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chris
September 26th, 2003, 03:55 AM
Exceptional read for anyone who has the time...
[ARTICLE DELETED]

ZippyTheChimp
September 26th, 2003, 08:17 AM
The author's analysis of the contradictory nature of anti-Americanism in the Muslim-Arabic world is right on the money, but there is nothing surprising here. Even the 09/11 hijackers exhibited that duality. In tracing their movements while in the United States, it was found that some frequented topless bars and othere symbols of American decadence.

His argument becomes weaker when he cites examples in Europe. He seems to have overlooked the conflict in the Balkans.

JMGarcia
September 26th, 2003, 01:28 PM
I think what is very interesting in this article is something that it only hints at.


This past June, the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press published a survey of public opinion in 20 countries and the Palestinian territories that indicated a growing animus toward the United States. In the same month, the BBC came forth with a similar survey that included 10 countries and the United States. On the surface of it, anti-Americanism is a river overflowing its banks. In Indonesia, the United States is deemed more dangerous than al Qaeda. In Jordan, Russia, South Korea, and Brazil, the United States is thought to be more dangerous than Iran, the "rogue state" of the mullahs.


America is the most dangerous country/political entity in the world and IMO this is the central reason for so much anti-americanism. Realistically, much of the rest of the world feels that the are completely at the mercy of the whims of the US government. The best they can hope for is a good natured US government that chooses not intervene negatively in their affairs. They have no power to actually make this happy circumstance come about.

They know the US can and will act unilaterally and most likely successfully if the US government feels like it and there is nothing they can do about it.
The continous cacophony of calls for US actions to be governed by some sort of international approval committee (whoever that may be) only reinforces this idea.

It is this feeling of lack of control and helplessness against America's whims that is the very root of most anti-americanism IMO.

The other major cause of anti-americanism is, IMO, religious/cultural and is also hinted at in the article. Virtually every country in world decries the US for not being more like them. The US is too religious to some, too secular to others, too oppressive, too lax, too interventionist, too laxadasical and on and on.

It certainly isn't surprising that the average guy on the street, knowing that there is such a powerful entity in the world, can come to blame the US for the political and cultural failings of his own people. Especially when it is reinforced (for reasons of political expediency) by his own government and elites.

Freedom Tower
September 26th, 2003, 10:19 PM
People should not complain. They have nothing to worry about from us unless they have wronged us. As for anti-americanism it is mostly because we are rich and powerfull, and they are jealous. If any other country in the world had as much power as us I'd be afraid if they'd be as responsible with it as we have been.

ZippyTheChimp
September 27th, 2003, 10:47 AM
U.S. Asks Muslims Why It Is Unloved. Indonesians Reply

By JANE PERLEZ

JAKARTA, Indonesia, Sept. 26 A group of Indonesian Muslims, handpicked by the United States Embassy here for their moderate views, this week told an expert panel from Washington in unvarnished terms why America is unloved in the Islamic world.

The basic problem is policy, not public relations, said Yenni Zannuba Wahid, 28, who is the daughter of the nation's former president, Abdurrahman Wahid, and who has just returned from a year of graduate study at Harvard.

"There is no point in saying this is a problem of communication, blah blah blah," said Ms. Wahid after a videoconference on Thursday night with the advisory group on public diplomacy in the Arab and Muslim world. The panel is to report to the White House and Congress on Wednesday. "The perception in the Muslim world is that the problem is the policy towards the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and Iraq."

That said, Ms. Wahid added, it would help alleviate, but not close, the distance between the Muslim world and the United States, if Washington would "explain the policy."

"Just talk to us," she said.

Another panelist criticized the United States' preoccupation with Islamic fundamentalists. "Every country has fundamentalists," said Zaki M. Mansoer, the director of a Muslim magazine, Panjimas. "I think Billy Graham Jr. is a fundamentalist," he said, referring to the Rev. Franklin Graham, who has called Islam "a very evil and wicked religion."

Ms. Wahid, whose father was president from 1999 to 2001, joined a group of a dozen Muslims, including leaders of the largest Muslim organizations, in a hotel conference room on Thursday night. The head of the advisory group, Edward P. Djerejian, who is a former United States ambassador to Syria, was on the screen in front of them with several of his colleagues.

