An Iranian Swede Gives His Opinion About Anti-Americanism
RWN reader Teller8 pontificated about anti-Americanism in the comments section of my “Envy & Anti-Americanism” post and what he had to say was so exceptional that I thought it was worth posting on the main page (after I cleaned it up and edited it down a bit). Do keep in mind that since this is someone posting in the comments section, I cannot guarantee the factual accuracy of everything he said (although I have no reason to think anything he’s saying isn’t correct). In any case, much of his argument (besides the part about envy & Iraq being a direct consequence of Vietnam) rings true to my ears. Here’s what he had to say…
“Anti-Americanism is a very interesting subject to me, I would like to share some of my impressions with you.
…(W)hat causes Anti-Americanism? I have an easier time analyzing Europe. To me it is quite clear that the bias is almost entirely ideological, and has nothing to do with envy (again, most Swedes feel sorry for Americans, they don’t envy them). The intellectual elite and media here is as left biased as the US. In terms of domestic policy the right usually puts up a fight with the left, using the forums they have influence in. But when it comes to anti-Americanism they really have little incentives, so their voices down. So everything you do is seen through the lens of Michel Moore (who is extremely popular in Sweden, both movie, books and TV-shows) or at best NY-times. They information is so biased that most right-wing people (who do not read anything other than Swedish news) have a very hard time arguing against them, and usually give in after a while.
Let me give you a few examples. I could give you half a million, but just to show you have bad things are, I will only pick examples from the last week:
1. Sweden largest right-wing newspaper (Expressen) writes an two side by side editorials about free speech, and how it is “disappearing”. One is about Putin’s crackdown on dissidents, and the other Is about GWB. It is stated that Bush “ordered” CBS to “stop production” of a TV show about Reagan, because he did not like it.
2. Sweden’s most conservative news paper (the highly respected Svenska Dagbladet) ran an analyses of the Iraq war on the foreign news section. There they praised Saddam Hussein’s “success in restoring stability after the gulf war in 91”. They of course did not mention that this was done through massacring thousands of Shia civilians (honestly, I am not making this stuff up).
3. Sweden’s largest Newspaper all categories (Aftonbladet, 1000 000 sales/day) had a huge headline a few days ago reading “Bush forbids abortions!”. Partial birth abortions are by the way since long forbidden in Sweden.
4. This….example is not as big a deal, but does show how far things have gone. A couple of days ago an article was published in the libertarian think-thank Smedjan (sort of like a mini-Cato) where readers were told that they should support the “moderate” Howard Dean, as GWB was “a born again evangelist Christian” who amongst other wanted to forbid homosexuality.
Someone mentioned Pinochet (whose installment by the way was NOT with American help, only American tacit support). I have invented something I call the “Pinochet test”. You just ask someone to name two South American dictators. I can proudly say that there are no exceptions to the rule so far: everyone immediately mentions Pinochet, but cannot think of anyone else. I suppose the reason most be that Latin America has not had any other dictators that Pinochet, specially none that were left-wing…
In this sense Anti-Americanism is essentially home-produced, this demonization of US-foreign policy was not done by Arab or German scholars, but by Chomsky and the like in American universities.
When people have only been fed lies, half-truths and left-wing propaganda in general you can’t expect them to like the US. If you want to fight anti-Americanism you have two choices: either impose socialism, or try to give a more balanced view of modern US history to the world (although I think Europe, the Middle-East, Latin America and South Korea are the worst, it seems you don’t that view (anti-Americanism) at all in other places).
Or ignore it. Let them hate you, most won’t/can’t really do anything about it. Just make sure (they) know what the consequences are. Never forget Kuwait was a direct consequence of Vietnam, and 9/11 a direct consequents of Mogadishu.
Sorry for writing so long.”