Just as the Republican Convention HQ at Madison Square garden is in full on protestor lockdown (NYTIMES REG REQUIRED) so the opening speeches have cast America in the role of a nation standing proud and alone against terrorism. Rudolph Guiliani, who resembles a skeletal Robert Duvall, launched a scathing attack on… well pretty much everyone other than the Republican administration. Of particular note was his blanket condemnation of Europe, following up mention of the 1972 Munich olympics massacre and the Klinghoffer murder (the assassination of a wealthy, wheelchair-bound American while on a Mediterranean cruise – since dramatised in opera form) with the critique:
‘So terrorists learned they could intimidate the world community and too often the response, particularly in Europe, was “accommodation, appeasement and compromise”.’
Leaving aside the what’s and the wherefores (the matter of domestic terrorism such as the Baader-Meinhof gang, ETA and the IRA among many others and also the touchy issue of sympathy for Palestinians) what’s been impressive about the Republican stance is its lack of compromise. Anyone whose view differs in the slightest (Democrat or European) is an appeaser, just as was the case in the 1930s. In the lingo of post 11th September, they’re either with America or against them. The scary thing is that this form of neo-isolationism is probably going to win the day in November.
While parliament is in recess, the Republican convention is available to view on BBC Parliament