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The Essential America: Our Founders and the Liberal Tradition - by George McGovern, Simon and Schuster, 2004

Excerpt from Chapter 6, "Come Home, America", pp. 145-146

I LEARNED OF THE World Trade Center disaster while having lunch with editors of the International Herald Tribune in Paris. As the American ambassador to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization in Rome, I was leaving that day on a mission to Africa to evaluate the malnutrition and AIDS epidemic on that besieged continent. Immediately, in France, Italy, and other European states and across Africa, there was an outpouring of sympathy and support for America. French diplomats and government officials I conferred with before continuing on my mission to Africa were struggling with tearful responses. The next day a leading French newspaper carried a headline: "We Are Now All Americans."

Regretfully, that genuine outpouring of sympathy from Paris to Tokyo, Rome to Moscow, Jerusalem to Johannesburg, Sydney to Mexico City, was thrown away by the Bush strategists. I can think of no other period in American history when our politics, our policies, and our diplomacy so quickly converted the goodwill of the world into outright resentment and fear of the American colossus. Most of the anti-American sentiment that swept the world stemmed from Mr. Bush's bullying, unilateral invasion of Iraq in defiance of the United Nations and international opinion everywhere. Exceptions were the British prime minister and a few other heads of state. In each case, public opinion polls in those countries indicated that the citizenry was strongly against our war in Iraq. America has been left standing virtually alone as far as the people of the rest of the world are concerned.

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