Joseph Loconte: Anti-Americanism and the BBC

Joseph Loconte is a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy
Center and a commentator on religion for National Public Radio.

Restrained praise is in order for the BBC’s Radio 4 series on anti-Americanism called “Death to America.” The brainchild of senior Washington correspondent Justin Webb, the three-part program examined the hatreds toward America that are bubbling over in France, Venezuela, Egypt and beyond. “A pattern was emerging and has never seriously been altered,” Webb said of his experience of anti-Americanism in Europe. “A pattern of willingness to condemn America for the tiniest indiscretion—or to magnify those indiscretions—while leaving the murderers, dictators, and thieves who run other nations oddly untouched.”

It was this realization, he said, that launched him into the series, which aired three consecutive weeks last month. Any regular consumer of the BBC, if he’s honest, must admit that Webb’s simple insight is rarely if ever heard across the BBC’s media colossus. It took guts for Webb to approach his superiors about the program concept, and a refreshing measure of fairness for the BBC’s top brass to sign off on it.

The program is not without its flaws. Its promotional plug, for example, promises to question “the common perception” of the United States as “an international bully” and a “modern day imperial power.” It’s still debatable how common that perception is outside of the elite dining halls of London, Paris, Geneva and Brussels. (The election of Nicolas Sarkozy as French President — unashamedly pro-American — contributes to that debate.)

Take the Venezuela segment. America’s foreign policy record in Latin
America is problematic, to be sure. But one also wonders about the
wisdom of offering Venezuela—under the corrupt and demagogic rule of
Hugo Chavez—as representative of attitudes in the region. In the
segment on Egypt, we’re reminded of a rather startling statement from
Condoleezza Rice in 2005: “For 60 years my country, the United States,
pursued stability at the expense of democracy in this region, here in
the Middle East, and we achieved neither,” she said. “Now we are taking
a different course. We are supporting the democratic aspirations of
all.”

After playing the clip for a leader of Egypt’s opposition party, Webb
delivered this question: “Do you believe the promise of America will
come good, or do you feel they’ve betrayed you?” The question itself
invites scrutiny: Do America’s critics expect the United States to
topple the government in Egypt? In the two short years since Rice made
her confession about the failure of U.S. foreign policy, does it amount
to a “betrayal” that Jeffersonian democracy has not yet arrived in
Cairo?

Nevertheless, the BBC offered some unedited footage rarely seen on its
network. Hallah Mustafa, member of Egypt’s ruling party—and an
outspoken maverick and reformer—made it clear that many Arab leaders
use anti-Americanism to beat off challenges to their regimes. They
deliberately and routinely misrepresent the United States on theirs
state-run media. “I think America is a force for good,” she said, “for
freedom, for liberty, for human rights principles.” Does anyone ever
remember hearing that viewpoint from an Arab leader expressed so
clearly on the BBC—or on any other Western media outlet?

None of this is to suggest that anti-Americanism, fanned into flames by
the Iraq war, isn’t a serious problem in many parts of the world. Tod
Lindberg of the Hoover Institution co-chaired a 2005 Working Group on
Anti-Americanism
which
found declining European support for U.S. efforts to fight terrorism. A
poll of the European Union (the entity named by presidential candidate
Barak Obama as one of America’s most important allies) found that 53
percent view the United States as a threat to world peace—the same
percentage that regard North Korea and Iran as a threat.

It’s worth noting that, in Western countries, unfavorable views of
America are concentrated among younger people. About 62 percent of
Spaniards under the age of 30, for example, hold a negative view of the
United States, compared to 39 percent of their elders. That may suggest
that an older generation, with memories of America’s role in defeating
fascism and communism, is resisting the propaganda campaigns of the
political left. Yet the failure of political leaders in America and
Great Britain to effectively counter the disinformation that pours out
daily—especially in the Arab media—must rank as one of the greatest
public diplomacy debacles of a generation.

