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15 December 2003

The Decline and Fall of Western Civilization

Elizabeth I (1588)
I know I have the body but of a weak and feeble woman, but I have the heart and stomach of a king, and a king of England too. And take foul scorn that Parma or Spain, or any Prince of Europe should dare to invade the borders of my realm.

Abraham Lincoln (1863)
. . . that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain - that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom - and that government, of the people, for the people and by the people, shall not perish from the earth.

Winston Churchill (1940)
. . . we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender . . .

Paul Bremer (2003)
Ladies and gentlemen, [dramatic? pause] we got 'im!

In case this is too subtle on its own, I was not impressed with Mr. Bremer's hip and happening 21st century vernacular. My English husband was frankly disgusted by it. This, from Outside the Beltway, and other posts on a mix of liberal and libertarian/conservative American blogs, makes me wonder about Americans' general reaction to such boorish triumphalism.

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