I remember standing in Broad Street, outside Trinity College in Oxford, with a cluster of sad people, marking the silence that was called to mourn the victims of the Word Trade Centre destruction. America had much of the world on its side at that moment. There is no clearer signal of the surrendering of this sympathy than the image of Bush, Obama and their wives with their hands on their hearts behind a very evident bullet-proof screen during the Washington ceremony to mark the 10th anniversary of the catastrophe. US embassies around the world are now ringed by mediaeval fortifications. Is this how to defend the freedoms of their self-proclained “free world?”.