Compare and contrast

Compare and contrast
: When the Observer’s man in America left, he wrote a simplistic screed against the country he allegedly covered.

Now compare that with the farewell piece from Telegraph D.C. bureau chief Toby Harnden [via Andrew Sullivan]:

Despite their many differences, and the divisions over the 2000 election that still linger, they believe in the idea, the ideal, almost the emotion, that is the United States.

This patriotism is based not on blind nationalism but on the embrace of universal values – freedom and democracy – that bind together a disparate people…

Americans had little choice but to rise to the challenge September 11 presented. But acting decisively has stirred the embers of anti-Americanism – among other governments and elites at least. Even more dangerous is the rise of “counter-Americanism”, the doctrine that the United States has to be stopped, its goals frustrated and a counter-balance created.

Yet it is worth recognising the self-evident truth that America is a force for tremendous good in the world. Opposing it means opposing the universal values that Europeans first exported.