August 27, 2004

Ugly Anti-Americans

One of the advantages of travelling by train is the variety of reading material available. During the long train journey home on Wednesday night (see the blog entry below), I picked up a discarded copy of The Guardian, a national newspaper for which I would never actually part with money. As if I needed reminding why, I flipped through its pages to peruse the collection of what can only be termed piffle, drivel, and swill (a collection of adjectives first coined by George Grant).

In both "news" articles and op/ed pieces, the vitriol that pours out against America, Americans, and a certain American president is unending. And I'm sorry, but it just pisses me off. Sure, most of the press in this country is anti-American, and I suppose something had to take the place of the old Pravda when the Soviet Union collapsed, but The Guardian is just too much.

The worst of it all was an op/ed piece by veteran anti-American Polly Toynbee. She regards the fact that there are universities with unfilled places in American Studies programmes as a revelation of the increasing dislike of the US. She uses this as the jumping off point to attack everything supported by "Bushites in their daily, foul-mouthed email assaults on Guardian writers".

She talks about an ICM poll taken across a string of countries which she says reveals "a world that thinks America arrogant, less cultured, a worse place to live than their own countries and a threat to world peace". I have to wonder how many of the Brazilians, Indonesians, Jordanians, and Russians (about 1000 of each) have actually been to the US to know if it is a worse place to live than their own country.

She even lies about the data in the poll (perhaps assuming that no one would actually find it and look at it). She says that whilst all the countries polled except Israel have a majority against Bush, Canada, Australia, and Korea are least unfavourable. Of the three, Canada and Australia actually have less than 50% registering unfavourable responses. She also failed to mention that Russia also has a minority unfavourable to W.

But in an article about how bad America is, why does she use opinions of Bush? Because in the same poll, the opinions about America don't match the point she wants to make. Of all the countries, which ones actual have a majority with an unfavourable response about how the feel about America? Well, there's Brazil, France, Indonesia, and Jordan. I'm not sure what the Brazilians' beef is, but do the others really surprise anyone? Skipping France for the moment, you have two Muslim countries, one the world's most populous and the other sitting next to US ally Israel.

If America is so bad, why is everyone trying to get in and no one trying to leave? Maybe it's because when asked which best describes America, "free" or "unfree", even 87% of Indonesians responded "free".

And who cares what the Frogs think? After all, the French celebrated the 1944 liberation of Paris this week with no mention of the Americans, reprising the de Gaulle fantasy that Ike let him live when he entered Paris 60 years ago. The French had about as much to do with the liberation of Paris as I did. Two times in the last century Americans saved their collective sorry glutes and their lack of collective gratitude is as shameful as any American foreign policy with which they have disagreed over the same period of time.

But back to Ms Toynbee and The Guardian... Why don't these pinko whingers find the socialist paradise they crave? Maybe it is because it would have to be subsidised by American tax dollars in the form of foreign aid to survive.

Posted by david at August 27, 2004 01:42 AM | TrackBack

Hi David
My daughter`s boyfriend is from Colorado, and when he came to visit in July, he said that he had heard that the Brits were very anti-American. I can only assume that this is the unfortunate image given by the printed media, as by the time he left, he was certain that all the Brits he met were definitely not anti-American :-)

The media has a lot to answer for.....

Posted by: Elizabeth at August 27, 2004 09:47 PM