On the


Views from a Foreigner

You call me an “alien” here, as if I am from Mars. You remember, that little E.T? So be it, I’ll be from Mars. Even the folks of the national census bureau had trouble planting me in their various boxes. No, I’m not illegal. Far from that. I’m a guest .

Well then, as a guest I must watch my words. A guest dare not make bad comments to his host for fear he be thrown out of his house. So my “free speech” is constrained by that very fact: I don’t have a vote so I can’t claim the first amendment either.  However, I do live here with my eyes wide open and do observe events with my alien view.

After some 35 years, I almost feel American because your lifestyle is so contagious. It’s still the place where everyone wants to live. Many of you don’t understand why, but if you’ve been in Calcutta in India, Dhaka in Bangladesh, Lagos in Nigeria, or Mexico City, you do.

But America has changed in the years since World War II. You liberated Europe once again after losing many splendid men and women. I remember the endless flow of aircrafts coming in from England in 1945 to drop bags of food on the bare tulip fields, after we’d been eating bread made from those same tulip bulbs during the famine of 1944-’45. Many trucks came in to protect us from these dirty nazis, sometimes with no one behind the wheel because you couldn’t see them through the window screens as the drivers were black.

That’s the USA we remember, the proud and strong USA of Eisenhower that began to change in the sixties. Euphoria and decadence took over at the same time, with one exception and that were the Reagan years that did Russia in. The urban mindset in East and West turned soft, dropped its values and became complacent. Not that we in Europe did any better, to the contrary, but because America held the compass we always felt safe.

Now, we’re not so sure anymore. Oh yes, we still live and take it easy, but we’re selling our soul for Russian gaz, neglect the threat of Islamic extremism for fear of reprisals, and compromise with Iranian thugs. Because one day when you’re not there anymore to protect us, we want to be on the safe side…

See you next time.

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