FOREIGN REACTION TO 9/11….Yesterday I wrote a short post about a French radio host who claimed that most of his callers after 9/11 thought that the terrorist attacks “served us right.” I got a few responses and thought I would share them:
From an Australian:
I have to say that I found much the same sentiments expressed here in Australia, although I didn’t ever hear anyone at all say it was “well done”. In fact everyone I know was absolutely horrified, but the next comment was always “they brought it on themselves, didn’t they?” However, official comment by Government, radio, television and print never once made that suggestion. Anti-Ameican feeling seems to be rising rapidly here at present, but it is directed at American policy and the Bush administration rather than against the Americans as people.
From a New Yorker who travels to Europe a lot:
I never heard any anti-American comments. I never heard anything but sympathy for the Sept. 11 attacks. All the people I met, from cab drivers to business colleagues, seemed fully capable of distinguishing between the American people, which they seemed to like, and the Bush administration, which they either hated or thought was insane, or both.
From a resident of Germany:
I drove down to southern France for a family event prior to September 11 2001. On the way back I kept listening to the car radio, changing stations during the day (it’s a long drive). It was all talks about 9/11 and lots of people called in. Most of the calls were live and the comments spontaneous (or so it seemed to me). The feelings expressed towards the US unanimously were sympathy and solidarity. The same I could say of anybody I talked to during the family event. I certainly had a very different impression than what Christophe Hondelatte describes in the LA Times article. What he says seems incredible to me, I don’t know how to interpret his comment.
I don’t know much about this Hondelatte fellow, but I checked the polls from 9/11 in France and I don’t think his remarks are indicative of a broad feeling. They do indicate that the French thought (and think) that American foreign policy is partly to blame, but that is certainly not the same as saying the Americans deserved it.
No conclusions, I just wanted to share some other thoughts on the matter. Make of it what you will.