'Bomb Texas' The psychological roots of anti-Americanism

Gordon Mohr gojomo@usa.net
Tue, 14 Jan 2003 14:32:47 -0800


Lucas Gonze writes:
> I have virtually never heard Americans talk about America as evil.  I have
> heard many Americans talk about some foreign policy or another as evil.  
> These aren't the same thing.

Then perhaps you haven't been as close as I ahve to the hard-left and 
hateful types who form the core of much of the the "permanent
protest class". Those "bomb texas" placards are only half humorous; 
there are a lot of angry, hateful people who despise their fellow 
Americans and/or the majority of Americans, even to the point of 
wishing them harm, if only to "teach them a lesson".

> As far as the moral status of foreign states goes, the anti-war argument
> here is that there's no distinction between Iraq and other countries.  
> Saudi Arabia brutally oppresses its own people, and it exported the
> violence of September 11 to us, and we don't care.

Saudi Arabia has not attacked 3 of its neighbors. Saudi Arabia
cooperate with us in a number of ways against imminent threats.
Saudi Arabia does not seek 

Foreign policy does not have to be -- indeed can not be -- 
conducted with the inflexible rigor of a computer program or
by-the-book arrest, with hard rules like, "if regime is 
oppressive, depose; otherwise, hands-off". 

We're allowed to give consideration to the other actions of a 
nation or its leadership; we're allowed to choose to deal with 
easier threats (like Iraq) before harder threats (North Korea); 
we're allowed to consider strategic resource/oil issues,
leaving us indifferent to totalitarianism in regions where 
it can't hurt our people, while vigilant about totalitarianism
in places (like Iraq) where it could cripple the economies of
our nation and our allies.

> > That's anti-Americanism, and it plenty of it exists (or at least
> > is very vocal) among the opposition to military action.
> 
> The problem here is that that's not a working definition of
> anti-Americanism. 

No one has said it is. I think everyone who's pro-this-war would 
say that it is possible to be anti-this-war without being 
anti-American -- even if they think anti-Americanism motivates
a lot of anti-war feeling, here and abroad, and even if they think
that a proper assessment of America's interests demands military
action.

> Overseas adventurism is not in the constitution;  

Yet as early as 1801, Thomas Jefferson, one of the most effective
proponents of limited government ever, saw fit to send the US Navy
to make war off the coast of Africa to save US commercial interests
from paying hefty tributes.

Overseas adventurism for economic fairness is almost as old as
our Republic. 

> citizens opposing foreign policy is.  Vigorously opposing foreign policy
> is being vigorously american.

No, it depends on the grounds for that vigorous opposition. If
the vigorous opposition is wishing success for America's enemies,
and the defeat of American interests, impoverishing and killing 
Americans, then that sort of vigorous opposition is absolutely 
anti-American. 

And there's some of that in the anti-war movement: even mainstream
liberals and pragmatic anti-war activists recognize that the "Act Now 
to Stop War & End Racism" and "Not In Our Name" groups are led by 
Maoist/Stalinist types who champion any dictator who resists American 
interests, no matter how repugnant. See for example:

http://www.gpjo.org/answer.htm

- Gordon