Fox recently did a special on Anti-Americanism.

Discussion in 'Free-For-All Archives' started by mioque, Nov 23, 2004.

  1. mioque

    mioque
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    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,136661,00.html

    So what was it like? Somehow I doubt they'll try to sell it to a commercial televisionchannel in my country (Fox's loss by the way, those channels will buy anything made in the USA).

    I've heard the following theory about the content of the program:"There shall be a talking head there who will explain that liberal ideology, in combination with general godlessness and the repeal of school prayer, has given rise to a Fifth Column inside the US that exports anti-Americanism everywhere, except for those parts of the world where people worship the wrong god - there, it's Satan causing it."

    A more reasonable view of anti-americanism worldwide I've heard was the following.

    The Arab world seems to have this obsession with conspiracy theories. It's not just of the tin foil hat variety, but rather its a perception of the way the world is.

    In the 1980s, an Irish man, Brian Keenan, was kidnapped by an Arabic terrorist group in Beiruit. He was held for several years. Why was he held?

    Brian Keenan, holding a UK passport was a British citizen. Britain is a poodle like lackey to America. America is the paymaster to the dark forces which control Kuwait. And the Kuwaiti government was holding several of the terrorist group's mates in jail.

    Follow that logic?

    Now apply that to the Arab world in general. You have all these older Pan Arabist dictator sorts, the Baathists, and of course my personal favourites, the Saudis. These lovely, heart warming people like nothing more than disappearing human rights workers, shooting the oppostion and treating the populace like dirt. So whose fault is that? America's fault. How is it America's fault. Well, they are, after all, the Great Satan of godliness and nekkid women, so they are obviously to blame. America has some complicity - eg, the Egyptian army is armed with US weaponry (a sort of bribe to keep Egypt on side after they switch camps from Soviet to American "client state" in the 70s) - in some of these regimes. Oil money keeps these regimes afloat. The money comes from America. Ergo, blame America.

    Now, the western left wing does have a series of ideological issues with the US. Their support for various ugly, ugly regimes in South and Central America (for example). The vast gulf between patriotic and ideological perception of what America is, and the reality for its citizens. The sense that as the powerhouse of capitalism it is responsible for various forms of social injustice in the western - and everywhere else - world. That is political "anti Americanism" if you will, but none of this is going to cause planes to crash into buildings.

    However, some of that western political left wing ideology has been co-opted by the intellectual core of the Islamist movement. It has been co-opted in a very particular way. The Islamist movement doesn't particularly care if, say, American pension planes won't invest in European countries if their social welfare systems are too generous. But it does like the idea that America is holding the whip hand over the entire third world. It likes that idea a lot, because if America is holding the whip hand, its the baddy. If its the baddy, then the guy who fights America is the white hat, the good guy. Radical islamism, therefore, sees itself as the saviour of the third world. What's the third world full of? Muslim communities - throughout Africa, throughout parts of South East Asia. The Ummah is there. While western countries fret about what to do with a highly ghettoised and deeply intolerant sub culture in the urban environment, these guys have their eye on the big prize - the poor muslim people of the third world. Most of the billion plus Muslims live under Arabic dictatorships in the Middle East, or in penury in the rest of the world. If they could be radicalised, the Ummah could become a political, economic and geopolitical force to rival that of the west.

    The direct problem most muslims have is not with America at all. It's with the Egyptian secret police. It's with Israeli bombings. It's with their Christian neighbours in the other part of the country. It's with a million and one other things, not directly with America. There is little in the way of unifying vision there. So you form an anti-american ideology. Then maybe you go a bit further and start crashing planes into American buildings.

    Now the Ummah is in direct confrontation with America. The Islamists have won their first goal.

    But I digress.

    In western countries, anti Americanism represents a number of different problems. In Canada, its a result of the founding of the country. North Americans who stayed loyal to the crown were driven out by the revolutionaries. The country was formed in opposition to America. Add that to the fact that both countries have a remarkably similar culture, and you have something that feels more like a deep seated old family feud. But there is a vague, diffuse, Canadian identity. No one wants to see it die. But it may die under the weight of crap American TV, under the various underhanded tricks played by American lobbyists. So people resent that, deeply.

    German anti-Americanism is new. Germany always had a very active and often violent left wing. But they were a distinctly minority opinion. West German foreign policy was, in essence, do what Washington said. When the wall fell, when Germany reunited, it caused a deep debate (a National Question, to use the German term) over what it meant to be German, who the Germans were and what their purpose was in the world. Constantly bowing and scraping in apology for the utter evil of one's grandsire had long ago gotten old. The generation who fought in the Second World War - the SS men who murdered British airman and the Wehrmacht men who were reduced to eating <snipped by moderator> in Stalingrad - were dying. Living memory of the second world war, of the nazis, was retreating over the horizon. It was not enough, anymore, to merely echo what Washington told them to say. Germany had to walk the world stage on its own. And that mainly meant the creation of a Germany which could say no. And when Iraq came along, this was something Germany - either conservative Germany or Social Democratic Germany or Free Market Gemrany - had to say no to. The people of Germany were not really manipulated into their objection to the war. They saw the same evidence everyone else saw, and they said no.

