Christopher Hitchens examines anti-Americanism in its various ugly forms:
- The United States of America is not just a state or a country but a nation-the only such country, in fact-supposedly founded on a set of principles and ideas. The documents and proclamations preceded the nation-state. China would be China under any regime, and so would Iceland or Egypt, but the USA is also a concept. (Rather eerily, I suppose, one could say that this was also partly true of East Germany, North Korea, Israel, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia-all states based on parties, ideologies, or faiths. But only partly true, because the United States is based on pluralism as regards faith, political allegiance, or ethnicity.)
That in itself probably explains a certain kind of anti-American style – the kind that expresses contempt for mongrelization and cosmopolitanism. This, which is mixed with both snobbery and racism, is quite commonly found on the European right, which always regarded America as a mobbish and vulgar and indiscriminate enterprise. With some adjustments-resentment at materialism and brashness-it also overlaps with some tropes that can be encountered on the European left. Both mixtures commingle again in Muslim anti-Americanism, which often represents the USA as a sort of racial and commercial chaos, manipulated by cunning Jews.
That’s us – I am manipulated by cunning Jews almost every day of the week, aren’t you?
Here’s another ballsy European with a clue, Tony Parsons in the Mirror:
- ONE year ago, the world witnessed a unique kind of broadcasting – the mass murder of thousands, live on television.
As a lesson in the pitiless cruelty of the human race, September 11 was up there with Pol Pot’s mountain of skulls in Cambodia, or the skeletal bodies stacked like garbage in the Nazi concentration camps.
An unspeakable act so cruel, so calculated and so utterly merciless that surely the world could agree on one thing – nobody deserves this fate.
Surely there could be consensus: the victims were truly innocent, the perpetrators truly evil.
But to the world’s eternal shame, 9/11 is increasingly seen as America’s comeuppance.
Incredibly, anti-Americanism has increased over the last year.
There has always been a simmering resentment to the USA in this country – too loud, too rich, too full of themselves and so much happier than Europeans – but it has become an epidemic.
And it seems incredible to me. More than that, it turns my stomach.
America is this country’s greatest friend and our staunchest ally. We are bonded to the US by culture, language and blood.
A little over half a century ago, around half a million Americans died for our freedoms, as well as their own. Have we forgotten so soon?
And exactly a year ago, thousands of ordinary men, women and children – not just Americans, but from dozens of countries – were butchered by a small group of religious fanatics. Are we so quick to betray them?
Oh, and by the way, on the whole “imperialism” thing, here’s VDH on that particular canard:
- Athenians, Romans, Ottomans, and the British wanted land and treasure and grabbed all they could get when they could. The United States hasn’t annexed anyone’s soil since the Spanish-American War – a checkered period in American history that still makes us, not them, out as villains in our own history books. Most Americans are far more interested in carving up the Nevada desert for monster homes than in getting their hands on Karachi or the Amazon basin. Puerto Ricans are free to vote themselves independence anytime they wish.
Imperial powers order and subjects obey. But in our case, we offer the Turks strategic guarantees, political support – and money – for their allegiance. France and Russia go along in the U.N. – but only after we ensure them the traffic of oil and security for outstanding accounts. Pakistan gets debt relief that ruined dot-coms could only dream of; Jordan reels in more aid than our own bankrupt municipalities.
If acrimony and invective arise, it’s usually one-way: the Europeans, the Arabs, and the South Americans all say worse things about us than we do about them, not privately and in hurt, but publicly and proudly. Boasting that you hate Americans – or calling our supposed imperator “moron” or “Hitler” – won’t get you censured by our Senate or earn a tongue-lashing from our president, but is more likely to get you ten minutes on CNN.