American

The following was said to be written by a
dentist in Australia.
An American

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,
French, Italian, Irish, German, Spanish, Polish, Russian or Greek. An American
may also be Mexican, African, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Australian, Iranian,
Asian, Arab, 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, 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 happiness.


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 athletes.

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 did. 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 would just 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. And America will welcome them!