Sunday, March 10, 2013

The View from Abroad

 

The United States is the most hated country in the world, followed closely by Israel, and then by nobody. Wny? Why not Ecuador? China? Russia? East Timor? The hostility puzzles many Americans, who genuinely believe their country to be a force for good, a pillar of democracy, a defender of human rights.

To the rest of the world, none of this is even close.

If you have lived abroad, as so very few Americans have, the explanation for the hatred is obvious: Meddling. Relentless, prideful, uncomprehending meddling, frequently military, often with horrendous death tolls. Americans, adroitly managed by a controlled press, historically illiterate, incurious, decreasingly educated, either have never heard of the American behavior that angers others, or believe it to have been inspired by virtuous motives. Nobody else thinks so. Add to unfamiliarity with the wider world the constantly inculcated assertion that America is the greatest, most wonderful nation ever to exist, a light to the world, a shining city on a hill, and you get a dangerously delusional state. Especially now. In the past, American economic and military supremacy were such that the US didn’t have to care what others thought. The times, they are a-changing.

8 comments:

  1. My opinion probably lies somewhere between the writer's opinion and what he thinks is the typical American opinion but I have to agree with him completely on one point.

    I shake my head everytime I hear a Sean Hannity or Bill O'Reilly proclaim on INTERNATIONAL TV that America is the be all, end all, absolute best of everything on the planet. Hey, I didn't say I necessarily disagree with them but being a good ole Redneck boy I know better than to walk into a biker bar and proclaim that a Honda Goldwing is better than any Harley ever built. It might or might not be true but it's kind of stupid to get the S#!^ kicked out of yourself by 27 bikers with timing chain belts just to hear yourself talk.

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  2. "just to hear yourself talk." I love it. Right before I read Fred, with whom I always seem to agree, I told my wife as she left to visit the daughter, "I may be gone to Florida to fish when you come home. I'm sick and tired of spending my days emailing and commenting just to hear myself talk." The Universe (Great Mystery) speaks to me through a new person every day. Thank you.

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    1. The Universe (Great Mystery) speaks to me through a new person every day.

      Ever-knowing, almighty and all that stuff.:)

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  3. I wish I had written this down somewhere when I first thought and verbalized it because it's the kind of thing to which my daddy used to remark "if fore sight was good as hind sight, it'd be a hell of a sight". Anyway, there was no internet back then so I didn't write it down and can only claim I said it and hope you believe me.

    At some point in that period of time when RR told Mr. Gorbachev to TEAR DOWN THIS WALL up until the day we got the news that the Soviet Union was no more I remarked something to the effect that the demise of the Soviet Union would eventually be good for the Russian people but as far as the rest of the world is concerned
    it's a lot easier to watch one big bear in the woods than 10,000 snakes. Man did that ever prove to be prophetic. Back in the days of the Soviet Union they were the default bad guy to all but their puppet states and we were free to be the good guy. Now we are the default bad guy, regardless if we deserve it or not. I'm not sorry they are gone by any means but it brings new meaning to the term "unintended consequences".

    Did you ever play "king of the hill" with a bunch of kids on a big pile of dirt? It's a hell of a lot easier working with a bunch of other guys to get to the top and throw "the king" off than it is to stay up there once you've kicked everyone else's butt down the hill and they come back for revenge.

    It's time we took our ball and bat and went home to tend to our own business.

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    1. It's time we took our ball and bat and went home to tend to our own business.

      1001%.

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  4. A thousand and one is the approximate number of posts where we have troops. I doubt anybody knows the correct number. I vote bring 'em all home.

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    1. A thousand and one is the approximate number of posts where we have troops.

      :)!

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