Nevertheless, there is a basic decency to the American creed—that all
men and women are endowed by their Creator with equal rights—which
remains deeply appealing. Justin Webb, to his credit, articulated that
essential decency. He openly referred to America’s democratic
tradition, the idea of equality under the law, the commitment to free
speech and freedom of religion. Webb’s concluding remarks, anathema to
terrorists and their liberal sympathizers, ought to be instinctive to
most Europeans and enlightened Muslims in the Arab world: “To hate the
essence of America is to be anti-human.”

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21 Responses to Joseph Loconte: Anti-Americanism and the BBC

  1. Teddy Bear says:

    I think the most alarming and insidious example of anti-American bias of the BBC was during the Katrina disaster. Even PM Blair remarked on it.

  2. Teddy Bear says:

    I think the most alarming and insidious example of anti-American bias of the BBC was during the Katrina disaster. Even PM Blair remarked on it.

  3. Teddy Bear says:

    Off topic, but media related with the hope to get some action is the following:

    The BBC like to vaunt kidnapped Alan Johnston as some kind of hero, when he was in fact a militant Muslim appeaser, as is the BBC itself, and because of his biased reportage felt he had little to worry about with regard to being abducted. Reports say he was in fact taken by a criminal gang, something akin to the Palestinian Mafia, and not by a praticular terrorist group.

    Here is a story of a real journalist hero, a Muslim in Bangladash who wrote against the Islamists there, and was subsequently arrested and imprisoned and faces the death penalty.

    What is scandalous is the lack of international media coverage of this man’s ordeal, not a mention at all on the the whole of the BBC website, or international effort to free this man. The following appeal tells how the US Senate finance committee was supposed to have urged the Bangladash government to free him in exchange for trade preferences. They have now dropped this ‘request’. I ask all US readers here to write your the members of the Senate committee, sample letter and addresses given below.

    Also to forward this appeal to all you feel might take an interest and help.

    Shoaib Choudhury is a Muslim journalist who resides in Bangladesh – a persistent and outspoken opponent of the Islamists, and advocate of human and religious rights.
    Shoaib loves Israel and has urged the Bangladeshi government to recognize and establish diplomatic relations with Israel.

    In 2003 Mr. Choudhury was arrested as he was about to board a flight from Bangladesh on his way to Tel Aviv to address a
    writers’ conference. He was charged with treason, sedition and blasphemy and spent the next 17 months in prison, and was tortured.

    His Jewish friend in the U.S., Dr. Richard Benkin, worked tirelessly for Shoaib Choudhury’s release. He found a friend in Congressman Mark Kirk, and they had intense
    meetings with the Bangladeshi ambassador. Bangladesh released Shoaib because it wished to secure trade with the U.S. As part of the deal, Bangladesh was to free Shoaib and drop all charges against him, a demand which wasn’t met.
    Shoaib is still being threatened with a trial which carries a possible death sentence.

    Mr. Choudhury has been offered asylum in the United States, Canada, Australia, Sweden and Denmark. He declined, stating
    there was no honor in surrender, and that “Bangladesh is my country. Let the Islamists leave.” Muslims who agree with
    him watch what’s happening to him, and their voices are now becoming audible as they draw courage from this man.

    Mr. Choudhury received the Bangladesh Lokgeeti Shilpi Goshthi COURAGEOUS JOURNALISM AWARD 2005, PEN USA, FREEDOM
    TO WRITE AWARD 2005, the American Jewish Committee, MORAL COURAGE AWARD-2006, the Bangladesh Minority Lawyer’s Association MORAL COURAGE AWARD 2006, and the Jasimuddin
    Memorial AWARD FOR JOURNALISM, April, 2007.

    You can read more about him at:
    http://interfaithstrength.com/

    House Resolution 64 was passed (409-1) in March 2007, stating , in part: “Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that the Government of Bangladesh should
    immediately drop all pending charges against Bangladeshi journalist Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury. Whereas Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury is a Bangladeshi journalist who, because of his beliefs in interfaith dialogue between Jews
    and Muslims and criticism of Islamic extremism, is on trial for sedition, an offense punishable by death;…”

    SB-652, recently introduced, calls for extension of trade preferences with Bangladesh, but it has no provision to
    ensure that all charges shall be dropped against Shoaib Choudhury.