Mr. Djerejian's 12-member panel, which includes John Zogby, the president of the polling company, Zogby International, and Shibley Telhami, a professor at the University of Maryland, was asked this summer by Congress to come up with some rapid solutions to anti-Americanism in the Muslim world.

Angered by a series of opinion surveys that showed a sudden slump in the United States' standing in the world, particularly in Muslim countries, Congress froze the administration's budget for public diplomacy the efforts by the State Department and others to explain the United States abroad until the Djerejian panel released its findings.

Among the issues panel members say they are considering is whether there should be an increase in the number of exchange students from the Muslim world who travel to the United States for yearlong stays with American families and for other kinds of programs. One member of the panel said the exchanges were an excellent way to build "constituents across the world."

Another question was whether the Bush administration should establish a new position, a "public diplomacy adviser," as recommended in a recent study by the Council on Foreign Relations. That report concluded that anti-Americanism was so severe it was "endangering our national security and compromising the effectiveness of our diplomacy."

The Djerejian group traveled to Cairo; Damascus, Syria; and Istanbul; where its members met face to face with Muslim intellectuals and opinion leaders.

In Cairo, they peered through a two-way mirror into two focus groups of Egyptians who discussed their attitudes toward the United States, particularly what they saw as American support for Israel at the expense of the Palestinians.

One of the panel members, Stephen P. Cohen, who is the senior scholar with the Israel Policy Forum and is well traveled across the Middle East, said many of the Muslims interviewed held "a great deal of regard for American values, especially American education."

In some ways, he said, this only makes things worse. "We wouldn't be so upsetting to people if they didn't believe we had these universal values for our own society, and completely ignored them internationally."

The panel was supposed to visit Pakistan and Indonesia, but faced with a tight budget and a scramble to write the report by Wednesday, it made do with videoconferences.

The dialogue with Indonesia was intended to give the panel a sample of opinion in the world's most populous Muslim country, a place that is considered moderate in its overall religious views but where there are increasing calls for Shariah, or Islamic law.

Mr. Mansoer, the director of Panjimas, said he and his colleagues took the videoconference as a chance to "let off steam." Hot-button issues, he said, included the overarching one of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, followed by concerns specific to Indonesian Muslims.

Most damaging to America's standing in Indonesia, Mr. Mansoer said he told the panel, is the perception that the Indonesians that the United States "picked on" were fundamentalist believers of Islam. These people have a right to practice that form of their religion, just as fundamentalist Christians do in America, he said.

Mr. Mansoer was referring in particular to the elderly Islamic preacher Abu Bakar Bashir, who the United States believes heads a terrorist organization, Jemaah Islamiyah. At his trial earlier this month, Mr. Bashir was found not guilty of the charge that he leads the group.

Ms. Wahid, whose father was the head of Nahdlatul Ulama, the largest Muslim organization in Indonesia, and is considered the personification of Indonesia's moderate Islam, said that as the panel grappled with solutions it should consider the following: "How come what the extremists say has currency with the larger mass in the Muslim world? How is it the radicals manage to use the political situation to advance what they are preaching?"

The United States needs to be more sensitive, even about small things, she said.

At the invitation of the American Embassy, the Indonesians gathered for dinner at a hotel here before the videoconference. They were invited to eat at 6 p.m., the time when many Muslims go to the mosque for prayers, she said. "My more conservative friends were asking: `Why at 6 p.m.? Are they doing this on purpose?' "

In the end, Mr. Mansoer said, the United States faces a long haul. "It will take time to build trust again. You can't make a quick fix. This is the equivalent of nation-building."



Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company

JCDJ
March 4th, 2004, 08:38 PM
People should not complain. They have nothing to worry about from us unless they have wronged us. As for anti-americanism it is mostly because we are rich and powerfull, and they are jealous. If any other country in the world had as much power as us I'd be afraid if they'd be as responsible with it as we have been.

-GASP GASP GASP-

I'm sure not all of our smart bombs and bullets hit only people who have wronged us. We should be credited for singling out military targets, but explosives when they hit the ground can hardly be considered picky. And mistakes happen. There is such a thing as civilian casualties, and please try not to discount them, an innocent Iraqi's child's life is just as an important as an American's. We're all human and experience feelings, and lives, and pain, and joy.