    Which bring us to France. uhhh...well, you all do know that Jacques Chirac's party is essentially the French Republican Party? Good. They aren't socialists. France is another day's epic, but really I think it boils down to the fact that France and the US look into each other's face and see their own worst flaws reflected therein, barely seeing that their own glories are also reflected.

    As for the UK, I often suspect that it is a mix of romanticism and expedience which keeps the two countries close. The UK is not like America. America is not like the UK. The shared anglo saxon heritage is something from the dim and distant past (if I were pressed, I would see the US as being far more German). Eventually this is going to become more and more clear. Britain's right wing may hold romantic aspirations towards joining NAFTA, but it would be deeply impractical. The special relationship may /help/ Britain punch above its weight in the world, but there are many other factors surrounding Britain's status (not least of which that the city of London is THE wealthiest piece of earth on the planet).

    In the end, though, for everyone else in the western world, America is like this big fucking widescreen TV in the corner of the room. It's the western world looking at itself, on crack, with the volume cranked up to 11. It's a huge TV, you can't quite get it out of your sight. there is some good stuff on that TV, but the volume is deafening. You cannot affect it, but if affects your life, on a daily basis. You know more about Bill Clinton's <edited for taste "private life"> or George W's pretzels than you do about your own government. Your very financial survival might depend on something happening on that big TV that you cannot control. It's omnipresent. It's there. There is no off switch. And sometimes you wish...would someone turn the volume down?

    Please?

    Oh and, there's nothing quite like hearing that your country is a socialist and poor country with no civil liberties or freedoms by some pundit talking to a population who don't travel.

    We are not jealous. We are not oppressed. We think our countries are very nice, thanks. Our countries and our cultures are older than yours. Our cultures flowed into yours and we absorbed them back. When we don't do as America does, it might not be because we are stupid.

    [ December 02, 2004, 11:24 AM: Message edited by: C4K ]
     
  2. Plain Old Bill

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    So Moique have you properly vented now or do you have more?
     
  3. Plain Old Bill

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    Oh please tone down some of the vulgarities.
     
  4. Plain Old Bill

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    Your comments are interesting. What is the European fascination with America? Why do we constantly get all of this free advice from Europeans? I really have no problem with going semi-isolationist and minding my own business. Regarding your culture is older than my culture, Babylons culture is older than your culture does that mean you should adopt a Iraqi culture or thier culture is better than yours?
     
  5. Joseph_Botwinick

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    Does Europe not get Fox News?

    John Gibson's special was very well done. No Satan introduced at all. We were introduced to a Canadian who is putting forward the conspiracy theory started by a French man that America actually attacked its own people on 9-11 and that Al-Quaeda had nothing to do with it. Both of these men were interviewed by Gibson on the special. We were also shown videos of what is reported as news in the Arab world. I hope that he will market this as a DVD as I think it would gain a wider market. He also discussed what we need to do to change the perceptions of the world.

    Joseph Botwinick
     
  6. Turpius

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    I think she's done venting. Nothing else after a week.
     
  7. Turpius

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    Oh, and we Americans tend to have certain facinations about Europe too.( not all, but many)
     
  8. rsr

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    I rather enjoyed her post.

    As to the Fox special, I saw some of it. It was so-so. John Gibson ain't Mike Wallace as an interviewer and it had that breathless Fox tone that promises more than will be delivered.

    (Anyone notice there seem to be more Brits than before on Fox with a more direct Murdoch tone?)
     
  9. mioque

    mioque
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    Plain Old Bill
    "What is the European fascination with America?"
    "
    It's most likely a direct consequence of the whole continent being bombarded with cheap* american entertainment.

    *not the quality of said entertainment, the comparatively low price for which it is sold to European cinemas and tv-stations.

    "Why do we constantly get all of this free advice from Europeans?"
    "
    Irony I guess.

    "Babylons culture is older than your culture does that mean you should adopt a Iraqi culture"
    "
    Babylonian culture was vastly different from modern Iraqi culture.

    "I really have no problem with going semi-isolationist and minding my own business."
    "
    One of the few aspects of Dutch culture that is a true holdover from medieval times is celebrating the feast of saint Nicholas. It is being destroyed as a side effect of the Hollywood marketing strategy even as we [​IMG] .
     
  10. Scott J

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    Modern European culture is vastly different from any period prior to the 20th century.
     
  11. mioque

    mioque
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    Scott
    But not nearly as different as Iraqi vs. Babylonian culture.
     
  12. Plain Old Bill

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    Well Moique I am glad to see you are out of your funk.
    The reference to Babylon is like the reference comparing the age of Europe to America. Older is not always better, just different,which is O.K.
     

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