Wednesday, December 17, 2008

How very true

An excellent article by Matthew Kaminski on about the inevitable fading of the supposed love of America because Obama has been elected to be president.

There are various reasons why anti-Americanism exists. The most obvious one is that America is the strongest power and those are always disliked. As several people have told Mr Kaminski, that is something Americans will have to live with just as the British did for a while. Unlike previous empires, the American one is different as it is not based on direct rule, no matter what the anti-American crowd, both on the left and the right, scream. It is power projected through ideas and effects.
Yet America is different from those past empires, and I find our thin skin winning--to a point. The place attracts the hatred of assorted masses from London fine-dining table to the caves around Tora Bora because it is attractive at so many levels and isn't self-consciously a global Empire (which enrages some people even more). Our iPods, Harvards and Stanfords, Tiger Woodses and Michael Phelpses, Beyoncés and Philip Roths all constitute American power along with the dollar and the military.
America is different, an exceptional country, despite the efforts made by the politicians and the media to turn it into a class-ridden society like any other. The reason why Obama, with his unusual background, could be elected President, is that difference. Sooner or later those who are still dancing with joy will have to acknowledge this, as the fact that he was elected by the very same people who had elected Bush twice. How could they have become so smart in such a short space of time?

There will be the obvious reason for turning against Obama as soon as he starts behaving as an American President (as even he must on January 21 if the already raging scandals do not envelop him) and looking to his own country first. The idea that somehow under President Obama America will become the willing slave of other countries is fatuous. Just wait till he asks openly for more European troops to be sent to Afghanistan, the "just" war, sanctioned by the UN and still hated by the many America-bashers.

The most obvious reason for hating America is envy - not just for the material welfare but for the existence of a state in which the people (give or take a mendacious media and a certain number of corrupt politicians) can affect who is in government and what sort of legislation is passed. This is not true for most of the world. It is not true in Europe where elections have become a farce with the real power residing the untouchable and unaccountable eurocrats. No wonder we hate America.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

And which country did more than any other (perhaps even more than the constituents themselves) to create the EEC and thus the EU? The USA (think not least of the "customs bloc" strings attached to Marshall Aid). I adore America but have huge problems with this.