head.

Under President Bush, at a minimum we will be able to add Afghanistan and Iraq to this list.  I am proud that America is willing to spend the blood, sweat, tears, and money to overturn evil regimes over the objections of leftists who protest for a "peace" that keeps millions living in fear under brutal dictatorships. 

2) Which is the only country to have used nuclear weapons to take the lives of thousands of civilian women and children?

Answer:  Many countries have taken the lives of their own civilians in the development of nuclear weapons.  But clearly the United States has been the only country to detonate nuclear weapons on enemy cities.  This is largely due to the fact that the United States was the first country to develop nuclear weapons.  Throughout history, the first people to develop any weapon have traditionally been the first ones to use it.  When these weapons were used, the decision makers did not understand all of the ramifications of radiation (for example, many of our own people were exposed to radiation from nuclear tests and later died of cancer).  Once all the repercussions of nuclear weapons were understood, Americans have worked hard to prevent their ever being used against civilians yet again.  The American nuclear arsenal has served as an effective deterrent to prevent any other country from using such weapons.

Despite my answer above, this is the only question that made me wince.   If I could go back in time and change history so that we did not use the bomb against Japan, I would.  However, countries are not perfect and mine has certainly made mistakes just like other countries.  For example, British forces were the first to use biological warfare in a despicable action against civilians.   By deliberately distributing blankets from those who died of small-pox to American Indians, British soldiers managed to kill more than 50% of many tribes during the French and Indian wars (1754-1767).  Yet I don't blame the current British government for this any more than I blame the current American government for the actions of a long buried Democratic President who gave the order to launch two nukes.

3) Which country was responsible for a car bomb which killed 80 civilians in Beirut in 1985, in a botched assassination attempt, thereby making it the most lethal terrorist bombing in modern Middle East history?

I believe you are wrong about blaming this on the United States. I've seen this accusation a lot on the internet along with variations of some of these questions.  However, I don't believe it.  I believe this is an urban legend that got started when Imad Fayez Mugniyeh, a terrorist who built bombs, blamed the CIA for a bombing that killed his brother.

His brother, Jihad Mugniyeh, died in 1985 when a car bomb intended for Hezbollah leader Sheik Muhammad Hussein Fadlallah killed 75 people outside Fadlallah’s home in Beirut. Hezbollah blamed the CIA for the attack.

His other brother, Fuad Mugniyeh, died in December 1994 when another car bomb exploded near the mosque where Fadlallah preached his weekly sermon, directly outside of a shop owned by Fuad. The car-bomb attack reportedly was ordered by Israel in reprisal for the bombing of the Jewish Community Center in Buenos Aires earlier that year that killed 86.

To the best of my research, the CIA was not involved in any of these actions.  Since it is impossible to prove a negative, I am not going to try.  However, I don't believe this was true.  Bomb-building is risky business.  The most likely scenario is that Hezbollah had placed a bomb in the car to use against Israeli civilians at some point in the near future.  And it accidentally went off early.  The surviving terrorists didn't want to tell their leader that they had accidentally killed his brother and many others.  So they blamed the CIA.

As for the most lethal terrorist bombing?  Your ignorance is astounding.  Did you bother to even look up your facts?  The 1985 incident wasn't even the most lethal terrorist bombing in Beirut...

October 23, 1983 - A suicide car bomb attack against the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut kills 241 servicemen. A simultaneous attack on a French base kills 58 paratroopers.

Or don't the deaths of Americans count in your anti-American view of the world? 

4) Which country's illegal bombing of Libya in 1986 was described by the UN Legal Committee as a "classic case" of terrorism?

Why do you think the opinion of the UN Legal Committee matters?  The UN consists of many non-democratic nations and many of these nations end up on UN committees.  Since you brought up Libya, did you know Libya currently heads the UN  Commission on Human Rights?  This would be funny if it were not so sad.  It is nonsense like this that causes Americans to disdain the UN.  Most of us would cheer if President Bush withdrew from it and quit wasting our tax money.

