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November 18, 2007
Mark Steyn on Thanksgiving
He may be, in his own words, a "misfit unassimilated foreigner." But Mark Steyn is also gem of a writer, a Canadian whose unique perspective on America includes an obvious love and admiration for the land and people which is returned in spades by many.
Today, Steyn turns his attention to Thanksgiving "the most American of holidays" as he calls it, and outlines reasons why the world should give thanks to America:
But on this Thanksgiving the rest of the world ought to give thanks to American national sovereignty, too. When something terrible and destructive happens – a tsunami hits Indonesia, an earthquake devastates Pakistan – the United States can project itself anywhere on the planet within hours and start saving lives, setting up hospitals and restoring the water supply. Steyn makes mention of the fact that our Constitutional democracy is older than all the constitutions on the continent put together. This is the great strength of the American nation and is why we have been able to maintain a stable society for more than 200 years.
Aside from Britain and France, the Europeans cannot project power in any meaningful way anywhere. When they sign on to an enterprise they claim to believe in – shoring up Afghanistan's fledgling post-Taliban democracy – most of them send token forces under constrained rules of engagement that prevent them doing anything more than manning the photocopier back at the base.
If America were to follow the Europeans and maintain only shriveled attenuated residual military capacity, the world would very quickly be nastier and bloodier, and far more unstable. It's not just Americans and Iraqis and Afghans who owe a debt of thanks to the U.S. soldier but all the Europeans grown plump and prosperous in a globalized economy guaranteed by the most benign hegemon in history.
That said, Thanksgiving isn't about the big geopolitical picture, but about the blessings closer to home.
Another masterpiece of pro-American writing from Steyn. Read it all.