Posted by Bowser on December 29, 2001 at 11:57:35:
In Reply to: To debate, After 9/11, do irish think of irish americans the same? posted by al on December 29, 2001 at 05:41:36:
Must say I haven't noticed any articles in Irish newspapers describing American citizens as monsters. Maybe we need to examine the evidence before launching into the debate - a few links to the articles maybe?
A few points of note - Ireland was the only western country to shut down completely for an official day of mourning in sympathy with the US on 14th September. The Irish Times did not publish on that day in sympathy with the US - a most unusual event - and pubs restaurants government offices, businesses everywhere shut down. (US businesses did not actually approve of the move though.) We all have friends and relations in the US as in the UK and without fail everyone had great sympathy for the victims of the attacks on WTC and the Pentagon and of course we were traumatised ourselves by the TV scenes.
The web site polls here have consistently shown massive support for the US Afghanistan war effort and the even-handed approach of the US government in the face of incredible pressures. That doesn't mean we like the US opt out on Kyoto, the treatment of Cuba, Star Wars and the resultant abandonment of a lot of international weapons treaties.
The two things are not incompatible - the approval rating for our own government is significantly less than the approval rating given to the US campaign in Afghanistan but generally we do approve of our own government - but it doesn't mean we have to like some of the idiotic decisions they make.
Another important factor is that we get a lot more international news here than you do in the US - which is entirely understandable as the population of Ireland is equivalent ot a medium sized city in the UK and we are much more exposed to the world at large whereas the US is such a huge country and ts media has a lot to report upon without leaving its borders. Also, we have a lot of soldiers and gardai out on UN duty in places like Kosova and Lebanon (until recently) looking for mass graves and assembling evidence against war criminals, cleaning up landmines, keeping the peace and helping to rebuild war torn countries. I may be wrong but I would claim that we have a more balanced view of the world as a whole as a result of our more exposed position.
We still love to visit America and certainly American visitors here are well looked after and we are delighted with the huge US investment in the country - we are the biggest exporters of software in Europe mainly due to companies of US origin.