    Please see: http://interfaithstrength.com/images/SB-652.html

    It would make a huge difference if the Senate Finance Committee members received inquiries from their constituents. Your letter or e-mail may well save this man’s life. Below is a sample letter and contact
    information.

    Sample letter:

    Dear ____________:

    I am writing about Senate Bill 652, proposed by Senator Gordon Smith, and which you are co-sponsoring. The bill now rests with the Senate Finance Committee, and I wish to express strongly my opposition to the bill as it is now constituted. As you have shown consistently over many years
    of public life, these trade benefits should not be given to the detriment of American interests.

    One of the nations slated to benefit from SB652 is Bangladesh, which maintains a blatant disregard for an overwhelming and bi-partisan sense of the US Congress.
    Bangladesh is home to Muslim journalist Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury who was imprisoned and tortured after exposing the
    rise of radical Islam, advocating relations with Israel, and urging religious equality. Only after relentless efforts by Chicago area human rights advocate, Dr. Richard Benkin and US Congressman Mark Kirk did the Bangladeshis release Choudhury. They also promised to drop the charges against him.

    But two years later, he still faces a trial for “sedition, treason, and blasphemy,” which are capital offenses penalty for which is death. With active support from the US State Department and by a vote of 409-1, the US Congress recently called on the Bangladeshis to keep their promises and end their harassment of Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury.

    The major reason why the Bangladeshis have gone as far as they have in releasing this courageous opponent of radical Islam, and not allowing him to be killed, is that they know they cannot get their coveted tariff relief as long as they continue persecuting him and other dissidents. SB652 threatens to undermine years of human rights efforts.

    Please, Ms. Feinstein, insure that the bill does not leave the Senate Finance Committee without specific language that requires Bangladesh to take verifiable human rights action and to keep its promise to drop all charges and end all harassment against Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury. It is inconceivable that the US would award these coveted benefits to a country that remains actively in defiance of US policy.

    You can get additional information on this case from Dr. Benkin (847-922-6426), who also is willing to testify to the Committee on this matter.

    Respectfully,

    ———————–

    The members of the Senate Finance Committee:

    Arizona Senator Jon Kyl
    Fax: (202) 224-2207
    http://kyl.senate.gov/contact.cfm

    Arkansas Senator Blanche Lincoln
    http://lincoln.senate.gov/html/webform.html
    Fax: (202) 228-1371

    California Senator Diane Feinstein
    http://feinstein.senate.gov/email.html
    Fax: 202-228-3954

    Colorado Senator Ken Salazar
    http://salazar.senate.gov/contact/email.cfm
    Washington, D.C. Office
    Fax: (202) 228-5036
    Denver Metro Office
    Fax: (303) 455-8851

    Idaho Senator Mike Crapo
    http://crapo.senate.gov/contact/email.cfm
    Fax: 202-228-1375

    Iowa Senator Charles Grassley
    http://grassley.senate.gov/index.cfm?FuseAction=Contact.Home
    Fax: 202-224-6020

    Kansas Senator Pat Roberts
    http://roberts.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Contac
    tInformation.EmailPat
    Fax: 202-224-3514

    Kentucky Senator Jim Bunning
    http://bunning.senate.gov/index.cfm?FuseAction=Contact.Email
    Fax: 202-228-1373

    Maine Senator Olympia Snowe
    http://snowe.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?
    FuseAction=ContactSenatorSnowe.Email
    Fax: (202) 224-1946

    Massachusetts Senator John Kerry
    http://kerry.senate.gov/low/contact_email.html
    Fax: 202-224-8525

    Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow
    http://stabenow.senate.gov/email.htm
    Fax: 202-228-0325

    Mississippi Senator Trent Lott
    http://lott.senate.gov/index.cfm?FuseAction=Contact.Email
    Fax: (202) 224-2262

    Missouri Senator Christopher Bond
    http://bond.senate.gov/contact/contactme.cfm
    Fax: 202-224-8149

    Montana Senator Max Baucus
    http://baucus.senate.gov/contact/emailForm.cfm?subj=issue
    Fax: (202) 224-0515

    New Mexico Senator Jeff Bingaman
    senator_bingaman@bingaman.senate.gov
    Fax: 202-224-2852

