Discussion of how the “We (the world) Were all Americans” slogan in the aftermath of 9-11 was just an illusion. Krauthammer explains how this is the case:
No one likes us. And the democrats know why: the world loved us just two years ago, and then this President, cowboy arrogant and rudely unilateral, blew it. “When America was savagely attacked by al-Qaeda terrorists on 9-11, virtually all the world was with us,” writes Democratic elder statesman Theodore Sorensen. “But that moment of universal goodwill was squandered.” He writes that in the current issue of The American Prospect, but he is speaking for just about every Democratic candidate, potentate, deep thinker and critic, and not a few foreign commentators as well. The formulation is near universal: “The president has somehow squandered the international outpouring of sympathy, goodwill and solidarity that followed the attacks of Sept. 11” (Al Gore). “He has squandered the goodwill of the world after Sept. 11” (John Kerry).
The ur-text for this myth is the famous Le Monde editorial of Sept. 12, 2001, titled “We Are All Americans.” But as Johns Hopkins professor Fouad Ajami points out, not only did that very editorial speak of America’s paying for its cynicism, but also, within months, that same Le Monde publisher was back with a small book (“All Americans? The World After September 11, 2001”–note the question mark) filled with the usual belligerence toward and disapproval of America.*snip*
It is pure fiction that this pro-American sentiment was either squandered after Sept. 11 or lost under the Bush Administration. It never existed. Envy for America, resentment of our power, hatred of our success has been a staple for decades, but most particularly since victory in the cold war left us the only superpower.
Bill Clinton was the most accommodating, sensitive, multilateralist President one can imagine, and yet we know that al-Qaeda began the planning for Sept. 11 precisely during his presidency. Clinton made humility his vocation, apologizing variously for African slavery, for internment of Japanese Americans, for not saving Rwanda. He even decided that Britain should return the Elgin Marbles to Greece. A lot of good that did us. Bin Laden issued his Declaration of War on America in 1996–at the height of the Clinton Administration’s hyperapologetic, good-citizen internationalism. *snip*
Right on, Charles.