Wed, July 17

Letter: When will ‘World’ learn that American is not the enemy?

Hello, my name is America. You already know me, or at least you think you do. But either way, it seems overdue for us to have an honest conversation.

Some of you love us, some begrudgingly put up with us, and some simply hate our guts. Quite frankly, I can’t figure out why some of you dislike us. Jealousy, perhaps?

A quixotic hunger for world dominance? That McDonald’s won’t reveal to you the recipe for the Big Mac’s secret sauce? You tell me, ‘cuz I don’t get it.

What I really don’t get, though, is how you are so willing, eager, and able to ignore the fact that for nearly two centuries the United States of America has saved you time and time again, and/or paid for massive improvements in global commerce (e.g., Panama Canal) both regionally and worldwide. Yet where is your thanks? Where is your gratitude? Where is your respect?

Europe? You were a mess in World War I, and you were losing. It took “the Yanks are coming, the Yanks are coming” in early 1917. We turned the tide, and at horrendous cost of life, to end the war and rescue you.

Along came World War II, and once again, the Yanks bailed you out.

But this is merely tip-o’-the-iceberg talk. Who you gonna call when you feel threatened or you need military or/and humanitarian aid? Not Ghostbusters, that’s for sure. You pound on the door of the White House. “Help me, Obi Wan Kenobi, you’re our final hope.”

Do I help? Absolutely. In fact, I am the most generous and Johnny-on-the-spot benefactor and defender the world has ever seen. Yet you continue to bite the hand that has fed you for almost 200 years. What gives?

Yeah, I’ve made mistakes. Haven’t we all? But why in the world do you keep forgetting that I’m in it for the global good – for me, yes, but for you, too? This is not about power and control, it’s about peaceful and prosperous cohabitation. To quote Rodney King, “Can’t we just all get along?”

Moreover, World, when will you stop seeing me as an enemy but instead an ally? I want us to prosper in peace, and for the past two centuries, I’ve been trying to promote just that. You, however, appear to have a different agenda...and the pursuit of that bodes ill for all of us.

I will prevail, rest assured. But the cost of human life will be horrendous on all sides. Can we not find mutually beneficial friendship in our relations? Bullets make for poor butter.

Michael Westlund