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Re: Terrorism/History Lessons

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Michael Knight wrote:

> Its about time people in the USA realised that there are other democracies
> around the world.

Pardon me, but the USA is not a democracy.  It is a democratic Republic, and
the difference between the two is significant.

The founders of these United States were quite wary of any effort to form a
'National' government.  This is very well documented in numerous
exts  ----- although it is likely that the best collection may be found in
"The Federalist Papers".  Pure democracy is a mess, and was regarded by our
founding fathers as something that needed to be avoided at all costs.
Interestingly, The European Community is in some ways adopting
(unknowingly?) a republican structure.

You also stated:

> Some of his comments were truly astonishing and matched the
> experiences I have had on my many trips to the USA. He was unaware the UK
> was a democracy, thought the UK had been invaded, and occupied, by Germany
> during WW2 and that the USA was totally responsible for the victory over
> Germany in WW2!!! He also didn't know that we had horses in UK, where the
> hell this came from I have no idea.

I'm a Yankee from New York with ancestors on both sides of my family who
fought in the American Revolution, and I can assure you that not every
corner of this country is filled with as historically an ignorant populace
as you suggest.

I went to University in the UK and lived there for a few years afterward.  I
can report that equally ignorant statements are commonplace there.  I was
asked on more than one occasion, "How many guns do you carry?", and was
regularly greeted with amazement when I told people that not many of us in
NYC carry a gun.  Many Brits would ask me, "How come you don't talk like a
Yank", and would then switch to a real bad imitation of a 'southern' accent.
I told more than one university friend (and a few profs) that if they ever
DO meet someone who spoke with an accent like the one they were panning ----
don't dare call him a Yank!

And just like Americans who wrongly refer to all of the UK as 'England',
just as many British refer to things 'over there in America', as though
"America" is a country.  North America is a continent.  South America is a
continent.  The United States of America is a country.  They'd be more
correct to leave off the 'America' part and just call it The United States.

That said, I believe the model of ever-improving United State/United Kingdom
relations since the War of 1812 (or perhaps since Britain's tacit support of
'The South' during our Civil War) offers hope for us all.  Enemies CAN over
time learn to accept each other's differences and work together for the
common good.

No, historical perspective is not dead on this side of the pond.  History
also provides great irony.  For example, my apartment building is
constructed on the same site (Kip's Bay) upon which the British Navy began
their attack on Manhattan during our Revolution.  The ironic part is that
the structure is constructed over the 'ballast' brought over from your city
of Bristol during WWII.

David Sharp
TurnaSure LLC
New York City

p.s. Some of the discourse on this forum lately has been tough to read, as
we are not yet done with funerals/memorial services here, and the smoke from
flare-ups continues to be a feature of our landscape.  Still --- I have been
learning what others believe, which is a start towards understanding (if not
accepting) certain opinions.

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