    New York Senator Charles Schumer
    http://schumer.senate.gov/SchumerWebsite/contact/webform.cfm
    Fax: 202-228-3027

    North Dakota Senator Kent Conrad
    http://conrad.senate.gov/webform.html
    Fax: (202) 224-7776

    Oregon Senator Ron Wyden
    http://wyden.senate.gov/contact/
    Fax: 202-228-2717

    Oregon Senator Gordon Smith
    http://gsmith.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Contact
    .Home
    Fax: 202.228.3997

    Utah Senator Orin Hatch
    http://hatch.senate.gov/index.cfm?FuseAction=Offices.Contact
    Fax: (202) 224-6331

    Washington Senator Maria Cantwell
    http://cantwell.senate.gov/contact/index.cfm
    Fax: 202-228-0514

    West Virginia Senator John D. Rockefeller IV
    http://rockefeller.senate.gov/services/email.cfm
    Fax: (202) 228-5036

    Wyoming Senator Craig Thomas
    http://thomas.senate.gov/index.cfm?FuseAction=Contact.Home
    Fax: 202-224-1724

    Please send this message to everyone you think might be interested. Thank you very much.

  4. Teddy Bear says:

    Off topic, but media related with the hope to get some action is the following:

    The BBC like to vaunt kidnapped Alan Johnston as some kind of hero, when he was in fact a militant Muslim appeaser, as is the BBC itself, and because of his biased reportage felt he had little to worry about with regard to being abducted. Reports say he was in fact taken by a criminal gang, something akin to the Palestinian Mafia, and not by a praticular terrorist group.

    Here is a story of a real journalist hero, a Muslim in Bangladash who wrote against the Islamists there, and was subsequently arrested and imprisoned and faces the death penalty.

    What is scandalous is the lack of international media coverage of this man’s ordeal, not a mention at all on the the whole of the BBC website, or international effort to free this man. The following appeal tells how the US Senate finance committee was supposed to have urged the Bangladash government to free him in exchange for trade preferences. They have now dropped this ‘request’. I ask all US readers here to write your the members of the Senate committee, sample letter and addresses given below.

    Also to forward this appeal to all you feel might take an interest and help.

    Shoaib Choudhury is a Muslim journalist who resides in Bangladesh – a persistent and outspoken opponent of the Islamists, and advocate of human and religious rights.
    Shoaib loves Israel and has urged the Bangladeshi government to recognize and establish diplomatic relations with Israel.

    In 2003 Mr. Choudhury was arrested as he was about to board a flight from Bangladesh on his way to Tel Aviv to address a
    writers’ conference. He was charged with treason, sedition and blasphemy and spent the next 17 months in prison, and was tortured.

    His Jewish friend in the U.S., Dr. Richard Benkin, worked tirelessly for Shoaib Choudhury’s release. He found a friend in Congressman Mark Kirk, and they had intense
    meetings with the Bangladeshi ambassador. Bangladesh released Shoaib because it wished to secure trade with the U.S. As part of the deal, Bangladesh was to free Shoaib and drop all charges against him, a demand which wasn’t met.
    Shoaib is still being threatened with a trial which carries a possible death sentence.

    Mr. Choudhury has been offered asylum in the United States, Canada, Australia, Sweden and Denmark. He declined, stating
    there was no honor in surrender, and that “Bangladesh is my country. Let the Islamists leave.” Muslims who agree with
    him watch what’s happening to him, and their voices are now becoming audible as they draw courage from this man.

    Mr. Choudhury received the Bangladesh Lokgeeti Shilpi Goshthi COURAGEOUS JOURNALISM AWARD 2005, PEN USA, FREEDOM
    TO WRITE AWARD 2005, the American Jewish Committee, MORAL COURAGE AWARD-2006, the Bangladesh Minority Lawyer’s Association MORAL COURAGE AWARD 2006, and the Jasimuddin
    Memorial AWARD FOR JOURNALISM, April, 2007.

