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Pot and kettle

Tom Smith

I always enjoy a good laugh, as well as an exploratory trip to the dictionary. Mr. Jim Dorsey’s recent tome to the editor certainly didn’t disappoint in both aspects. The Random House Dictionary defines “solipsistic” as “extreme pre-occupation with and indulgence of one’s feelings, desires, etc.; egoistic self absorption.”

Dorsey criticizes Richard Carnes’ analysis as solipsistic in a 900-plus word letter to the editor. How can one stop laughing? That wasn’t the pot calling the kettle black. That was a pot with a real identity crisis.

Now, the “non-sequiturs and abysmal reasoning” charge, that’s more like the pot calling the kettle black. Mr. Dorsey implies that the Europeans are wiser than us and are reluctant to sacrifice their sons and daughters because “they know there’s always another (dictator) around the corner.” But what Mr. Dorsey conveniently leaves out is that the Europeans have unnecessarily sacrificed millions of their sons and daughters (roughly 75 million of them in World War II) because they have a history of appeasing dictators. As Winston Churchill said after Neville Chamberlain’s confrontation with Hitler, “You had a choice between war or dishonor, and you have chosen both.”



Dorsey tells us “Europe did not trust George Bush from the get-go.” From “the get-go” means from the day the president took office, yet he fails to specify what event or circumstances caused that distrust. Perhaps Mr. Dorsey didn’t trust George Bush from the “get-go,” but all of Europe? I would like to know the specifics.

Mr. Dorsey further tells us that the Spanish have “actively” and “courageously” been fighting terrorism for 30 years, intimating that they have more experience than we do. There is 30 years of experience and then there is one year of experience 30 times over. Is Mr. Dorsey really suggesting that we follow the Spanish model of fighting terror? If so, we should have overthrown our government on Sept. 12, 2001, and begged for mercy from al Qaida. Perhaps an Americanized Vichy administration? Puhleeze!



Mr. Dorsey tells us we were popular in Europe during the Clinton years, but fails to mention that we were also the laughingstock (see Monica Lewinsky). Could it be that the manner in which the Clinton administration failed to address terrorism abroad kept the Europeans happy? Remember, with the exception of the British, Western Europe’s mantra for the last century has been appease, appease, appease. However, if your philosophy is “there’s always another (dictator) around the corner,”I guess you can produce Hitler, Mussolini, Franco, et al, as well as the Vichy government.

As far as “truly classy name calling”: that should be reserved for someone not so arrogant, pretentious and self absorbed as to dismiss the enormous sacrifices of an entire nation as “not the WWII thing again.” The names that come to my mind certainly aren’t classy.


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