Given Libya's position at the UN, I suspect they'll probably find the US guilty of some human rights violations when we liberate Iraq.  And 10 years from now, some anti-american will ask "Which country's illegal liberation of Iraq in 2003 was described by the UN Commission on Human Rights as a 'classic case' of imperialism?"

5) Which country rejected the order of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to terminate its "unlawful use of force" against Nicaragua in 1986, and then vetoed a UN Security Council resolution calling on all states to observe international law?

This just points out yet another reason why the UN is a sad joke.  I do not believe the US recognized the jurisdiction of the ICJ in this matter, but for the sake of discussion let us say that any of the five veto powers violates ICJ law and recognizes the jurisdiction of the ICJ.  They can still ignore it because all enforcement is up to the Security Council and they can veto any enforcement.

6) Which country was accused by a UN-sponsored truth commission of providing "direct and indirect support" for "acts of genocide" against the Mayan Indians in Guatemala during the 1980s?

Note the word accused (showing this to be an opinion) and see answer 4.

7) Which country unilaterally withdrew from the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty in December 2001?

This question says more about the person writing the question than anything else.  You think unilateral is a bad word?  Do you think the US should have asked permission to withdraw from a treaty that it signed?  If so, whose permission?  According to the treaty - which was between the US and the U.S.S.R. (which was defunct long before 2001 in case you didn't realize this) - either party could withdraw from the treaty if it gave six month's notice.  We did.  I only wish the US had withdrawn years ago - I think it is unethical (and stupid) to not develop defenses when we have the means to do so.

8) Which country renounced the efforts to negotiate a verification process for the Biological Weapons Convention and brought an international conference on the matter to a halt in July 2001?

The country that says what it means and means what it says.  When the US disagrees with some organization that wants sovereignty over the US, Americans have the courage and the integrity to say so.  This is one of the many reasons why American doesn't sign many agreements that infringe upon our sovereign rights. Of course, if we were gutless, we could be like France on this issue.

If you are truly interested, here is the US perspective on this issue.

9) Which country prevented the United Nations from curbing the gun trade at a small arms conference in July 2001?

If you believe the UN could curb the gun trade with or without American involvement, I've got a bridge to sell you.  The UN couldn't even keep inspectors in Iraq until America parked some troops on Iraq's border.  And any UN agreement that infringes on the rights of Americans will be vetoed by the US.  And this was the crux of the initial disagreement between the US and the some members of the UN since our Constitution guarantees citizens the right to own firearms.

Nevertheless, the United States still would not accept Paragraph 20 of the document, which asks nations to seriously consider prohibitions on civilian possession of small arms and light weapons, because of the right to own firearms guaranteed Americans in the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, the official said.

Note the common answer to the UN questions - we will not give up our national sovereignty.  Also note that this is yet another case where the leftist did not do his research.  After some compromising a decent agreement was reached - that didn't violate the US Constitution - and is currently valid today.

10) Apart from Somalia, which is the only other country in the world to have refused to ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child?

Frankly I don't know too much about this Convention, but I understand two points very well.  1) The US will not sign any agreement that gives an international body jurisdiction over Americans.  We have our own laws to protect children and problems are addressed by American courts.  2)  This entire question is a red herring.  Most nations cheerfully ratify UN agreements and ignore them if they bother to enact them.  Do you leftists even understand the difference between ratification and enactment?  Australia does.  Yet the US is a target because we have enough honesty and integrity that we won't even pretend to comply with the agreement, while countries that pretend to comply are ignored by leftists.  Hypocrites.

11) Which is the only Western country which allows the death penalty to be applied to children?

Thank you for the reminder.  This was yet another reason the US refused to sign Rights of the Child agreement.  The US rarely tries teenagers as adults and gives them the death penalty.  However, the line between someone who is just over 18 and just under 18 is a fairly arbitrary way to dispense justice.  In some rare cases, teenagers who commit heinous crimes are tried as adults and may be executed.  The 17-year-old sniper who killed many people from the trunk of a car may be executed if found guilty.  I would support such a sentence.

