Tuesday, January 16, 2007

A Closer Look At Anti-Americanism

Neil Gross is an assistant professor of sociology at Harvard University. Here is a piece that he penned recently for the Boston Globe, and appeared in the IHT.

.......Americans have grown used to the idea that much of the world hates us. Indeed, in the years since Sept. 11, 2001, we have gone from having the world's sympathy to being perceived as the world's bully, denounced on the streets of Caracas, Tehran, Paris, and even London for our unilateralism, aggressive military stance, and free-market economic policies.

But is anti-American sentiment as rampant as it seems?.........

What follows is the identification and brief explanation of the four different types of anti-Americanism. You might be surprised at some of the conclusions that are drawn in this essay.

I recommend checking it out, when you have a moment.

1 comment:

Greg said...

Anti-american sentiment is rampant. I don't know if it is "as rampant as it seems," but there sure is a lot of it.

The article re-hashes a lot of tired excuses for anti-Americanism. The old "we hate your policies, not your people" thing is old. Try telling a frenchman that you dislike his country's "anti-jewish" policies and see what happens. He won't like it (nor should he). Meanwhile, it's fair game to say you hate America's "fascist policies" in the war on terror. When you get defensive, that's when you'll hear the "policy not people" argument.

See what I'm getting at? Often, people use the policy thing as a way of acceptably expressing their genuine dislike of the person.

Try telling a foreigner that GITMO detainees have rights, have lawyers, have had their cases heard before the country's highest court and won. Try telling them that they would already have had their trials if they would only stop delaying them with procedural legal challenges. Trust me you will be confronted with complete disbelief. They'll assume you're a Bushie neocon who is only smart enough to regurgitate what the Dear Leader says.

People outside America are taught to distrust America. The root of anti-Americanism is misinformation and a conditioning of young minds against us. Check out this website if you don't believe me.

Lately I've been thinking how the world needs a good long dose of American isolationism. Like 10 years of America erecting trade barriers, withdrawing from all foreign bases, shrugging at the conflicts that are likely to result, abstaining from all UNSC votes, etc. But then, that would just be another excuse to hate us.