Sunday, July 19, 2009
’Anti-Americanism’by Christopher Dowd, July 18, 2009
No one in Russia is buying tickets to the traveling Obama road show.
This is the road show whereupon Obama flies into a foreign country and makes a pretty speech that all two of our allowed political viewpoints will pretend to bicker over and then he flies home and US policy continues on the same as before… as this news story from the other day makes clear. So much for that "reset button."
Americans, especially liberals, line up for tickets to the Obama road show. The lines are around the block.
Outside of cocoon America, however, sales are dead.
But the backers of the Obama road show, the Beltway (or what our press would call "oligarchs" when talking about Russia’s government) don’t care about foreign ticket sales. They just want to mollify Americans with the appearance of "change" while everything pretty much stays exactly the same. From troop "pullouts" that haven’t really happened to detention policies that haven’t really changed to defense spending that isn’t decreasing Americans are subjected to an Obama regime that must pretend to be different while actually being so only in the most cosmetic and substance-less of ways.
While our government takes pains to make sure our viewpoints are narrowly managed it really could care less how the broader world views the US. Except in active war zones or in areas of "national interest" where the US wages intense, focused, and sophisticated propaganda campaigns, what foreigners generally think of the US is of little concern to the Beltway. And why should the views of foreigners be of any concern to our Beltway elite? It is not like they really have to worry about another country being a threat (I mean a real threat and not the made-up-for-the-rubes "threats"). Short of doing something to ignite a nuclear exchange with another nuclear power the United States has nothing to fear militarily from any nation on the planet. The only attack the US can suffer is from the pin prick of terrorism. And a terrorist attack certainly does not threaten the Beltway’s rule or power — on the contrary — they only strengthen and enhance them. Heck — some US politicians and statists of the rightist variety have even hoped openly for more terrorists attacks in this country for precisely that reason — so the hand of government would be strengthened!
This isn’t to say that DC doesn’t make an effort. Periodically we will get a spasm out of Washington in which they express interest in US "image management" abroad and it becomes the rage for a month or so among our media talking heads. As if America’s image was just a problem of mixing up the right PR stew and not the direct consequence of its actions and deeds. But then Washington makes clear just how much they care about their foreign image when they do things like put an unqualified boob and parochial political hack in charge of the outreach effort to cultures and a religion she knows less than nothing about.
Now our elite understand that the US image is a direct result of what they do. They just don’t care. But they do take pains to make sure the average American is kept from this reality. And they have done this by infantilizing us with such broad notions as "Anti-Americanism."
You see, it isn’t what we do that so upsets foreigners. No. See — what makes them mad at us, what makes them crazy is that they have this disease — this disorder — this condition, if you will, called "Anti-Americanism."
"Anti-Americanism" is something that foreigners just seem to catch out of the blue for no reason. Well — some say "Anti-Americanism" is spread to foreigners when jealousy for how awesome we are overwhelms them and they realize just how inferior to us they are in all ways. Hatred for America has nothing to do with what our government does, which always does things out of pureness of heart and for noble motive. Rather, hatred for America comes from, well… . "Anti-Americanism."
See, we are the victim. America. Us against the world that hates us because they are all infected with irrational "Anti-Americanism" and are blinded to our inherent goodness.
And other than "Islam" (which in idiot reich winger land is one mass Muslim mind out to set up the One World Caliphate) no one has the disease of "Anti-Americanism" worse than the Russians.
And this was starkly evident on Obama’s visit when Russians, a people who have no cause for "white guilt" when it comes to those with ancestry in the Southern Hemisphere, refused to embarrass themselves by spazzing out like teen age school girls as any West European country would upon a visit from "the first black President."
Oddly, unlike Americans — the Russians have this "Anti-American" propensity to dismiss words over actions and deeds. They also have the troubling habit of not seeing American actions in the best possible light as we do and they likewise don’t believe automatically in the noble intentions of all US policy and actions — as we do reflexively.
And those are indeed chief symptoms of "Anti-Americanism." Not seeing American actions as we see them — as motivated by pure goodness — is to "hate America" actually. It is also a sign of "paranoia."