As for the U.S. being responsible with its power...

Hiroshima and Nagasaki

Gregory Tenenbaum
March 2nd, 2006, 07:02 AM
-GASP GASP GASP-

I'm sure not all of our smart bombs and bullets hit only people who have wronged us. We should be credited for singling out military targets, but explosives when they hit the ground can hardly be considered picky. And mistakes happen. There is such a thing as civilian casualties, and please try not to discount them, an innocent Iraqi's child's life is just as an important as an American's. We're all human and experience feelings, and lives, and pain, and joy.

As for the U.S. being responsible with its power...

Hiroshima and Nagasaki

The atomic bombing of Japan caused fewer deaths than the conventional firebombing did. More people died in Tokyo from conventional bombing raids and the same in Dresden etc.

They were experimenting with wonder weapons which they thought they needed to cut back casualties and I reckon quite a few US Citizens copped the brunt of the experimentation too, especially soldiers on the test range ordered to stand in view of the blasts. It's not an excuse but when the british blame the US for this you only need ask "Who else would have defeated the Empire of Japan - Britain?". I don't think so.

As for Anti Americanism generally, look no further to Britain. Most of my friends here regard it as a dangerous place for americans. Travelling there myself I would say that most british people would mouth off against the US whenever they could.

I guess that they are still ashamed that they lost their empire and cant work out why they havent got a space program.

Honestly however, its more about this: The backward social class system and emphasis upon "which school did you go to" in the UK will mean that their self loathing culture will have trouble to indentify with or understand the US culture. Understand that people left the UK for US, Canada, Australia, NZ etc because of the social (and religious) persecution, if you go to the UK today, you will still see a glimpse of this.

Go back there today and get a taste of 19th Century prejudice - it's worth the flight.

MidtownGuy
March 2nd, 2006, 09:25 AM
They have nothing to worry about from us unless they have wronged us.

History proves the opposite. Are you familiar with US foreign intervention throughout the last hundred or so years, or do you just choose to ignore it?

Actually, you don't have to reach so far back. Can you spell IRAQ??

HoboSapian
September 12th, 2006, 11:12 AM
ummm...(sweating profusely)I...R...A...............K?

For a country with the kind of power it holds its got a decent record. Could you imagine despots like Kim Jong or Saddam Hussain with that kind of power?

It's all well and good to say what America shouldn't have done to hiroshima, nagasaki and other "attrocities" America have commited, but I'm sure you all would've been whining "Why didnt America blow Japan to bits", had the Japanese taken over the US, Aus, Britian. e.t.c

Jake
September 12th, 2006, 09:46 PM
Also people tend to forget that the US had a monopoly on nuclear bombs for a while in the early cold war and chose not to use them against Russia for reasons unknown.

Here's something to think about:

The most horrible atrocity commited by the US is the inaction towards African genocide in the 1990s thanks to President Clinton. This is the opinion of the VAST majority of International Relations scholars including nobel prize winners in policy and such commonly worshipped names as Robert Jervis and Thomas Schelling. Perhaps if more people took PoliSci classes rather than all this other crap in course catalogs we'd have some different conclusions.

lofter1
September 12th, 2006, 10:58 PM
... the US had a monopoly on nuclear bombs for a while in the early cold war and chose not to use them against Russia for reasons unknown.

It was pretty clear to Robert J. Oppenheimer and many of the other scientists involved in the development of the Atom Bomb and the subsequent bombing of Japan that the use of any such bombs in the future should be avoided at all costs. Following the end of WW2 the scientists re-convened serious work on the US atomic arsenal only after the Soviets detonated their first atomic weapon in 1949.

Even before the Bombs were dropped on Japan on August 6 and 9, 1945 there was very strong sentiment in the scientific community that Atomic weapons -- which had been developed during the war out of fear that Germany would develop them first -- should not be used once Germany had been defeated. And not dropped directly on Japan as there was concern that to do so would only compel the Soviets to start an arms race ** :

On July 17, 1945, Leo Szilard and 69 co-signers at the Manhattan Project "Metallurgical Laboratory" in Chicago PETITIONED (http://www.dannen.com/decision/45-07-17.html) the President of the United States ...
July 17, 1945

A PETITION TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES


Discoveries of which the people of the United States are not aware may affect the welfare of this nation in the near future. The liberation of atomic power which has been achieved places atomic bombs in the hands of the Army. It places in your hands, as Commander-in-Chief, the fateful decision whether or not to sanction the use of such bombs in the present phase of the war against Japan.




