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themuffinman
02 Jun 04,, 14:43
Anti-Americanism

Armstrong Williams
Tuesday, June 1, 2004

The Marshall Plan, or America's decision to rebuild Europe and Japan following World War II, was quite new. It went beyond traditional notions of geography and history and embraced a new vision: using free trade and democracy to create a series of interlocking relationships that end war.

In many ways, it birthed history's first democratic empire. It also exemplified what is great about this country - a democratic ideal, a sprit of greater good. And it worked, not just to make the world safer, but to make it better. I don't think there can be any argument about this. The success of America in the post war period represents the triumph of democracy and modernity over feudal disunity.

But there has been some interesting hangover from this success. With the rise of America, the global balance of power shifted away from the old European powers. One of the more predictable responses has been an undercurrent of jealousy about the relative strength and position of prominence that the United States enjoys in the world.

President Bush's invasion of Iraq provided the old European powers with some convenient cover to act out this jealousy. If you listen to the European leaders it often sounds as if they are blaming America for what happened on September 11. They talk less and less about the terrorists, and more and more about America's relative wealth and wastefulness.

In such a manner, they transform the United States into a Texas-sized target for all the ills of modernity. Cue the sentiments of envy and resentment. The UN responds by lashing out at the abuse of Iraqi prisoners. They do not pass resolutions when an American is decapitated live on the Internet.

If this seems like odd behavior, considering we keep U.S. troops stationed in Europe for their own protection, it is also somewhat predictable. It's basic scapegoating, a way to claim intellectual and moral superiority over the lone superpower, to identify yourself as part of a resistance, and to provide some psychological linkage to the glory days of the old European empires.

It's the rhetorical equivalent of asserting your masculine dominance. Anti-Americanism is how France, which has the Gross National Product of Georgia, is able to still occupy a place on the world stage.

We see a similar - albeit more vitriolic - response from non-western countries. As Samuel P. Huntington observed in The Clash of Civilizations: "The underlying problem for the West is not Islamic fundamentalism. It is Islam, a different civilization whose people are convinced of the superiority of their culture and are obsessed with the inferiority of their power."

Often, the leaders of the Arab world capitalize on these feelings of anger and inferiority to distract citizens from their own failed rule. Economic stagnation is blamed on a nexus of crippling political decisions handed down by America. Citizens are told their way of life is under assault. The youth display their loyalty to the state by strapping bombs to their chest and blowing themselves up.

So long as the citizens are kept red of tooth and claw, they have little time to reflect on the mismanagement and oppression of their own leaders. Nor do they push for things like equality or democracy or market privatization or any number of policies that are badly needed in the Arab world.

More shocking is the strain of anti-Americanism that exists here at home. Leftist newspapers and academics seem dedicated to deconstructing America for not being a utopia. They vent the frustrations and problems of modernity at America. They do not hold other countries to this level of scrutiny. Nor do they compare the United States to other countries.

They merely turn their scrutiny inward, as if they were guilty and ashamed for their own affluence. I suppose it is a measure of how good things are in America that its critics chose to focus on the problems of modernity. It is a safe bet that the citizens of Zimbabwe are more worried about whether their children will eat, than on contemplating their own existential angst.

This kind of self loathing and empathy for our attackers is dangerous because it reinforces to the radicals that attacking the US is the best way to win concessions. It is also terribly misguided.

Very simply, we should not feel guilty for being the world's sole superpower. We should not feel guilty for standing up for ourselves. We should not feel guilty for rooting out groups of people who sit around and plot ways to murder as many Americans as possible. Nor should we feel guilty for having a president who is willing to do something about this.

www.armstrongwilliams.com

http://www.newsmax.com/archives/articles/2004/6/1/132534.shtml

ChrisF202
02 Jun 04,, 20:48
Nobody is more pissed off at this intolerance and crap then I am, this is dicusting. So i guess its ok to butcher Americans live on TV but its not ok to abuse POW's that are related to the people who butchered US civilians? :mad: :mad: :mad:

Trooth
02 Jun 04,, 21:22
Nobody is more pissed off at this intolerance and crap then I am, this is dicusting. So i guess its ok to butcher Americans live on TV but its not ok to abuse POW's that are related to the people who butchered US civilians? :mad: :mad: :mad:

Neither of them are acceptable. I don't think the US media ever said it was OK to butcher US citizens. The thing you have to remember is that when the enemy does it, we don't expect any different. We (coalition) tell the world we are different, civilised etc therefore we shoot ourselves in the foot. Scale is not an issue. Propaganda does not require balance.

