America, My Love

Elle McKenzie

Dear George

If you see the demonstrations do not underestimate their meaning. This is not Old Europe anti-Americanism. No, this is personal. This is about you and your neo-conservative monsters who have illegitimately captured the White House. Go now, don't come back, be a one-term aberration the world can forget as soon as possible.

Polly Toynbee
Journalist

Dear George

Anti-Americanism exists. At a very rough guess, perhaps one in 20 British people, and one in five of those demonstrating against you, are in some meaningful sense "anti- American", though most of them would deny it. But even among those demonstrating against you, four out of five are not. They're not anti- American; they're anti-Bush.

In a year's time, Americans will vote for a new president. Most of the people on the streets of London, whether actively demonstrating or privately muttering, are not against America; they just want the other America. Think of them as Democrats, casting an early overseas vote.

Yours sincerely,

Timothy Garton Ash
Writer and fellow of St Antony's College, Oxford

Dear George

I am a US citizen who has lived in London for eight years. I have proudly voted in every presidential election in the past 18 years, but I did not vote for you and consider that your administration effectively stole the White House. I am deeply opposed to nearly everything you stand for. The anti-Americanism that has become the acceptable form of racism in the UK is your fault.

Paolo Grattone
Guardian Reader

(Excerpts of reader letters from 'Dear George',
The Guardian (Manchester UK), 18th November 2003)


America, my love

America, wake up darling. We need to talk.
Bush is taking your soul and leaving you with nothing.
Can you hear the sound of tens of thousands of feet protesting?
It is not you they are angry with but the flaming scarlet ignorance of your government. The posse are after the Bush Gang and Tony the Kid. Wake up before you become a not so innocent victim in the shootout.

You ask me, where are the protest songs?
There are none, because they were all yours, almost every one.
Where is your stardust, and where have all your flowers gone?
Coming back in body bags one by one. When will you ever learn?

America, don't worry, it's not over. I haven't stopped loving you.
America, you are a breathtaking work of staggering genius.
Thank you for giving me the greatest loves of my life.
Thank you for Sal Paradise and Dean Moriarty, and
For William Carlos Williams and Scott Fitzgerald.
Thank you for milesdavischarlieparkerdizzygillespiejohncoltrane
Thank you for being cool.
Thank you for Walt Whitman,
and, of course, for Bob Dylan.
Big up to Dre, Jay-Z and Eminem.
I like them.

America, I fell in love with New York at first sight, and I'm still in love.
America, you have given me great sex. Better than France.
I am sending you a big kiss for that.

America.
Be proud of those who walked their way to freedom
For they are yours.
Be proud of those who stood up to the witch hunts.
For they are yours, too.
Be proud of those who now dare to shout, 'not in my name'
For they are the guardians of your true inheritance.
Be proud of the soldiers who have died unnecessarily in your name
But don't be proud there are too many of them,
or of a government that has no shame.

America be proud but not arrogant, for
I am not proud of everything you have done.
I am not proud of your death penalty, or
of your gun laws.
I am not proud of your disregard for the environment, or
of the fact that you allowed a thief in the White House,
and then you sat by while he stole your birthright.

America, tell me, why are your rich so rich and your poor so poor?

America, I'm sorry for laughing at the Midwest.
I apologise for all our sophisticated sneers.
You can put them down to sour grapes and fear.

Sweetheart, I am depending on you.
Wake up and see the mess Bush has made!
I want more Super Passion and less Super Power
Oh yes, and a lot more compassion
For me, and you and him and her.

America darling, the sound of feet is getting louder.
Open your heart, open the door.
America, do the right thing!
Vote with your feet.
I am, lovingly, waiting.


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