This LA Times article from July 4th, even before Obama’s visit, entitled "Anti-Americanism plays in Russia" lays out all the reasons that the ugly soul-destroying disease of "Anti-Americanism" has gripped the small shrunken hearts of Russians everywhere (except those in the employ of MIC-financed American think tanks however). And the reasons for their Anti-Americanism? Well they are myriad. First — it is just a habit of Russian rulers to drum up anti-American sentiment to bolster rule at home. Also Russian insecurities about not being a superpower are to blame. Other reasons are that "Anti-Americanism" is a good career path for Russian politicians, Cold War nostalgia, and the idea that if there is no hostility with the US then Russia isn’t important anymore and Russian rulers can’t stomach that reality.
Oh — and the article mentions in passing that Russia may feel threatened by the expansion of NATO up to her borders when it was assured to them that this would not happen. And some unnamed meddling on the part of the US in Georgia and Ukraine might, maybe, also be a factor. But not really.
No one has a legitimate reason to be mad at America. To feel threatened by America. To suspect America of less than pure intention. All that motivates their hostility is… just… well…"Anti-Americanism" for the sake of being anti-American. Most, if not all "Anti-Americanism" in Russia isn’t motivated for any legitimate reason. No, as the LA Times article makes clear — it is motivated out of grubby cynical political reasons on the part of their corrupt grubby cynical "oligarchs."
And in the few instances that they can point to as being the cause of their alarm at American actions, they are really just failing to believe the US rationales for these actions at face value — which is itself — another sign of "Anti-Americanism." Failure to believe US explanations, no matter how imbecilic or insulting, is paranoid "Anti-Americanism." Not buying into the often absurd self-serving Beltway "conventional wisdom" on an issue of foreign policy is likewise "Anti-Americanism." Straying too far afield from the tiny parameter of debate allowed on foreign policy issues (which in most cases among our two party fraud is literally no more than who can do more for the sainted holy "troops") is perilous for a foreign leader to do — as it is for an American politician.
When Russia doesn’t believe the false and clearly preposterous US rationale that a missile shield they are building in Poland is to defend from attack by Iran — that is clearly an example of Russian paranoid "Anti-Americanism" run amok.
Likewise — to view the expansion of NATO up to her borders as a threat is yet more rampant "Anti-Americanism." Since US politicians say that this expansion isn’t motivated by anything Anti-Russian — then it is "Anti-American" for the Russians to think or suspect otherwise! See how that works?
Not buying into the New York Times fantasy version of events in Kosovo that ended in the 72-day-long murder-bombing of civilians in Serbia? You got it. "Anti-Americanism."
Take a dim view of the US funneling money through NGO’s into your domestic politics and in the border states not yet officially in NATO? Just another sad example of not seeing that NGO money for what it is — pure democracy goodness! And it is "Anti-American" to suspect such US sponsored NGO operations in their countries as anything other than that.
See, Russians don’t have any cause to be alarmed by American actions at all. If they would just listen to Obama, and believe in the unique special sweet goodness of America as much as we do — then the Russians would be cured of this terrible sickness!
This sound bite — this phrase — "Anti-Americanism" is not questioned by Americans at all. We don’t even think about it. We accept this nonsense phrase as an excuse for why foreigners hate us without even thinking about it. It works like a charm on a dumbed down American population that has long lost the ability to formulate or solve the most basic of logical syllogisms.
For decades now it has been used to dismiss much criticism of the United States. Its use in the last decade however has gone into turbo crazy overdrive. Our leaders even seem to forget that "Anti-Americanism" isn’t real, sometimes, and they can come off sounding… well… nuts.
They are so accustomed to no one of any consequence at home challenging the notion that maybe foreigners might have reasons to dislike American policy other than simply "hating America" for no specified reason that they actually have no idea how they seem to the world. Nothing better demonstrated this deranged disconnect from any semblance of reality than the reaction among our elite to the Russian response to an attack on them from the DC client state of Georgia.
Here we had an American elite — which is waging two wars on more than dubious grounds thousands of miles away from her borders charging Russia with illegal aggression against a rump statelet on her borders that had all but attacked Russia! And that they themselves more than likely approved of if not had orchestrated beforehand! Without batting an eye, a deranged American elite felt entirely comfortable charging Russia with illegal aggression against an all-but-installed American puppet government in a "country" on her borders that had attacked a Russian minority group enclave while American armies swarm over the Middle East on justifications that only Americans and morons would buy. But for Russia to charge or even hint at malign American motives in oil-rich Iraq is intolerable "Anti-Americanism," ridiculous paranoia.
The reaction of the American Beltway to that event was quite simply, scary mental.
Our media’s and foreign policy establishment’s abuse of this term is so obscene and shameless at this point, it makes Al Sharpton and Abe Foxman blush.
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