Loves us, loves us not, loves us, loves us not

Loves us, loves us not, loves us, loves us not
: I was shocked to read in the NY Times today — especially today — this incredibly broad lead:

In the two years since Sept. 11, 2001, the view of the United States as a victim of terrorism that deserved the world’s sympathy and support has given way to a widespread vision of America as an imperial power that has defied world opinion through unjustified and unilateral use of military force…. The war in Iraq has had a major impact on public opinion, which has moved generally from post-9/11 sympathy to post-Iraq antipathy…

Oh, come on. Nothing is that simple or that quick (or that stupid).

This just feeds the why-do-they-hate-us agenda (see PBS, below).

And what really worries about me is that if it’s repeated enough — on the front page of what is perhaps the world’s leading newspaper, on the country’s public televison — then it becomes accepted wisdom in certain quarters or, worse, justification for attacks in other quarters.

That lesson should be terribly clear this day of all days. It’s one matter to disagree with a policy of another country or dislike that country’s leader; that comes and goes. It’s quite another to start saying that the country is the subject of “antipathy.” That’s true only among terroristic fascists; the rest of the world has more sense and civility.