'Bomb Texas' The psychological roots of anti-Americanism

Gordon Mohr gojomo@usa.net
Wed, 15 Jan 2003 12:40:38 -0800


Lucas writes:
> Gordon:
> > 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. 
> 
> America's enemies?  You mean Al Qaeda?  Are you implying that there is any 
> real portion of Americans who are pro-Al Qaeda?

On the bright side, we're an incredibly diverse nation. Nearly every
outlook possible can be found among American citizens, natural-born or
naturalized, or American residents, legal or illegal.

Unfortunately, some of those outlooks include the desire for:
  - American citizens to die
  - human freedoms to be abridged in the service of other ideologies
  - the American and world capitalist economy to crash
  - other nations and cultures to replace America as the most-influential
  - the American military to suffer defeats and losses at home and abroad,
    in order to advance the above hopes

Those outlooks are all to some extent or another "anti-Americanism", even 
when they are held by "Americans". They do not become "Americanism"
or "pro-America" the moment any American subscribes to them. 

There are at least a handful of Americans who work with Al Qaeda, just 
like there were at least a few Americans who worked on behalf of any 
country or movement that has wished ill towards Americans throughout 
our history. 

> It's gonna be too busy a day for me to follow this through all the way, so
> I have to post and run.  I believe that anti-Americanism among Americans
> is a nonsequiteur.  If americans are anti-american, then that's the
> american way -- American is whatever we happen to be.

Given that America is such a diverse entity, encompassing so many 
divergent outlooks, you can only rob the term "anti-Americanism" of 
its meaning if you also rob its converse, "Americanism", of any 
meaning.

That'd be a consistent position, even though it is disconnected
from the real world. 

We can argue about what "Americanism" may mean, and whether it's
a good or bad thing, but most people have some idea in mind when 
they hear the word. 

If they find the idea that comes to mind when they hear "Americanism" 
uniformly repulsive, they probably profess some sort of "anti-Americanism" -- 
regardless of whether they are themselves an American or not. 

- Gordon