Elayne Riggs' Journal (for Leah)

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

Why People Hate Myopic, Provincial, Arrogant Bullies

Barbara O'Brien does a bit of fisking on the Mahablog of this clueless analysis by Charles Krauthammer in Time magazine. His premise is that, in the words of Riff Raff regarding Frank 'N' Furter: "He doesn't like me! He never liked me!" See, all that "nous sommes tous Americaines" bit? Faked. Yep. They're really just jellus (that's how we used to deliberately misspell it when mocking trolls on alt.showbiz.gossip), and they have been for years. Quoth the idiot, "It is pure fiction that this pro-American sentiment was either squandered after Sept. 11 or lost under the Bush Administration. It never existed. Envy for America, resentment of our power, hatred of our success has been a staple for decades, but most particularly since victory in the cold war left us the only superpower."

This is wrong on so many levels that I can feel my blood pressure rising just to try to deal with even a couple of them. Fortunately, Barbara does a great job of showing how Western Europe in particular has treated past American presidents very well indeed. But then, those were the days when we signed treaties with other nations and strove to honor them (okay, with some exceptions) instead of trashing them with a "nyah nyah, whatcha gonna do about it?" attitude. And the sheer hubris that causes this revisionist historian to actually believe we're naturally more successful than all other nations is mind-boggling. As for "victory in the Cold War," don't get me started. Just don't.

I will agree with one bit, though. Yes, people generally resent entities with a lot of power. Particularly when that power is misused time and time again. How dare we demand that other countries disarm when we're not prepared to do so ourselves? How dare we constantly rail against international organizations that are actually trying to achieve peace? How dare we invade countries under utterly false pretenses and flimsy pretexts, kill thousands of people in the process including our own soldiers, and keep lying and lying and lying about it? We've long since lost our footing on any sort of moral high ground that would allow us worldwide credibility. Let's turn this around and pretend we were being imposed on by another country that's acted the way we have to others. Would we like it? Or would we resent the hell out of their constant bullying?

If you ask me, it's a miracle that as many people throughout the world still like America as much as they do, considering all the things we've fucked up over the years (particularly the last 23, and in specific the last 3). Perhaps they, like many American citizens, acknowledge the ideals on which this country was founded, and believe that with the right leaders we will someday strive for these ideals once more.