The following was said to be written by a dentist in Australia.
You probably missed it in the rush of news last week, but there was actually
a report that someone in Pakistan had published in a newspaper an offer of a
reward to anyone who killed an American, any American. So I just thought I
would write to let them know what an American is, so they would know when
they found one.
An American is English, or French, or Italian, Irish, German, Spanish,
Polish, Russian or Greek. An American may also be Mexican, African, Indian,
Chinese, Japanese, Australian, Iranian, Asian, or Arab, or Pakistani, or
Afghan. An American may also be a Cherokee, Osage, Blackfoot, Navaho, Apache,
or one of the many other tribes known as native Americans.
An American is Christian, or he could be Jewish, or Buddhist, or Muslim. In
fact, there are more Muslims in America than in Afghanistan. The only
difference is that in America they are free to worship as each of them
chooses. An American is also free to believe in no religion. For that he will
answer only to God, not to the government, or to armed thugs claiming to
speak for the government and for God.
An American is from the most prosperous land in the history of the world. The
root of that prosperity can be found in the Declaration of Independence,
which recognizes the God given right of each man and woman to the pursuit of
An American is generous. Americans have helped out just about every other
nation in the world in their time of need. When Afghanistan was overrun by
the Soviet army 20 years ago, Americans came with arms and supplies to enable
the people to win back their country. As of the morning of September 11,
Americans had given more than any other nation to the poor in Afghanistan.
The best products, the best books, the best music, the best food, the best
Americans welcome the best, but they also welcome the least. The national
symbol of America welcomes your tired and your poor, the wretched refuse of
your teeming shores, the homeless, tempest tossed These in fact are the
people who built America. Some of them were working in the Twin Towers in the
morning of September 11, earning a better life for their families. I've been
told that the people in the Towers were from at least 30, and maybe many
more, other countries, cultures, and first languages, including those that
aided and abetted the terrorists. So you can try to kill an American if you
must. Hitler di! d. So did General Tojo, and Stalin, and Mao Tse Tung, and
every bloodthirsty tyrant in the history of the world. But, in doing so you
be killing yourself. Because Americans are not a particular people from a
particular place. They are the embodiment of the human spirit of freedom.
Everyone who holds to that spirit, everywhere, is an American.
So look around you. You may find more Americans in your land than you thought
were there. One day they will rise up and overthrow the old, ignorant, tired
tyrants that trouble too many lands. Then those lands, too, will join the
community of free and prosperous nations.
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