We’re great fans of the irrreverent talk show host Bill Maher.
As we were channel-flipping a few minutes ago, we were delighted to see Bill Maher being interviewed by Mike Huckabee on Fox News (of all channels, who’d have thought).
Here’s an excerpt from the interview:
Human beings are tribal by nature and religion makes that much, much worse.
Â – Bill Maher on Mike Huckabee’s show on Fox News, November 2, 2008, 8:30 PM
Needless to say, we agree with Bill.
Bill Maher is a dope. I get tired of him and half the country talking about how terrible Bush is, blah blah blah.
If America is such a terrible place, why are people so desperate to leave Cuba and risk their lives by traveling in flimsy rafts through shark infested waters in an attempt to get to Miami? Why do people from Mexico continually crawl under fences through Texas and California? Even if they work illegally for a few dollars an hour, they would rather do that than stay in their own country.
If America is so terrible, why are there numerous anecdotes and references on this site to NRIs and the millions of Indians who have come here over the years and keep coming here on H1B visas? If America is so bad, then why are so many countries so excited to open McDonald’s, Starbucks, Pizza Hut, KFC, etc. in their cities?
When I lived in England, a lot of people would say some nasty things to me because I was from America. They think the only reason why Britain has troops in Iraq and Afghanistan is because the US does and that war is bad, blah blah blah. They conveniently forget that America saved Europe’s ass in WWII and if it wasn’t for the USA coming in when they did, half the world in 2008 including flight traffic controllers, movie stars, doctors, would be speaking German instead of English. To show what wonderful people America and its leaders are, even after we destroyed Japan and Germany during WWII, we cared enough to rebuild the countries. In Europe, the Marshall Plan enabled most European countries whose infrastructure was damaged through the war to help rebuild and replenish their resources. What the US did to help out Japan and Germany is quite similar to what is being done to help Iraq and Afghanistan. However, all anyone wants to talk about is how the US is only in it for the oil.
I might be tempted to think this, if it were not for a woman I heard speak about 6 or 7 years ago at a museum panel in New Jersey. She was a Holocaust survivor, and the only survivor from her own family, the rest of which were killed in a concentration camp. A question was raised to the panel about whether or not the US should be in Iraq bringing down Saddam Hussein. While the other three people on the panel said it was wrong and we were meddling in other people’s business, this woman said, “I wish there had been a president like George Bush back in the 1930s, because then I wouldn’t have had to see my family die.” People forget that while the US got involved after the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941, most of the world including the US turned a blind eye to Hitler who began rounding up and killing Jews as early as 1933. She went on to say that regardless of the reasons for going into Iraq, it needed to be done to save the people there because Hussein was a mass murderer and dictator just like Hitler.
There was a documentary recently being shown on television and during it, an international student from Kuwait was interviewed and told about how he was being harassed by his professor because the student stood up in class to defend George Bush (and George H.W. Bush) because American troops had saved his family. When he was a little boy in Kuwait, his father and all of his uncles were kidnapped and tortured in Iraqi prisons while the family’s land was destroyed. Saddam Hussein was burning all of the oil wells and the country was being terrorized. The US sent in troops to save Kuwait and eventually the US troops helped free his father and uncles. He lived through this first hand and was stating his case on why right now the US should be seen as heroes for going in and cleaning up Iraq and Afghanistan. His professor meanwhile went to the international office to try and intimidate the administration into revoking his student visa and send him back to Kuwait. So the great irony was that he was almost kicked out of America for standing up for America.
While I don’t think Bush is perfect and there are things that he could do better and things about America that could be better, people need to get a grip. If it’s so terrible, why aren’t people chomping at the bit to go live in North Korea? America is a great place.
1. We’ve always believed that while America is not Utopia, this is as good as it can possibly get.
That said, it’s the duty of citizenry in every country to constantly introspect and engage in self-criticism to prevent things from deteriorating. If we had done this effectively, the current Wall Street crisis would not have been this bad.
2. You write: Bill Maher is a dope. I get tired of him and half the country talking about how terrible Bush is, blah blah blah
Bill Maher talks about more than just Bush…often lampoons the Christian right and their unswerving faith…including in the new movie Religulous.
3. It’s true that we marched into Europe and saved the continent first with our Army and then with the Marshall plan…but that was then this is now.
But to rest our oars on a good deed 63 years ago is to ignore the march of civilization.
4. The Iraq war was built on the false premise of non-existent Weapons of Mass Destruction. Imagine the furore in this country, if Russia were to invade Saudi Arabia on the specious grounds that the Saudis had some missiles targeted at Moscow. We have a trigger-happy dodo in the White House with a sidekick (Dick Cheney), who can’t shoot straight literally or figuratively.
5. Regarding the folks (Cubans, Mexicans..Indian coolies…) desperate to come to America, the attraction of America has waned considerably because of the current financial mess. Even the Border Patrol on our Southern borders is reporting fewer illegal immigrants coming here. See this San Francisco Chronicle story.
When even Mexican don’t want to come to our country, we know things have gotten really bad in America.
If Mexicans are coming in lesser numbers to our nations, Indians with higher degree (H1B) are not going to be that desperate to knock on our doors.