Do We Hate Americans?

Posted on Monday, November 22 at 09:08 by Benjamin
First, in order to prevent the usual "you communist, socialist queer" follow-up posts, let me emphasize that I am a capitalist. Although I respect and cherish Medicare, I occasionally engage in heated debate over acceptable parameters for welfare and taxation. I'm a Red Tory - largely right of center, but occasionally with a hard leftward lean. I am not Anti-American. But I am completely Anti-George W. Bush, and I have to admit that since the events following September the 11th, 2001, I have become increasingly more and more Anti-America. I have many American friends, and I don't see Americans as individuals as being THAT fundamentally different from us. Yes, they have some different values and beliefs, and obviously they don't live here. But they are understandably afraid to the point of paranoia because of what is being constantly fed to them. They no longer feel secure in the knowledge that their (and our) life of ease will continue no matter what. They are terrified of threats, both real and imagined, from all quarters - globally and internally. I cannot blame Americans for being afraid. I cannot blame Americans for re-electing a man who they believed would continue to make the military decisions necessary to protect their interests. I can't even blame them for mistakenly believing that George W. Bush is such a man. I CAN blame Americans for continuing to listen to FOX, CNN, and the White House. I CAN blame them for not asking how something as terrible as the events of September 11th could occur on the watch of a capable Commander In Chief, as well as the most technologically advanced intelligence force on the planet. I CAN blame them for not asking the same questions that many others are, and I can blame them for not recognizing President Bush's regressive tax cuts for the extremely wealthy as being unnecessary and undeserved. I CAN blame them for allowing themselves to be led and for not being outraged at President Bush's tarnishing of his own nation and its people's reputation in the eyes of the rest of the planet. I CAN blame them for putting a man who refused to go overseas during a previous misguided military campaign, who then went AWOL and failed to report for duty for a year, and who now wishes to break his promise and reinstitute a draft, using his countrymen and women, the people who GAVE him the power that he seems to so revere, as a commodity to ensure the continued success of men and women like himself. I can blame Canadians as well as Americans for not realizing how incredibly fortunate we have been and are to live in the nations we do, and I can blame the entire Western world, including myself, for consuming the way that we do, giving cause for actions like the ones that the United States has taken (I am alluding to a need for oil justifying the escapades in Afganistan and Iraq). The United States should not be in Iraq. Nor should Saddam Hussein. But as has already been stated here and elsewhere, the duty of policing lies with the UN, not with the US. However, if this war is at least in part about oil or, equivalently, ENERGY and the resultant economic advantage(which largely is the consensus) then the United States has little choice but to do what they are doing if they (and we) intend to continue living the way that we all are, consuming as though there's no tomorrow and ignoring the fact that NOTHING can grow indefinitely. I'm not even going to bring up the issue of (alleged) oil depletion, because it is relevant but unprovable. Regardless, in order for the United States to continue to grow economically, it needs a continuous supply of CHEAP oil. They aren't getting that oil domestically, and they can't get it from us (we're already forking over 60 percent of our oil production to them under NAFTA anyway, and can't come close to meeting their, or our needs). So President Bush is doing what he has to to ensure that the American (i.e. North American) way of life can continue with Business As Usual. Eventually, any or all capitalist societies would come to the same point - "We have no more oil, and we need some to maintain our way of life." We wouldn't go abroad to get it... I believe that we would instead invest in solar, in biomass, in all kinds of other energy sources - our way of life would suffer, but we wouldn't make someone else's suffer so that we could keep ours up. If it is more 'manly' to just "bring home the bacon" regardless of what that means for the rest of the world, then the American government are 'men' indeed (that's a response to a posting in a different thread, actually). Conversely, if it is more 'manly' to speak the truth and set your own house in order without robbing someone else's when you realize you've run out of bread, then the American government is by no means a 'man'. I CAN blame George W. Bush and his like, Canadian, American, British, French, and any other nationality you can name. Military means to a political end is not new - it's been practiced throughout history. Mass robbery of life-giving resources has occurred throughout history. Genocide has occurred throughout history. Citizens have been mislead, abused, and made to suffer by their own governments throughout history. That doesn't mean that it's right. I don't hate Americans. I don't even fault them. I just sincerely wish that we were not at this point, and I sincerely wish that there were an easier answer to the questions facing them. However, my opinion is also that so far, all the wrong questions have been asked: empire is not sustainable. World domination is not sustainable. Continuous consumeristic growth is not sustainable. The question Americans and America needs to ask is not "How do we root out and kill anyone who poses a threat to us?" and "How do we go and find more cheap oil?". It needs to be "How do we make some form of redress for the economic schoolyard bullying that we are guilty of?" "How do we convince the rest of the world that we are not arrogant, ignorant warmongers?" (which I do believe is the case for the average American - no one wants to die on foreign soil, for oil or any other reason) and "How do we become both sustainable and self-reliant so that foreign oil isn't an issue?" I don't believe that there are easy answers to these questions, but they need to be asked - by America, by Canada, and by any other oil-dependent capitalist nation. The way that we are living may be the only way that we know, but it is hardly optimal - and the actions of the current United States Administration, although damnable and absolutely wrong, are simply a side effect of this way of life. The problem is not that Americans are evil (though arguably George Bush might be) nor that they are stupid, or anything else. The problem lies not with the individuals or even the nation itself, but with OUR entire way of life. It is unfortunate that George W. Bush is at the helm, but as I see it, Canada is in the boat with America - we need to do our level best to change the direction, whatever effect that may be able to have. Insults and name-calling are not the way to wake America up, but intelligent analysis of facts (as many as can be sorted out of the slop that the world ends up seeing) as well as realization and acceptance of the fact that, as much as America is guilty of economic rape and pillage, Canada has sat by for the past century, wringing its hands at the unpleasantness of the whole affair while enjoying the fruits of American military adventures. There may not be as much blood on our hands, but it IS spattered all over our clothing from hiding behind US military might. This is a somewhat meandering post, and for that I apologize. In closing, one of my main points was to assuage the fears of some of the Americans I have seen posting here who seem to believe that we as Canadians despise them, that we universally condemn them no matter what their shortcomings, and that we are unaware of our (unfortunate) enjoyment of their military and economic superpower status. The other purpose was to point out to fellow Canadians that we are not without fault, and that (to my mind) although it is important to note that America's actions are totally unacceptable, they won't be the only ones to benefit from them, and that criticizing Americans may not be the right answer. For us with our limited influence, it's the only readily accessible answer, but I don't believe it's the right one. Finally, I'm not trying to provide all the answers here - I just wanted to express further disgust with the Bush Administration's actions, but to re-assert Canadian (or at least this Canadian's) support of and respect for the American people.

