Break the Chain Shame, Shame, Shame!

Created 3/4/2003 (3/4/2003) As a country struggles to recover from the single worst act of terrorism in history, international reaction to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and the United States' subsequent military action in the middle east has been a mixed bag. It brings us a bit of confidence to hear a foreign commentator bashing his own people for being down on America, so chains like this one are popular.

SAMPLE CHAIN LETTER TEXT

No matter what your views on President Bush's statement of upcoming war, this, from an English journalist, is very interesting.

Just a word of background, for those of you who aren't familiar with the UK's Daily Mirror. This is a notoriously left-wing daily that is normally not supportive of the "Colonials" across the Atlantic.

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Tony Parsons Daily Mirror September 11, 2002

One year ago, the world witnessed a unique kind of broadcasting -- the mass murder of thousands, live on television. As a lesson in the pitiless cruelty of the human race, September 11 was up there with Pol Pot's Mountain of Skulls in Cambodia, or the skeletal bodies stacked like garbage in the Nazi concentration camps.

An unspeakable act so cruel, so calculated and so utterly merciless that surely the world could agree on one thing - nobody deserves this fate. Surely there could be consensus: The victims were truly innocent, the perpetrators truly evil.

But to the world's eternal shame, 9/11 is increasingly seen as America's comeuppance. Incredibly, anti-Americanism has increased over the last year. There has always been a simmering resentment to the USA in this country; too loud, too rich, too full of themselves, and so much happier than Europeans - but it has become an epidemic. That resentment seems incredible to me. More than that, it turns my stomach.

America is this country's greatest friend and our staunchest ally. We are bonded to the US by culture, language and blood. A little over half a century ago, around half a million Americans died for our freedoms, as well as their own. Have we forgotten so soon? And exactly a year ago, thousands of ordinary men, women and children - not just Americans, but from dozens of countries, were butchered by a small group of religious fanatics.

Are we so quick to betray them?

What touched the heart about those who died in the Twin Towers and on the planes, was that we recognized them. Young fathers and mothers, somebody's son and somebody's daughter, husbands, wives, and children, some yet unborn.

And these people brought it on themselves? Their nation is to blame for their meticulously planned slaughter?

[Full text omitted]

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International commentaries in support of America became instantly popular in the days following September 11, 2001. Unfortunately, when translated to e-mail many fell victim to the common shortcomings of chain letters. First we saw a 28-year old essay parading as recent news. Then we saw an unreliably attributed "Ode To America" by a Romanian author. Next, a spirited rant by an American college professor was mistakenly identified as the work of an Australian dentist.

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Unlike its predecessors, however, this one is legitimate. It was indeed written by columnist Tony Parsons and appeared in the September 11, 2002, edition of the Daily Mirror under the title "Shame on You American-Hating Liberals." As expected, the e-mail version is changed slightly from Parson's original manuscript. While I don't know if the Mirror really is as "left-wing" as the introduction to the chain letter claims, a quick glance at the archive of Parson's columns makes it clear that his is markedly pro-American, so this commentary from him isn't quite as surprising.

BreakTheChain.org recommends against forwarding via e-mail the published work of another person without that author and publisher's consent. Besides being against international copyrights, e-mail is an unreliable medium for distributing information. Break this chain.

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References: Daily Mirror

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