Guardian readers in this country obviously get a kick out of watching Richard Dawkins, Antonia Fraser, and so on pleasuring themselves about the barbarity of Republicans. We have had a further kick from the Usenet-quality abuse which greeted this from parts of the USA. But I don’t think any minds have been changed, and the operation has now been shut down.
I suspect that the ‘”overwhelming response” they have received came once Fox News and CNN encouraged the wingers to pump their views into every Guardian email address they can find. As everyone knows, they have got HUGE willies, and lots of time.
A friend inside the building writes It’s appalling. They’re writing in their thousands, expatiating on the desirability of us keeping our butts out of their affairs, how they beat us in 1776, how they saved our asses in two world wars, how they’re stopping us being beheaded in our beds by towel heads, how we’re fucking commie-loving liberals who should eat our own shit. Oh and how we’ve all got bad teeth on account of our dentistry…All was well until the story appeared on CNN …
Ths interesting thing about this story is that it isn’t got up by the media. The Guardian didn’t need to incite a fear and horror of Bush among British readers. It takes an effort to write and post (snail) a letter, yet 14,000 readers wrote to Clark County voters. They have been counter-productive. They may well, in fact, have made more likely the thing they fear. But their fear and distrust was there before the paper tapped it.
Similarly, there’s nothing much phoney about the outrage this has provoked. Hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions of Americans really do seem to loathe and despise the British. Email is easier and infinitely cheaper than snail mail. So we can perhaps expect a lot more than 14,000 replies. But they don’t hate us because of the Guardian’s intervention, or because Fox News tells them to. It’s just part of their culture.
It’s a pity that ths should coincide with the row over the Black Watch being moved into Sunni areas. I think it’s absolutely disgraceful of Labour back-benchers to demand that our troops be kept out of danger. This war is wrong and immoral, but if we are fighting it at all, we should be at the front, and sharing the danger — possibly even doing a better job than the Marines we relieve. But then I’m a Guardian writer.
However, the alliance which this war was meant to cement gets weaker and weaker. Both stories show that, in their different ways.