    You can read more about him at:
    http://interfaithstrength.com/

    House Resolution 64 was passed (409-1) in March 2007, stating , in part: “Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that the Government of Bangladesh should
    immediately drop all pending charges against Bangladeshi journalist Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury. Whereas Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury is a Bangladeshi journalist who, because of his beliefs in interfaith dialogue between Jews
    and Muslims and criticism of Islamic extremism, is on trial for sedition, an offense punishable by death;…”

    SB-652, recently introduced, calls for extension of trade preferences with Bangladesh, but it has no provision to
    ensure that all charges shall be dropped against Shoaib Choudhury.

    Please see: http://interfaithstrength.com/images/SB-652.html

    It would make a huge difference if the Senate Finance Committee members received inquiries from their constituents. Your letter or e-mail may well save this man’s life. Below is a sample letter and contact
    information.

    Sample letter:

    Dear ____________:

    I am writing about Senate Bill 652, proposed by Senator Gordon Smith, and which you are co-sponsoring. The bill now rests with the Senate Finance Committee, and I wish to express strongly my opposition to the bill as it is now constituted. As you have shown consistently over many years
    of public life, these trade benefits should not be given to the detriment of American interests.

    One of the nations slated to benefit from SB652 is Bangladesh, which maintains a blatant disregard for an overwhelming and bi-partisan sense of the US Congress.
    Bangladesh is home to Muslim journalist Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury who was imprisoned and tortured after exposing the
    rise of radical Islam, advocating relations with Israel, and urging religious equality. Only after relentless efforts by Chicago area human rights advocate, Dr. Richard Benkin and US Congressman Mark Kirk did the Bangladeshis release Choudhury. They also promised to drop the charges against him.

    But two years later, he still faces a trial for “sedition, treason, and blasphemy,” which are capital offenses penalty for which is death. With active support from the US State Department and by a vote of 409-1, the US Congress recently called on the Bangladeshis to keep their promises and end their harassment of Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury.

    The major reason why the Bangladeshis have gone as far as they have in releasing this courageous opponent of radical Islam, and not allowing him to be killed, is that they know they cannot get their coveted tariff relief as long as they continue persecuting him and other dissidents. SB652 threatens to undermine years of human rights efforts.

    Please, Ms. Feinstein, insure that the bill does not leave the Senate Finance Committee without specific language that requires Bangladesh to take verifiable human rights action and to keep its promise to drop all charges and end all harassment against Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury. It is inconceivable that the US would award these coveted benefits to a country that remains actively in defiance of US policy.

    You can get additional information on this case from Dr. Benkin (847-922-6426), who also is willing to testify to the Committee on this matter.

    Respectfully,

    ———————–

    The members of the Senate Finance Committee:

    Arizona Senator Jon Kyl
    Fax: (202) 224-2207
    http://kyl.senate.gov/contact.cfm

    Arkansas Senator Blanche Lincoln
    http://lincoln.senate.gov/html/webform.html
    Fax: (202) 228-1371

    California Senator Diane Feinstein
    http://feinstein.senate.gov/email.html
    Fax: 202-228-3954

    Colorado Senator Ken Salazar
    http://salazar.senate.gov/contact/email.cfm
    Washington, D.C. Office
    Fax: (202) 228-5036
    Denver Metro Office
    Fax: (303) 455-8851

    Idaho Senator Mike Crapo
    http://crapo.senate.gov/contact/email.cfm
    Fax: 202-228-1375

    Iowa Senator Charles Grassley
    http://grassley.senate.gov/index.cfm?FuseAction=Contact.Home
    Fax: 202-224-6020

    Kansas Senator Pat Roberts
    http://roberts.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Contac
    tInformation.EmailPat
    Fax: 202-224-3514

    Kentucky Senator Jim Bunning
    http://bunning.senate.gov/index.cfm?FuseAction=Contact.Email
    Fax: 202-228-1373

    Maine Senator Olympia Snowe
    http://snowe.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?
    FuseAction=ContactSenatorSnowe.Email
    Fax: (202) 224-1946

    Massachusetts Senator John Kerry
    http://kerry.senate.gov/low/contact_email.html
    Fax: 202-224-8525

    Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow
    http://stabenow.senate.gov/email.htm
    Fax: 202-228-0325

