Friday, 7 December 2007

I am not anti-American but...

... but I do not like the term anti-American.
To be "anti-American" sounds like a form of racism. To those who use the term, it suits their agenda very well. How wonderful it is to have a term that conflates criticism of the US government with an insinuation that to do so is racist.
The irony is that the US government uses the term as a justification for them to be anti-everyone else. No one seemed to make a fuss about the US being "anti-French" in the run up to the war in Iraq. Yet with the benefit of hindsight we can now see that the US would have benefitted greatly if they had listened to the French in the first place and not invaded Iraq.
This morning on the Today program I heard it reported that a US government scientist predicted that the US will not reduce emisions of greenhouse gasses for the forseeable future. The US is currently scuppering international agreement on reducing greenhouse gasses. We know that the US president, George W Bush is a fundamentalist Christian who believes in the apocalypse and from his point of view in this context the matter of global warming is irrelevant.
With no leadership from the world's biggest polluter, the consequences of US policy are likely to be disasterous. On top of that, his foreign policy has also been a monumental disaster, bringing us closer to World War 3. Failure in Iraq was predictable, and his plans for Iran - possibly now on hold for an election year - are also very alarming. In addition, the sweeping away of civil liberties so that prisoners can be held for the duration of the "war on terror", ie forever, in Guantano, and where "terrorist" suspects are sent to other countries to be tortured, we see that the US is moving in the direction of a totalitarian state. I choose my words carefully, I am not saying it is a totalitarian state, it has a long way to go before it gets there, and may change direction in the meantime. But the signs are onimous all the same.
Well I still admire Bob Dylan, Martin Luther King, Al Gore, Joseph Stiglitz and many others. And my distaste for Mrs Thatcher does not make me anti-British.
"Anti American" is a propaganda term, and we should stop using it, and dispute the term when others do use it.


Joe Otten said...

You are right, and yet compared to Russia or China, the USA is a beacon of democracy, human rights and, yes, environmentalism.

Anti-Amercanism is perhaps reflected in this common desire, particularly among the left to talk about the USA as if it were the principal villain, rather than a third-rate villain, and maybe a second-rate hero.

Left Lib said...

Maybe the US is the first rate villan because it is the most powerful nation on earth (albeit in serious decline), and that whatever it does, we are associated with it.
I agree, and have made similar comparisons myself that the emerging powers of China and Russia are even more detatched from liberal values than the US is. A "multi-polar" world is not one to relish anymore than the uni-polar world prior to the invasion of Iraq.