Anti-Americanism Is Nothing New
Anti-Americanism Is Nothing New: I was talking to an Israeli friend of mine on ICQ today and he asked me what I thought about all the anti-Americanism in the world today. What I told him and what I’m going to tell you, is that there’s nothing new about anti-Americanism — it’s been around since our nation was founded. The slurs may change, but the hostility stays the same.
Just look at the last century. After the Zimmerman Telegram prompted the US to jump into WW1 and break the bloody stalemate in Europe, Woodrow Wilson’s advice was unceremoniously blown off by our “allies” and our nation was called “Uncle Shylock” for insisting that our loans be repaid. That was one of the reasons (although not the only one) that Americans were so hesitant to get involved in WW2.
Again in WW2, the US played a crucial role along with the Brits and Russians in winning the war. After the war was over, we didn’t demand that we be paid back the tens of billions we were owed and we even sponsored the Marshall Plan to help rebuild Europe. Moreover, we were protecting the Europeans from the Soviet Union. Had any one nation in history done so much in such a short period for other nations?
But, when the Korean War rolled around, who was Europe suspicious of — their American allies or the Soviets, Chinese and N. Koreans? You got it — us. We got the same raw deal in the Vietnam War.
Then Reagan got into office and started trying to actually defeat the Soviets and guess what? He was portrayed as a dangerous, warmongering, cowboy just like George Bush is today. As Reagan & America prosecuted and won the Cold War, we got support from Britain and to a lesser extent Germany. As far as the rest of Europe goes, we only received minimal assistance from them and Reagan was even vigorously protested in Europe for doing some of the very things that helped us win the Cold War.
Fast forward to the nineties and to be truthful, things weren’t much better. Sure we didn’t hear as much blatant anti-Americanism as during the Reagan ears, but Europe still bent over backwards to try to shackle us. Several treaties that came down the pike in the UN, (Kyoto & the International Criminal Court are two prominent ones) were primarily designed to tie down the US and one of the reasons the Europeans liked Bill Clinton was because they thought he might be dumb enough to sign on the dotted line.
Now let’s move on to the Bush Presidency — Afghanistan who we helped save from the Soviets in the 80s allowed their terrorist allies to attack us on 9/11, South Korea who we defend from their belligerent Northern neighbors complains about our troops, Turkey who we have constantly plugged for EU membership wouldn’t even take 30 billion dollars in loans and cash to help us out, France who we liberated in WW2 and protected from the Soviets for 45 years has been stabbing us in the back at every opportunity, etc, etc.
The truth is that if we’re doing anything because we expect gratitude from another country, we’re going to be sadly disappointed down the road. Maybe some of their citizens may appreciate what we’ve done, but even that is probably going to be very short-lived. Now why is that? Because as a general rule, I find that many people and all nations tend to decide what’s in their best interests first and then come up with all the “moral” reasons why they’re taking that position afterwards.
So, I don’t worry about anti-Americanism that much. It has always been around and always will be. However, as long as our military and economy stay strong, it’ll be in the interest of the other nations in the world to be friendly with us. And if it’s in their interest, they’ll come up with “moral” reasons why they should agree with/like us on their own — especially once things start to cool down in the war on terror (although that will be years away). You may think that is a Machiavellian view of the world, but you’ll find that it’s a very realistic one in a world where politicking between nations is simply a clever way to mask that the law of the jungle is still in effect.