    Mississippi Senator Trent Lott
    http://lott.senate.gov/index.cfm?FuseAction=Contact.Email
    Fax: (202) 224-2262

    Missouri Senator Christopher Bond
    http://bond.senate.gov/contact/contactme.cfm
    Fax: 202-224-8149

    Montana Senator Max Baucus
    http://baucus.senate.gov/contact/emailForm.cfm?subj=issue
    Fax: (202) 224-0515

    New Mexico Senator Jeff Bingaman
    senator_bingaman@bingaman.senate.gov
    Fax: 202-224-2852

    New York Senator Charles Schumer
    http://schumer.senate.gov/SchumerWebsite/contact/webform.cfm
    Fax: 202-228-3027

    North Dakota Senator Kent Conrad
    http://conrad.senate.gov/webform.html
    Fax: (202) 224-7776

    Oregon Senator Ron Wyden
    http://wyden.senate.gov/contact/
    Fax: 202-228-2717

    Oregon Senator Gordon Smith
    http://gsmith.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Contact
    .Home
    Fax: 202.228.3997

    Utah Senator Orin Hatch
    http://hatch.senate.gov/index.cfm?FuseAction=Offices.Contact
    Fax: (202) 224-6331

    Washington Senator Maria Cantwell
    http://cantwell.senate.gov/contact/index.cfm
    Fax: 202-228-0514

    West Virginia Senator John D. Rockefeller IV
    http://rockefeller.senate.gov/services/email.cfm
    Fax: (202) 228-5036

    Wyoming Senator Craig Thomas
    http://thomas.senate.gov/index.cfm?FuseAction=Contact.Home
    Fax: 202-224-1724

    Please send this message to everyone you think might be interested. Thank you very much.

  5. Macacarena says:

    You want to know why there’s declining support for the US in its war on terrorism?

    It’s because Bush argues the invasion and occupation of Iraq is part of this war, and very few people trust this line of argument. The decline of support shows up in polls because many people around the world distrust Bush’s motives, and frankly, it’s hard to blame them. There is an overwhelming consensus that terrorism needs to be fought; but increasingly few people have any faith that Bush’s policies are the right ones to do this.

    The other issue I have is with the use of the term “anti-American(ism)”. It is used by Bush and his supporters as a retort to people who disagree with American policy. It’s a poisonous line of thinking, and someone in America has to take a stand against it.

    There are genuine hard-core anti-Americans around the world, but they are few in number and easily made irrelevant. And it is on Americans firstly to start understanding that disagreement on their government policies does not amount to anti-Americanism. These are policy disagreements and Americans need to be clear-headed enough to recognize this.

    I’m a South African living in London married to an American, so I really have no instinctive bias in this debate. But what I do find infuriating is the framing of people who disagree with Bush’s policies as anti-American. As I said, it is poisonous in the extreme, and a site like this – if it is to affect positive change – would do well to be very judicious in how the phrase is used.

  6. orthodoc says:

    Re Macacarena,

    Oh, for heaven’s sake.

    European anti-Americanism was alive and well before George Bush became President. Anyone with historical awareness greater than that of a tree squirrel can remember massive demonstrations against the evil American Pershing II missiles, the evil American “aggression” against the Soviets, the evil American tourists coming to Europe with their big wallets/voices/behinds/fill in the blank….

    Running against the US has been a reliable vote-getter in Europe for two generations at least. It goes back in my own memory to Charles De Gaulle. In fact, it goes back to before American independence. So cut W a break here. This IS anti-Americanism, it’s not new, and it’s not a tag for anyone who disagrees with Bush.

    As a first-generation American, I think it’s terrific that Europeans are finally waking up to the paradox of decrying American hegemony and “meddling” while simultaneously bemoaning American “lack of involvement.” I would point out that many in the US agree wholeheartedly with those who want Americans out of world affairs – but if we leave, we’re probably not coming back to bail anyone out. If you want a nice example of how well Europe will manage, take a look at the Balkans. Terrific job on that Serb thing – Milosevic really paid for his crimes, hey?

  7. orthodoc says:

    Re Macacarena,

    Oh, for heaven’s sake.