Leader
02 Jun 04,, 22:24
Scale is not an issue.

Moral subjectivism at work. Just because Arabs think that one cell block in one prison is the same as 20 years of systematic torture, rape, and murder does not mean they are right.

Trooth
02 Jun 04,, 23:14
Perhaps it doesn't mean they are right. But if you have to explain that it is only one cell block etc etc. Its unlikely that message will get across - who will be explaining in Iraq? As far as they are concerned it is the whole prison, i'll bet. That is the perception, which is why scale itself isn't that important.

People in Iraq will be wondering what Rumsfeld meant by "much worse". doesn't matter if it means nothing too bad, they will have filled in the blanks.

Leader
02 Jun 04,, 23:55
Perhaps it doesn't mean they are right. But if you have to explain that it is only one cell block etc etc. Its unlikely that message will get across - who will be explaining in Iraq? As far as they are concerned it is the whole prison, i'll bet. That is the perception, which is why scale itself isn't that important.

People in Iraq will be wondering what Rumsfeld meant by "much worse". doesn't matter if it means nothing too bad, they will have filled in the blanks.

So it's our fault that Arab culture is prevalent with misinformation. There is nothing we can do short of invading every Muslim country and setting up a US TV Network.

eMGee
03 Jun 04,, 00:31
Anti-Americanism? I haven't been used to anything else than that here in Europe...

Trooth
03 Jun 04,, 00:55
So it's our fault that Arab culture is prevalent with misinformation. There is nothing we can do short of invading every Muslim country and setting up a US TV Network.

That might work. And given time might come to pass.

The US, rightly or wrongly, has to deal with that misinformation. Simply saying "one cell block" on this messageboard isn't going to change that perception. It might make you feel better, granted.

There is, currently, no evidence that British soldiers have been mistreating anyone (although there is an inquiry underway at the moment). The editor of the Daily Mirror has been fired over the faked photos showing abuse of prisoners. However will the people in Iraq know this? Will they just see the photos and draw their own conclusions? Is the situation the worse for the "nce cell block" or the "fake photos"?

Ray
03 Jun 04,, 03:02
Setting up a US TV network won't help. It will be seen as a US propaganda machine.

CNN (even though a US netweork) had become a household word all over the world in the first Gulf war against Iraq. Everyone believed whatever they said. However, in the second Gulf War because of the one sided reporting with 'embedded' reporters, the credibility took a nose dive, especially since the Al Jazeerah (or whatever) gave another view which was totally opposite to the US networks.

Anywhere there is a whiff of govt control or interest, there is automatic revulsion by the population.

On the other hand, even though BBC fudged its report on good old Blair sexing things up and possibly since fudges, yet it is still taken to be credible in most parts of the world.

Psy Ops is different from propaganda. Psy Ops just tweaks the truth and makes it look credible. Propaganda is blatant lies.

If Liberals are leftists, then you should see the real leftists! I live in a Communist run state of India and they are basic bums and anarchists to say the least.

There could be many reasons for Anti Americanism. Anti American-ism is not US individual specific. It is US govt specific. I can't speak about the Moslem states and their population (possibly Huttington is right that the Moslem sees their culture uber alles but have a complex that they are not powerful enough to implement their theories of life) but in the rest of the world, it is against the US govt policies.

