Tuesday, April 22, 2003

Roots of Anti-Americanism

There seems to be a widespread belief amongst neo-cons that anti-Americanism is based on jealousy of our freedom and prosperity. They hate us because we're free. They hate us because we have what they don't. How convenient. How convenient that they just assume our sainthood among nations and assume people have anti-American views for irrational reasons. America would never dirty it's hands to support its interests! Realpolitik is amoral and we have always done business in an above the board, moral fashion. Let's don't look at how we deal and have dealt with specific peoples and nations, let's don't think there may be a rational reason why somebody doesn't like the U.S., just chalk it up to jealousy. If we propped up a repressive dictator who brutalized his people, then the people who endured that brutalization must not love us because ... we can afford to sit around and watch lots of reality TV. Where's the logic in "they hate us because we're free?" Do people really suppose that other people love being repressed and brutalized and hate us because we don't? Do you think it makes sense for poor and oppressed people to blame the free for their misery and not their oppressors? Do certain Americans now hate the French because they have a lower infant mortality rate than we do? Damn those Frenchies and their superior prenatal care! Of course not. A vocal, and stupid, segment of our population thinks the French are not supporting our interests, that they may ... gasp ... have their own interests, and so they are anti-French. It all comes down to protecting our interests. That's what it comes down to for everyone everywhere -- people are against the other people whose interests conflict with their own. Nobody hates us because we're free and prosperous. The only reason anybody would believe that, or tell somebody else to believe something so clearly counterintuitive and illogical, is to justify a "see no evil" brand of smug superiority that they know in their heart doesn't bear scrutiny.
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