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  1. Mon Nov 22, 2004 6:15 pm
    excellent post. I know I don't hate Americans. I don't hate anyone. I don't even hate president Bush. I dislike the man very, very much. But I don't hate him. If what they say is true and we do all live a life path. He is playing a role which he is suppose to be playing. Its the life path he is on. I just hope there is someone who is on the life path to stop him ;-)

    Kevin

  2. Mon Nov 22, 2004 6:23 pm
    <i>Finally, I'm not trying to provide all the answers here - I just wanted to express further disgust with the Bush Administration's actions, but to re-assert Canadian (or at least this Canadian's) support of and respect for the American people.</i><br><br>You're ignorant of the American people then. Half of them support George, his actions, his policies and his crimes. Please don't apologise for them.

  3. by michou
    Mon Nov 22, 2004 6:32 pm
    Excellent post Benjamin. You touch many issues in it but I will restrict my commentary to your last sentence about the continuing respect we should have towards Americans. <p> In all honesty, whatever respect I had left for Americans has vanished in the past 10 years and for all the reasons (blame) you have listed above. Does this mean that my respect in comparison has increased for Canadians ? No, that is also slipping. How can I continue or have respect for a nation of citizens who choose to be indoctinatred on their own free will ? Who are letting their system of government slide towards fascism without lifting a finger ? Who attack without thought in order to maintain their way of life ? Who spout the current propagandist lines as truth ? Who have no care in the world for anyone outside their own borders (actually, who don't even care that much about their own either by not providing them with proper safety nets ) ? Do I respect them as human beings ? Yes I do but as Americans ? No. There is nothing to respect them for anymore. America has failed the world but more than that, they are failing within their own country and failing their own citizens. Americans have chosen safety and security over liberty and freedom. The only freedom they have chosen to maintain is the freedom to maim, kill, attack, imprison and torture as they see fit. That is not what I call an uplifting civilization and I want no part of it. <p>---<br>« Il y a une belle, une terrible rationalité dans la décision d'être libre. » - Gérard Bergeron <br />

  4. Mon Nov 22, 2004 6:41 pm
    True. Except I don't agree that it is a plausible excuse to say that Americans are scared and that's the reason why they voted the way they did. Seems to me that the problem is the fact that they are so apathetic:

    -Feeling or showing a lack of interest or concern; indifferent.
    -Feeling or showing little or no emotion; unresponsive.