To be specific, if one is honest enough to admit, the US govt dictates affect the lives of every person on earth, whether they like it or not. That impinges on national self respect as also on individual beliefs. As Americans are fiercely zealous about their individual rights, so are the others in the world. Also there is a cultural difference, which is not reconciled.

Notwithstanding, everyone knows that the US has done much for the world and possibly continue to do it. Anti Americanism is not a deep seated regimen. It jsut waxes and wanes with the events in the world dictated by US policies which impinges on the national ethos. It is nothing to get alarmed about or write home about.

Leader
03 Jun 04,, 03:29
Setting up a US TV network won't help. It will be seen as a US propaganda machine.

CNN (even though a US netweork) had become a household word all over the world in the first Gulf war against Iraq. Everyone believed whatever they said. However, in the second Gulf War because of the one sided reporting with 'embedded' reporters, the credibility took a nose dive, especially since the Al Jazeerah (or whatever) gave another view which was totally opposite to the US networks.

Anywhere there is a whiff of govt control or interest, there is automatic revulsion by the population.

On the other hand, even though BBC fudged its report on good old Blair sexing things up and possibly since fudges, yet it is still taken to be credible in most parts of the world.

Psy Ops is different from propaganda. Psy Ops just tweaks the truth and makes it look credible. Propaganda is blatant lies.

If Liberals are leftists, then you should see the real leftists! I live in a Communist run state of India and they are basic bums and anarchists to say the least.

There could be many reasons for Anti Americanism. Anti American-ism is not US individual specific. It is US govt specific. I can't speak about the Moslem states and their population (possibly Huttington is right that the Moslem sees their culture uber alles but have a complex that they are not powerful enough to implement their theories of life) but in the rest of the world, it is against the US govt policies.

To be specific, if one is honest enough to admit, the US govt dictates affect the lives of every person on earth, whether they like it or not. That impinges on national self respect as also on individual beliefs. As Americans are fiercely zealous about their individual rights, so are the others in the world. Also there is a cultural difference, which is not reconciled.

Notwithstanding, everyone knows that the US has done much for the world and possibly continue to do it. Anti Americanism is not a deep seated regimen. It jsut waxes and wanes with the events in the world dictated by US policies which impinges on the national ethos. It is nothing to get alarmed about or write home about.

I think your missing the point. I do not want an American TV network. What I am saying is that there is nothing that the US can do about Arab Propaganda. They will find something bad to say about us regardless.

Leader
03 Jun 04,, 03:36
That might work. And given time might come to pass.

The US, rightly or wrongly, has to deal with that misinformation. Simply saying "one cell block" on this messageboard isn't going to change that perception. It might make you feel better, granted.

There is, currently, no evidence that British soldiers have been mistreating anyone (although there is an inquiry underway at the moment). The editor of the Daily Mirror has been fired over the faked photos showing abuse of prisoners. However will the people in Iraq know this? Will they just see the photos and draw their own conclusions? Is the situation the worse for the "nce cell block" or the "fake photos"?

The fake photos are a perfect example of the fact that there is nothing we can do about it. If the enemy is willing simply to lie to people, and the people will not hear the truth then there is nothing we can do. We have to simply do the right thing and hope the info gets to them eventually.

Confed999
03 Jun 04,, 03:42
We have to simply do the right thing and hope the info gets to them eventually.
Have to at least try to do the right thing.

Ray
03 Jun 04,, 10:18
I was talking in a generalised way, since I wanted you all to realise that the 'other world' really does not have a congenital dislike for the US. In fact, many ways we try to emulate your examples.

In so far as the Arabs are concencerned, I cannot comment. Huttington would be the expert.

It is true that when some group is peeved, reality is lost! Indeed, I am yet to hear something postitive about the US from the Middle East. Or have I missed it? Even the new council in Iraq doesn't seem to please the Iraqis. And yet, if there is not representation of all the groups, there will be chaos.

I wish we had some Middle East chap around this forum to educate me.

