Canterbury Tales

No big surprise here – Archbishop of Canterbury asserts that the U.S. is the worst imperialist since the British Empire.

He said the crisis was caused not just by America’s actions but also by its misguided sense of its own mission. He poured scorn on the “chosen nation myth of America, meaning that what happens in America is very much at the heart of God’s purpose for humanity”.

As told on the way to Becket’s Tomb

Williams went beyond his previous critique of the conduct of the war on terror, saying the United States had lost the moral high ground since September 11. He urged it to launch a “generous and intelligent programme of aid directed to the societies that have been ravaged; a check on the economic exploitation of defeated territories; a demilitarisation of their presence”.

He went on to suggest that the West was fundamentally adrift: “Our modern western definition of humanity is clearly not working very well. There is something about western modernity which really does eat away at the soul.”

Some of the comments there are exceedingly entertaining. One can’t help but feel if the Dear Boy got out a bit more, he might have a different take.


  1. Comment says

    Just tuned into Scarborough’s morning show after seeing that Tweety quote. He has this awsome Hillary clip with Katy Couric. HRC has her game face on when she says, quite convincingly, that she has not even contemplated losing – You’ll probably see the clip. Barack looked ineffectual in the back and forth. He cannot attack. Hillary’s sense of command is clear – If Tweety saw it, he would probably start whistling that Guns & Roses tune.

  2. Comment says

    Get me my Guardian! We just went over to the Times agains and saw nearly 300 comments on Rowan’s outburst.
    Rowan has no sense of self awareness.
    Does anyone attend CoE mass anymore?
    His entire authority stems from fumes from Britain’s past – Does he think Israelis will be impressed with his joint holiday service. LOL – Rowan does control a lot of interesting church properties, so he probably does have interesting things to say about real estate.
    It would be great to read Tom Wolfe reporting on Williams during one of his parties with his Muslim friends. Mark Steyn has an easy job sometimes. It’s a shame.

  3. Comment says

    Almost anytime Romney opens his mouth to attempt to demagogue or stay on script, he puts Rudy in a position to respond with sarcasm. Huckabee’s rancid populism seems to be catching on in Iowa, so Romney may be seriously weakened when he hits NH.

  4. Comment says

    Delia – historically speaking “American exceptionalism” just means things in America tend to be different than in Europe. It’s not a value judgement – We might be wrong, but we think Alexis deT originated the phrase.
    Only lately have some Republicans reinterpreted it to be some sort of slogan for being better.
    We don’t deny the fact that Bush has been a menace – we just question Williams standing.
    Dean would not have made some of the bad points that Williams made. Williams and his “Muslim lifestyle magazine” just played into the hands of Steyn & Co. We expect he’ll pounce soon enough.

  5. Delia says

    You lot of anonymous commenters need to read some more history before you go into denial mode. The Archbishop has a load of objectively accurate points. The delusion of American exceptionalism. The Brits, the French, the Germans, the Russians have all believed their own culture and people were unique and blessed by Heaven. Hell, so do the Chinese. It’s the human condition. Let’s get over it. We’re no better than anybody else. Never have been. Never will be. We’ll all be much happier and healthier if we can come to believe that. America’s “quick burst of violent action” has led to disaster? This is news to you? What rock have you been living under? We’ve lost our way since 9/11? Yeah, it changed everything, all right. It made everything a whole lot worse and it’s our own damn fault and not the terrorists’ fault at all. Again, the Archbishop isn’t the first one to bring this tale to your door, not if you’ve been even partially awake these past few years. American leadership has broken down? Well, duh . . . John Dean just wrote a book called Broken Government and he used to work for Nixon.

    So he thinks his own folk did a slightly better job in India. Well, time will tell there who comes off worse in the long run. A pretty dubious contest in any case. And as a religious figure, he complimented his reading audience on one of their well-known devotional practices.

    If you’re insulted that an English pastor had the temerity to question the Unquestionable Great American Good-Heartedness, and before Our Muslim Enemies, no less, well it’s time to drop your delusions. The only cure for lies is truth, and there’s been a pretty short supply of that in this country of late. I don’t know if it’s still possible to avoid the pit or not, but we certainly won’t as long as the majority keep up with lies and denial.

  6. Dr.LeoStrauss says

    Watching this whole judge thing unfold on Romney . . . I mean, really. The man has never studied the sweet science evidently.