    Considering:

    Half of them don't even vote and even then half of the half that did vote, voted for the guy is telling them that Jesus approves of what he is doing, as a reason to vote for him.

    Also, as I do agree with all the things that you say 'we CAN' blame the Americans for, I don't agree that it is GWB that is responsible for all the wrong doings of his admin., I think taking a look at the 'men' that have been in power in the White House for years and then laying blame is more realistic. I mean don't they have a Senate and a Congress? Checks and Balances?

    Don't get me wrong GWB is not a 'good guy,' but at the same time he is just one man, 'the face' of an organization.

    And not to personally upset you but aren't people that call themselves Capitalists not doing the world any favours?

    -One who has capital; one who has money for investment, or money invested; esp. a person of large property, which is employed in business.

    Doesn't this definition go hand in hand with: "economic rape and pillage." Maybe one day YOU will need EI or Welfare, it's unfair to judge those in need against the small percentage that abuse the system.

    In today's world people only 'think' you can make money through downsizing and takeovers, which leads to 'meeting the bottom line', which in turn leads to environmental/humanitarian destruction. So IMHO, I wouldn't want to walk around calling myself a capitalist!

    All the world's problems are pretty easy to solve. It's just that no one likes the solutions, especially in the SUV driven economy that the US (and Canada somewhat) lives in.

    "I'm not even going to bring up the issue of (alleged) oil depletion, because it is relevant but unprovable."

    It's a lot more provable than the existence al Queda, and the WMD in Iraq. Funny isn't it (in a sick sort of way)?



    ---
    "Those who would sacrifice a little Liberty for more Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." -Benjamin Franklin

  5. Mon Nov 22, 2004 6:42 pm
    I was going to say something here, but you said it all, Michou. I can and will state, that I don't like Americans and do not trust any of the decisions they make, which are bad, leading to destruction, for everyone. And I am an American and, in so saying, I hope I still have the right to say that.

  6. Mon Nov 22, 2004 6:45 pm
    I totally disagree with people who hate or have no respect for Americans just cause of something their gov does. Sure they elcted the guy. But considering their voter turnout its actually less then 40% of the population that voted him in.

    Judging the American people cause of what their government is doing, is like judging all Canadians for what our government does.

    Please don't blame the entire American population, cause its not the entire population that are behind Bush and his admin.

    Kevin

  7. Mon Nov 22, 2004 7:24 pm
    52% of the people voted for him. 59 million is 18% of 320 million. Get your facts right. 18% of the American population supports him.


    ---
    "If you must kill a man, it costs you nothing to be polite about it." Winston Churchill

  8. Mon Nov 22, 2004 7:40 pm
    Who said anything about people who voted? Polls both prior and post election showed GWB to a have a 50% or so job approval. Get your facts straight...

  9. Mon Nov 22, 2004 7:48 pm
    Let us remember, Americans have about as much control over their own affairs as we do in Canada. The US political system is far worse than ours and it does lead to such terrible self-serving politicians, but we should also look in the mirror.

    Why do I point out American faults? Because love em or hate em, they do control the world. Unfortunately that control has come from the end of gun, instead of with the rose. people will only take so much before they throw off the shackles that bind them. We are seeing that the world over. America has had its way with the world for over 50 years, but that time is ending.

    Americans had better steel themselves to criticism because much more is coming their way before the end.

  10. Mon Nov 22, 2004 9:10 pm
    R U Nukin Futz?

    Who said anything about people who voted?

    the issue i believe is the suppport or lack thereof
    of your present crimilal leader put into office by the very same tatics that gave rise to the expression Bannana Republic

    Wake up and smell the deceit, silly boy.

    Polls both prior and post election showed GWB to a have a 50% or so job approval. Get your facts straight...

  11. Mon Nov 22, 2004 9:24 pm
    Wake the hell up Nukin Futz. I'm not defending the Americans I'm saying have of them support that criminal.

  12. Mon Nov 22, 2004 9:42 pm
    When Canadians continuously tell another group of people, any group of people, that they hate them, something predictable happens: they begin to hate Canadians right back. If you think there are no consequences for being hated by Americans, you're not paying attention. Brace yourselves because they've gotten the message

  13. by avatar samuel
    Mon Nov 22, 2004 10:10 pm
    When anyone and especially Americans tell Canadians to be afraid of them and we choose to believe in such nonesense, that's when Americans become even more dangerous.

    Until then, everything North and South of them is a voice of reason that prevents the world from falling into total chaos.

  14. Mon Nov 22, 2004 10:22 pm
    Bravo!!



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