Wednesday, May 02, 2007

anti-americanism for USA-philes

the beeb reports on the OU debate on regrettign the existence of the USA

a lot of the backchat is about antiamericanism. one of the things that is most annoying about americans is that they assume criticism is anti-americanism - something a lot of Israelis dotoo by the way - you are not allowed, apparently, to like America conditionally, like you are not allowed to like Israelis without disagreeing, even though a lot of the things non american's say when criticising america are said by americans themselves (ditto Israel). For example, when most people attack "america" over (say) Vietnam, Iraq (or other middle east policy) they are explicitly disagreeing with american forein policy, which they have as much (or more) right to do as americans, and they are explicitly disagreeing with what the US Federal Government is doing "on behalf of american people" - yet most of these areas are also ones in which many many americans either massively disagree with their own government (a Good Feature of america is their innate distrust of government), or else one where the vast mass of people don';t care (how many can find Palestine on the map ? :-)

The debate at the OU wasn't about the existence of North America as a contenient. It was implictly about who governs it, and by implication, what the policies are of those who govern it. This is a legitimate cause for debate as much outside as within the borders of the USA. As to whether people in the mid west should use Aluminum siding (and learn to spell Aluminium properly) or folks in Louisiana use white picket fences, well that would be something that is None Of Our Business.

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