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I Love America

Jamie Glazov
August 28, 2001
I have loved America my whole life despite the scorn and ridicule I have faced for doing so. I spent many years on the university campus, you see.

I was born in Moscow in 1966. From my first moment of birth, I existed in an atmosphere of terror. This was not because I was abused by my parents. I swam in their love. But Mom and Dad were dissidents in the Soviet Union and they waited for a knock at the door at any moment. They knew that the KGB could come anytime and take them away. And what would happen to me, my brother, and my sister?

Even though I was a child, the fear and hysterical paranoia that Soviet totalitarianism instilled in me, and in my family, has remained ingrained in me till this day.

There was a KGB operation in process to arrest my father, but Dad took a risk and applied for a visa to get out of the Soviet Union. That act alone could have landed him in a psychiatric hospital. Till this day, I am convinced that one of our guardian angels was working overtime. We were allowed out.

I remember how, as we were planning our departure, my older brother, Grisha, assured me that we were on our way to a paradise America. He was nine years old and I was five. His description of America was something that only dreams were made of. He assured me that it was filled with toys and chocolate bars.

We lived in Rome and Milan for a while. That was paradise already, because I received toys and candies that I had never before laid eyes on. I could even eat as many bananas as I wanted to.

After four months, we arrived in New York City. Grisha was right. I will never forget my first experience in the department stores. Throughout my childhood, I had to improvise with large spoons in order to pretend they were rifles. Now, my jaw dropped open for hours at a time as I stared in awe at the infinite number of toy rifles available to me.

The impact of freedom, as well as of the new standard of living, left an indelible impression on my soul. I will never forget how ecstatic my parents were to get access to the books that they had dreamed of all of their lives, and how they now had the time to read them. They were liberated, after all, from standing for hours in long lines just to feed their children. Dad could also now publicly speak out in defense of Soviet citizens who were languishing in the Gulag and in psychiatric hospitals for their political and religious beliefs. And he could do so without fear.

It was a miracle. It was America.

And then, I gradually began to notice something very bizarre and frightening. There were certain people, from the universities, who reprimanded my father at our dinner table and told him that America was the most terrible place in the world. They were like aliens to me, and they left a bitter taste in my mouth and anger in my heart. It was personal.

Looking back now, I understand that these were members of the counterculture and the anti-war demonstrators of that time. As a child, I hated their guts.

I still hate their guts.

I remember when we first moved to Halifax, Nova Scotia, we ran into something as repulsive and putrid as the KGB. My father had come to teach at Dalhousie University. At one of our first social gatherings, a woman professor said to my parents: "Oh yes, we have a great department. Edgar Friedenberg teaches here. He is American but very good."

American but very good? I remember how my parents were horrified when they came home that night. My father remarked that that was how Russians talked about Jews in Russia. Mom and Dad were soon to learn that Canadian anti-Americanism was a mutated form of Russian anti-Semitism.

I love America. America gave my family its first real safe haven from hell. It protected the free world from the cannibalistic system that murdered and bestialized millions of my people.

In this world, where so many people trample and spit on the American flag, and, like the Islamic fanatics, even relish burning it, I will say this: give me an American flag and I will bow in front of it.

And I will kiss it.

Jamie Glazov holds a Ph.D. in History with a specialty in Soviet Studies. He is the author of 15 Tips on How to be a Good Leftist.. His father, Yuri Glazov, was a Soviet dissident during the Brezhnev era, who signed the Letter of Twelve, denouncing Soviet human rights abuses. His mother, Marina Glazov, also participated in the dissident movement in the Soviet Union, actively typing and circulating Samizdat - the underground political literature. To avoid imprisonment, Yuri Glazov took his family out of the USSR in 1972 and settled in Canada in 1975, when Jamie was 9. Today Jamie battles socialism from his high-tech warroom in Toronto. He writes the Dr. Progressive advice column for angst-ridden leftists at         E-mail him at


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