We, the undersigned scientists, have been working in the field of atomic power. Until recently, we have had to fear that the United States might be attacked by atomic bombs during this war and that her only defense might lie in a counterattack by the same means. Today, with the defeat of Germany, this danger is averted and we feel impelled to say what follows:
The war has to be brought speedily to a successful conclusion and attacks by atomic bombs may very well be an effective method of warfare. We feel, however, that such attacks on Japan could not be justified, at least not unless the terms which will be imposed after the war on Japan were made public in detail and Japan were given an opportunity to surrender.
If such public announcement gave assurance to the Japanese that they could look forward to a life devoted to peaceful pursuits in their homeland and if Japan still refused to surrender our nation might then, in certain circumstances, find itself forced to resort to the use of atomic bombs. Such a step, however, ought not to be made at any time without seriously considering the moral responsibilities which are involved.
The development of atomic power will provide the nations with new means of destruction. The atomic bombs at our disposal represent only the first step in this direction, and there is almost no limit to the destructive power which will become available in the course of their future development. Thus a nation which sets the precedent of using these newly liberated forces of nature for purposes of destruction may have to bear the responsibility of opening the door to an era of devastation on an unimaginable scale.
If after this war a situation is allowed to develop in the world which permits rival powers to be in uncontrolled possession of these new means of destruction, the cities of the United States as well as the cities of other nations will be in continuous danger of sudden annihilation. All the resources of the United States, moral and material, may have to be mobilized to prevent the advent of such a world situation. Its prevention is at present the solemn responsibility of the United States -- singled out by virtue of her lead in the field of atomic power.
The added material strength which this lead gives to the United States brings with it the obligation of restraint and if we were to violate this obligation our moral position would be weakened in the eyes of the world and in our own eyes. It would then be more difficult for us to live up to our responsibility of bringing the unloosened forces of destruction under control.
In view of the foregoing, we, the undersigned, respectfully petition: first, that you exercise your power as Commander-in-Chief, to rule that the United States shall not resort to the use of atomic bombs in this war unless the terms which will be imposed upon Japan have been made public in detail and Japan knowing these terms has refused to surrender; second, that in such an event the question whether or not to use atomic bombs be decided by you in light of the considerations presented in this petition as well as all the other moral responsibilities which are involved.

Leo Szilard and 69 co-signers

** Szilard revealed in an interview (http://www.peak.org/~danneng/decision/usnews.html) in 1960 that he had tried to influence Roosevelt regarding the use of the Bomb on Japan, but history intervened ... and Truman was not as accessible to Szilard.

If we had offered Japan the kind of peace treaty which we actually gave her, we could have had a negotiated peace ...




In March, 1945, I prepared a memorandum which was meant to be presented to President Roosevelt. This memorandum warned that the use of the bomb against the cities of Japan would start an atomic-arms race with Russia, and it raised the question whether avoiding such an arms race might not be more important than the short-term goal of knocking Japan out of the war. I was not certain that this memorandum would reach the President if I sent it "through channels." Therefore, I asked to see Mrs. Roosevelt, and I intended to transmit my memorandum through her - in a sealed envelope - to the President.
When Mrs. Roosevelt set the date for the interview which I had requested, I went to see Arthur H. Compton, who was in charge of the Chicago project. I rather expected him to object to the contents of my memorandum, and I was therefore much relieved when he told me that he hoped I would get the memorandum into the hands of the President and that it would receive the attention of the President. I then went back to my own office, and I hadn't been there for more than five minutes when there was a knock at the door and there stood Dr. Norman Hilberry.


"We have just heard over the radio that President Roosevelt died," he said.

milleniumcab
September 12th, 2006, 11:04 PM
I think America has been doing what all empires did through out history... Conqure and protect her own interests all over the world..But used different tactics to accomplish that..