  7. A Random Quote says

    “…based on the numbers of American Muslims [as a percentage] in our population, I cannot see that a cabinet position would be justified. But of course, I would imagine that Muslims could serve at lower levels of my administration.”
    ~Mitt Romney
    (showing his ironic
    Mormon sensibility)

  8. Comment says

    Flipping the channel, we turn on Larry King and he has this woman evangelis Paula White on. We have never heard of her, but she is supposedly famous and infamous for living high on the hog. King is asking her to define God. Time to change the channel. But we pause to reflect on the many silos of fame our land. Oh, we just caught a clip of her act. Not bad – plus an integrated congregation. In reality, she probably has a bigger actual following than Rowan Williams

  9. Comment says

    Maybe Condi can invite Rowan Williams to Annapolis to give a nice ecumenical blessing – providing he wears a Bob Hope checkered jacket and tells everyone he’s a comedian
    The chances for real settlement are zero. Even the Clinton thing was overblown and things were a lot closer to possible back then.
    Condi lacks credibility in the Mid East. Birth Pangs of Tragedy and The Spirit of Condi. Could make a good opera.
    None of the leaders want peace agreement – not Olmert, not Abbas, not Assad, etc.
    Incidentally Abbas is a holocaust denier. It was actually the subject of his PhD dis (under Soviet supervision) – If the Israelis chose to ignore that, that’s their business. But it does seem odd since it’s one of their principle objections to Ahmadinejad – And the latter has backtracked on this score..
    It seems the whole point of this Annapolis show is so people can pose and preen and waste time. Even if Bush wanted a peace agreement, he would avoid it – Too risky politically. But he has to go thru the motions – like the road map etc

  10. Dr.LeoStrauss says

    We’ve avoided the whole Annapolis thing because it was such an obvious car wreck in slow motion. It will be amusing to see how this tawdry exercise in atmospherics is transformed in her memoirs into a heroic outreach just shy by a by a few JPost OpEds . . .

  11. Comment says

    re Condi says “Failure is not an option” in Annapolis peace conf. When you consider the fact that failure is almost assured, you can see Condi being correct again in her own way.

  12. Comment says

    Imagine Rowan William shambling around Nigeria wearing his outfit and listening to his iPod. When the Nigerians ask him what he is listening to, he tells them he is grooving to some socially relevant Jello Biafra music. Before he can finish his sentence, he is hanging from his fingernails.

  13. Comment says

    Hunter – we see your point, but disagree in that we think Africans would be deeply unimpressed with Williams liberal pieties. However, maybe Jonas Savimbi would have him over for dinner …

  14. Comment says

    Hunter – we see your point, but disagree in that we think Africans would be deeply unimpressed with Williams liberal pieties.

  15. Hunter says

    There are a couple of things going on here… Most importantly, the Anglican communion is growing fastest in Africa. The immediate fallout of this is that when the Episcopal Church USA began ordaining gay bishops, it caused a massive brouhaha because the fundamentalist branch of the church here found allies in the Africans. The British Anglicans are (by and large) more on the liberal (in the American sense of that term) side of things. BUT they get more souls from Africa now, where especially in north Africa the christians and the muslims are in a real struggle for souls (in their minds, anyway). So these sorts of condemnations are the result… a way for the mother church to distance themselves from the US (for the Africans) without alienating their British flock.

    In sum, I think this really isn’t about us, or the regime: the message isn’t for us, and may well be successful with its target audience.

  16. Comment says

    “He contrasted it unfavourably with how the British Empire governed India …”
    Pretty funny he chose India, the one country that would not produce howls of laughter when you praise Britain’s imperial role. Too bad Gee Dubs and the neos are all anglophiles and probably would have sided with the the Crown in 1776. Maybe Williams glories in remembering the Opium war or the vast wipeouts of Africans after ww2 or the cynical map lines drawn in Iraq, Israel, India/Pak, Cyprus, or cutting of the Greeks and the Armenians.
    It’s debatable whether or not the Irish were victims of genocide, but it was close.
    This is no defense of Bush – just pointing out that Williams is a fool and he is clown-like in seeking Muslim approval.

  17. Comment says

    “In a wide-ranging interview with a British *Muslim* magazine …”
    With lines like this , Gee Dubs and the neocons could read this interview like a bunch of college stoners watching Reefer Madness.
    Indeed, it’s not too much of stretch to imagine them all gathered up at Camp David reading it too each other as Laura runs out to get pizza and chips.

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