12) Which is the only G7 country to have refused to sign the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty, forbidding the use of landmines?

Last time I checked there were 48 countries that have not signed it including China, Russia, and several members of NATO.  This does not even consider the many countries that have signed the treaty, but not enacted it.

If those creating the treaty had been willing to be more flexible, the US would have signed and perhaps we could have encouraged other nations to sign.  However, the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty would not even make an exception for the minefields in Korea.  Since the treaty writers preferred a useless treaty that remained 'pure' vs. a useful treaty that would have eliminated most landmine use and been followed, the US walked away.  I applaud the US decision on this matter.  If something is not in our best interests, why should we sign it?

Now Americans do agree that leftover minefields is a real problem.  However instead of trying to sign an unrealistic piece of paper that many countries would ignore, we are working on minefields that we can retrieve after the war is over.  A humane solution unilaterally created by American ingenuity.  It has the additional bonus of being cost-effective since we can reuse the mines elsewhere when needed.

13) Which is the only G7 country to have voted against the creation of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in 1998?

It is interesting that the majority of the world agrees with the US on this issue, admittedly not by much.  As of February 10, 2003 89 countries had ratified the ICC agreement.  That is slightly less than half the countries in the world.  And yet leftists continue to just mention the US on this issue.  Perhaps they are wise in this regard, since they know even if every other nation in the world signed it we would not.

Again, the US is not going to give up once iota of its national sovereignty to any other organization.  We fully support the rights of others to join (or not join) any organization that will have them.  We just refuse to be bound by rules created by non-Americans and they have no authority over Americans.

14) Which was the only other country to join with Israel in opposing a 1987 General Assembly resolution condemning international terrorism?

For this response I will turn to Noam Chomsky, the sky-is-falling leftist who predicted millions of causalities if the US dared to go after the Taliban for harboring terrorists.  Yet since I am answering anti-american leftists, I enjoy doing so with one of their own.  This is from Chapter 4 of Chomsky's Necessary Illusions.

...the General Assembly passed a resolution condemning "Terrorism Wherever and by Whomever Committed." The vote was 153 to 2, with Israel and the United States opposed and Honduras alone abstaining. In particular, all NATO countries voted for it. This vote was unreported, and unmentioned in the December 26 review of the session. The U.S.-Israeli objection was presumably based on the statement that "nothing in the resolution would prejudice the right of peoples, particularly those under colonial or racist regimes, or under foreign occupation or other forms of domination, to struggle for self-determination, freedom and independence, or to seek and receive support for that end."

Yes, the UN resolution against "Terrorism Wherever and by Whomever Committed" specifically exempted terrorism against Israel since many in the UN consider the Palestinian people to be under foreign occupation.  The shame of the matter is only the United States had the courage and integrity to join Israel in opposing this exception (and kudos to tiny Honduras for at least abstaining).

15) Which country refuses to fully pay its debts to the United Nations yet reserves its right to veto United Nations resolutions?

One of the checks and balances near and dear to Americans is the power of the purse.  It is built into our government and occasionally we use it on the UN.  This is an especially powerful tool since the US unfairly pays the greatest share of the United Nations bill and subsidizes its rent.  True, the US has a permanent position on the Security Council that gives it veto power, but so do four other nations that pay a pittance of the UN fees.  Japan, which pays the second-highest UN dues, doesn't have a permanent seat.  And the US always eventually pays the UN fees, after the UN quits doing whatever they did to really hack off the US government.  If you don't like the US having this much power of the UN, there is an easy fix.  Other countries should pay a greater share of the UN's way, so if any country (including the US) holds back, the UN won't be in a bind.  However, I suspect Leftists would prefer for the US to continue to pay the lion's share of the UN even if that means it occasionally gets to call the tunes.

I also suspect that these Leftists think it is outrageous that the US occasionally places a hold on money for the UN, even though they always end up paying, but think it was proper that the European countries never paid back the WWII loans provided by the American Taxpayer.  Hypocrites.

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