America discovered that it is easier and cheaper to manupilate governments through out the world than conquring, long time ago...We are now eating the fruits of such policies...

We have to partly, if not mostly, blame our governments' past and present policies that protected our interests overseas while disregarding local people's needs...

Jake
September 13th, 2006, 12:58 PM
It was pretty clear to Robert J. Oppenheimer and many of the other scientists involved in the development of the Atom Bomb and the subsequent bombing of Japan that the use of any such bombs in the future should be avoided at all costs. Following the end of WW2 the scientists re-convened serious work on the US atomic arsenal only after the Soviets detonated their first atomic weapon in 1949.

That's true, even Einstein agreed with this BUT following WW2 the American government was very much filled with military commanders who had a good understanding of the advancement and capability of the nuclear program. THe US had quite a few warheads following the bombing of Japan but the problem was largely strategic.

The US had no long range bomber until 1952 (I believe) and the USSR constantly threatened to attack western Europe by their conventional forces should an American attack occur. Despite this the USSR took much longer to achieve both true nuclear and strike capability. So in the early years the US did have a monopoly, though maybe not strategically feasible, and later on had a vast superiority for many years. MAD was not achieved until these warheads reached the 1000s levels so if the US wanted to destroy the Soviets they very much could've for many years.

from Wikimedia Commons:
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/5/5d/US_and_USSR_nuclear_stockpiles.png/797px-US_and_USSR_nuclear_stockpiles.png

lofter1
September 13th, 2006, 06:50 PM
American Military strategists had determined -- even in the early 1950s when the numbers of nuclear weapons held by each side numbered only in the hundreds (as opposed to the thousands each side had developed by the mid-60s) -- that the Soviet Union had only two viable target cities that the US could strategically hit with nuclear weapons in order to cause the ruin of the USSR (Moscow and Leningrad).

However those same strategists realized that the Soviets could pick between 50 US target cities -- any small combination of which would bring America to its knees.

Much more difficult to protect multiple targets.

For the US the game became as much a problem of defense as offense.

And when it came down to it the leaders of neither the US nor the USSR were willing to risk the legacy / outcome of nuclear war. Besides which side could afford to bankroll the costly follow-up to nuclear war?

On the other hand, in the late 40s (before the Soviets had developed a viable nuclear program) certain American scientists -- most notably Edward Teller -- were pushing for the use of atomic weapons against Mao and his millions in China.

Imagine, if you can, the different world we would now live in if those nuclear attacks had come to pass -- had we survived ...

Jake
September 13th, 2006, 10:37 PM
I wasn't advocating nuclear war just trying to highlight how nice of us it was not to exploit our advantage :).

I guess the reality is that neither side ever wanted to attack the other, just prevent an attack on themselves. It's certainly a great discussion question, I can't wait for the time when Russia declassifies Cold War archives (if ever).

nick-taylor
September 14th, 2006, 09:28 AM
The atomic bombing of Japan caused fewer deaths than the conventional firebombing did. More people died in Tokyo from conventional bombing raids and the same in Dresden etc.

They were experimenting with wonder weapons which they thought they needed to cut back casualties and I reckon quite a few US Citizens copped the brunt of the experimentation too, especially soldiers on the test range ordered to stand in view of the blasts. It's not an excuse but when the british blame the US for this you only need ask "Who else would have defeated the Empire of Japan - Britain?". I don't think so.

As for Anti Americanism generally, look no further to Britain. Most of my friends here regard it as a dangerous place for americans. Travelling there myself I would say that most british people would mouth off against the US whenever they could.

I guess that they are still ashamed that they lost their empire and cant work out why they havent got a space program.

Honestly however, its more about this: The backward social class system and emphasis upon "which school did you go to" in the UK will mean that their self loathing culture will have trouble to indentify with or understand the US culture. Understand that people left the UK for US, Canada, Australia, NZ etc because of the social (and religious) persecution, if you go to the UK today, you will still see a glimpse of this.

Go back there today and get a taste of 19th Century prejudice - it's worth the flight.I find it ever so interesting how you manage to bring into a discussion about anti-Americanism a rant about the UK, its past and some fascination with so-called 'persecution'.

Perhaps you ought to look at the tone of your language as a possible reason to one factor as to why there is growing anti-Americanism.