    European anti-Americanism was alive and well before George Bush became President. Anyone with historical awareness greater than that of a tree squirrel can remember massive demonstrations against the evil American Pershing II missiles, the evil American “aggression” against the Soviets, the evil American tourists coming to Europe with their big wallets/voices/behinds/fill in the blank….

    Running against the US has been a reliable vote-getter in Europe for two generations at least. It goes back in my own memory to Charles De Gaulle. In fact, it goes back to before American independence. So cut W a break here. This IS anti-Americanism, it’s not new, and it’s not a tag for anyone who disagrees with Bush.

    As a first-generation American, I think it’s terrific that Europeans are finally waking up to the paradox of decrying American hegemony and “meddling” while simultaneously bemoaning American “lack of involvement.” I would point out that many in the US agree wholeheartedly with those who want Americans out of world affairs – but if we leave, we’re probably not coming back to bail anyone out. If you want a nice example of how well Europe will manage, take a look at the Balkans. Terrific job on that Serb thing – Milosevic really paid for his crimes, hey?

  8. orthodoc says:

    Re Macacarena,

    Oh, for heaven’s sake.

    European anti-Americanism was alive and well before George Bush became President. Anyone with historical awareness greater than that of a tree squirrel can remember massive demonstrations against the evil American Pershing II missiles, the evil American “aggression” against the Soviets, the evil American tourists coming to Europe with their big wallets/voices/behinds/fill in the blank….

    Running against the US has been a reliable vote-getter in Europe for two generations at least. It goes back in my own memory to Charles De Gaulle. In fact, it goes back to before American independence. So cut W a break here. This IS anti-Americanism, it’s not new, and it’s not a tag for anyone who disagrees with Bush.

    As a first-generation American, I think it’s terrific that Europeans are finally waking up to the paradox of decrying American hegemony and “meddling” while simultaneously bemoaning American “lack of involvement.” I would point out that many in the US agree wholeheartedly with those who want Americans out of world affairs – but if we leave, we’re probably not coming back to bail anyone out. If you want a nice example of how well Europe will manage, take a look at the Balkans. Terrific job on that Serb thing – Milosevic really paid for his crimes, hey?

  9. Macacarena says:

    Orthodoc,

    I am not denying that anti-Americanism exists. I make that very clear in my post.

    But the rest of your post rather suggests you have difficulty drawing a distinction between anti-Americanism and being anti certain American policy. For exmple, I won’t cut Bush a break on Iraq – I deeply disagree with the doctrine of preventative war, and I believe the occupation has been criminally mismanaged. I don’t regard this as an anti-American view, and equally I won’t regard it as anti-South Africanism or anti-Europeanism if you disagreed with me.

    And listen, that “paradox” you highlight can be resolved in your mind by understanding that Europeans generally agree with American interventionism when they agree with the cause. It’s no more complicated than that.

    To prove my point: look at the Lindberg study. Look at when European support for America starts to decline – after 2002. The Iraq War is the only reasonable explanation for this; a specific policy decision, not some abstract shift in attitudes towards America.

    With your silly Milosevic jab – the guy was ousted from power by his own people and died in custody – seems you aren’t really very serious about repairing relations with Europe. I am hoping America votes in a President who is.

  10. Teddy Bear says:

    Re: You want to know why there’s declining support for the US in its war on terrorism?

    It’s because Bush argues the invasion and occupation of Iraq is part of this war, and very few people trust this line of argument.

    It’s because the leftwing media do the ‘thinking’ for most people, who readily adopt the ‘opinions’ put before them without ANY independant research or conclusions. It’s because this conflict DOES hurt the militant Muslim world is why they are putting so much pressure or sweeteners on the media to maintain their misrepresentation of this war.

  11. Teddy Bear says:

    Re: You want to know why there’s declining support for the US in its war on terrorism?

    It’s because Bush argues the invasion and occupation of Iraq is part of this war, and very few people trust this line of argument.

    It’s because the leftwing media do the ‘thinking’ for most people, who readily adopt the ‘opinions’ put before them without ANY independant research or conclusions. It’s because this conflict DOES hurt the militant Muslim world is why they are putting so much pressure or sweeteners on the media to maintain their misrepresentation of this war.