20/20
14 Jun 04,, 13:06
Hey all...
Okay i'm not trying to get into a morale arguent here....
But if you look at the Iraqi situation from their point of view... You have an army of foreigners who can't speak your language telling you, you cant go to the shops to get some milk at nite, or raiding your home at 2am with no reason, scaring the s### out of your family and leaving.... More than enough reason I believe for some discontent...

Also I think the instablity in Iraq is resulting in wide spread fear and hatred that was long suppressed under Saddam, the coalition soldiers are the easiest targets for the oulet of anger... It's turning more into a civil war situation, a whole climate of hate, where those who go in(no matter who) cannot be expected to be targetted....

Trooth
14 Jun 04,, 13:23
While Saddam was in power, all other forms of power were suppressed. Now that Saddam has been removed, those other forms of power are rising up to fill the vaccum. The coalition is but one of the areas of power.

We have seen this in many places in the 20th century. I don't see why it seems surprising it is happening in Iraq.

The local millitias ultimately want to fight each other and gain power. But, to do that they have to fight the coalition, so, they are doing that and pustponing the civil war until the coalition is either driven out, or leaves of its own free will. Either way, then the militia will turn on each other.

It is the responsibility of the coalition to ensure this doesn't happen. Its not an easy task to do but one we accepted when we invaded Iraq. The only way is to plan for the long term, 10 or 20 years until the Iraqi people see that the future lies with the newly created government etc, and not with the warlords.

Confed999
14 Jun 04,, 22:29
...Or locate and destroy the militias.

Trooth
14 Jun 04,, 22:51
...Or locate and destroy the militias.
Didn't work in the last few months. Experience in other ventures of this kind indicate that there will be just be more people filling the vacuum of the millitia (Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia etc etc). People love power. People with AK47s love it and have it.

Confed999
14 Jun 04,, 23:07
Didn't work in the last few months.
Attacks by Sadr's groups are way down. Attacks by the giant state sponsored militia, the Fedayeen Saddam, are way down too. The only question I have is who wants to stand up and be next?

Confed999
14 Jun 04,, 23:11
People with AK47s love it and have it.
People like me? I have enough guns and ammo to arm my block. My Uncle has enough to arm a small town, but he would be a bit short of ammo. I would say, most people in Iraq are armed, but few are fighting the Coalition.

Major_Armstrong
15 Jun 04,, 00:08
See


Germany:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2004/02/03/wgerm03.xml&sSheet=/news/2004/02/03/ixworld.html

Poland:
http://www.worldaffairsboard.com/showthread.php?threadid=1206

Poland:
http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/edit/archives/2003/12/13/2003079417

Brtain:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml;$sessionid$YN2VYTDM4NLYLQFIQMGCFGGAVCBQ UIV0?xml=/news/2001/02/04/werrf04.xml

Japan:
http://fpeng.peopledaily.com.cn/200109/26/eng20010926_81065.html

Iraqis:
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/latestnewsstory.cfm?storyID=3545668&thesection=news&thesubsection=world

China:
http://fpeng.peopledaily.com.cn/200109/21/eng20010921_80726.html

big flag:
http://www.ub2b.com/images/911flag.jpg

aquaman
22 Jun 04,, 19:34
I think it is all too easy for some people to label criticism of (or even outright open hostility toward) US government policy as "anti-Americanism". It's the lazy man's way of circling the wagons against the latest band of marauders.

Anti-Americanism is an animus against the American people or against its culture. Criticism of US political institutions is not anti-Americanism. Anti-Americanism certainly exists in the world - ranging from snide comments from Europeans about the lack of American culture to open hostility aimed at individual Americans abroad - but you can't label disagreements with government actions as anti-American. I am not the State, the State is not me.

Praxus
22 Jun 04,, 20:45
If the Government actions are ones that protect our rights such as not convicting an innocent CEO, then criticizing that action is certainly anti-thetical to American principles.

Trooth
22 Jun 04,, 23:09
I think there is definite anti-american feeling in many places in the world. But then there is anti French feeling in many places. The question is, is there any justification to people in country X taking a dislike to the antics of country Y or its people?