Dear Mr.Vice President, Memorial Day, 2010
Your, now infamous, speech in Brussels some days ago to EU dignitaries has been singularly insensitive and insulting not only to Washington,D.C. but to the fallen heroes of the United States armed forces who had given their lives to protect freedom in this land and securing freedom in many other lands.
This is part of what you said:
“As you probably know, some American politicians and American journalists refer to Washington, DC as the “capital of the free world.” But it seems to me that this great city, which boasts 1,000 years of history and which serves as the capital of Belgium, the home of the European Union, and the headquarters for NATO, this city has its own legitimate claim to that title.”
Neither Washington nor Brussels are the “freedom capitals of the worlds”. The United States, as the land of freedom, from the Civil War to the present day war in Afganistan,can only make that claim.
Ever since this Administration took office White House speech writers have tried to outdo each other to openly question American exeptionalism, particularly in the quest for freedom at home and abroad. Your speech in Brussels, was a particularly sad and inappropriate example of that just days before Memorial Day. Not far from Brussels lie the vast beaches of Normandy where large US sacrifices paved the way for a prosperous and free Europe, for a free Brussels today. No concentration of modern day institutions or colorful history can make a “claim to that title.”
You refer to “some American politicians and American journalists” as you so unabashedly attempt to ingratiate yourself with your hosts, while belittling all in the United States. But explain your claim and the motivation for it to the survivors of concentration camps, the millions of war displaced, the East European refugees as they have risked their lives to escape to freedom, the Muslim victims of genocide in the Balkan, the desperate boat people of Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos and the present day Cuban refugees. Do you believe that any one of these freedom yearning people had visions of the capital of Belgium as the “capital of the free world.”?
You owe an apology, most of all the people of the United States for your unfortunate remarks about Washington, D.C. symbolizing the land, as well as an apology to freedom loving people everywhere.