  12. Kevin Sampson says:

    And listen, that “paradox” you highlight can be resolved in your mind by understanding that Europeans generally agree with American interventionism when they agree with the cause. It’s no more complicated than that.”

    If you have a cause that you think warrants intervention, why not intervene yourselves?

  13. Beth says:

    Macacarena,

    I travel through Europe every year and encounter Anti-Americanism every trip. To say that they are few in number is not entirely true. While I love Europe, I am attacked every year by those who hate Bush and America. On my annual journey across the continent, once I am identified, I am bludgeoned by hostility as though I personally got President Bush elected and am responsible for all the world’s problems. Now, to be fair, all of these “experts in blame” have been under the age of 30. So far.

    While I never let it interfere with my trip, it is most bewildering to me when I consider my behavior were these people in my homeland. It would simply never occur to me to insult someone, their country and their leaders while they were visiting America. It would be extremely poor form. Obnoxious and offensive, really. So I still can’t grasp the reason why many Europeans feel so comfortable approaching total strangers and berating them in such a mean-spirited manner. Perhaps the club/cafe setting just brings that out of them.

    Along with this hateful attitude is a pervasive mindset that somehow it is the sole responsibility of America to repair the U.S./European relationship. As though Europe bears no accountability in the matter. This attitude carries over into nearly every other issue. If there is something wrong, America is to blame for it, and America must fix it. This is why many Americans see Europe precisely the way Europe sees America; as behaving like an immature, spoiled child.

  14. Beth says:

    Macacarena,

    I travel through Europe every year and encounter Anti-Americanism every trip. To say that they are few in number is not entirely true. While I love Europe, I am attacked every year by those who hate Bush and America. On my annual journey across the continent, once I am identified, I am bludgeoned by hostility as though I personally got President Bush elected and am responsible for all the world’s problems. Now, to be fair, all of these “experts in blame” have been under the age of 30. So far.

    While I never let it interfere with my trip, it is most bewildering to me when I consider my behavior were these people in my homeland. It would simply never occur to me to insult someone, their country and their leaders while they were visiting America. It would be extremely poor form. Obnoxious and offensive, really. So I still can’t grasp the reason why many Europeans feel so comfortable approaching total strangers and berating them in such a mean-spirited manner. Perhaps the club/cafe setting just brings that out of them.

    Along with this hateful attitude is a pervasive mindset that somehow it is the sole responsibility of America to repair the U.S./European relationship. As though Europe bears no accountability in the matter. This attitude carries over into nearly every other issue. If there is something wrong, America is to blame for it, and America must fix it. This is why many Americans see Europe precisely the way Europe sees America; as behaving like an immature, spoiled child.

  15. Steevo says:

    “It would simply never occur to me to insult someone, their country and their leaders while they were visiting America. It would be extremely poor form. Obnoxious and offensive, really.”

    I know. That is what prejudice is. Europeans I see here in Washington State always look comfortable, enjoying themselves with no sign of ill treatment from us residents. If anything people go out of their way to be considerate.

  16. Teddy Bear says:

    Beth, if it’s any consolation what you’re really witnessing is fear and ignorance compounded especially by the media and slimy politicians.

    Eventually the truth will out, and eyes will be opened.

  17. Teddy Bear says:

    Beth, if it’s any consolation what you’re really witnessing is fear and ignorance compounded especially by the media and slimy politicians.

    Eventually the truth will out, and eyes will be opened.

  18. David Bodden says:

    Here is another example of biased anti-American BBC coverage for you.
    On the BBC website there is a story about US H-1B visa abuse with this on the front page

    “Ticket to riches
    Indian workers love US visas – but is the US playing fair? ”

    Story link: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/default.stm

    “Is the US playing fair” – real story: two senators are asking questions of Indian companies to see if THEY are playing fair.

    More information on senators http://www.senate.gov/~durbin/record.cfm?id=274241

    The abuse is even worse in the UK as there are links between the outsourcing companies and the governing Labour party.

  19. Teddy Bear says:

    David, they appear to have lost that line from their page now. Maybe they read your post.

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