February 04, 2006

A Review on a Book That’s Not Out Yet – America Against the World

America has always been against the world, hasn’t it? Well, in the eyes of an extremist, such as myself, it has. This Monday I had the luck to be present on a discussion of the book America against the world, which is to be published this May. The writers of this book initially held the aim of studying the global response to globalization. Americans love polls of opinions. That’s what democracy is about, isn’t it? So in the process of questioning random people from 50 countries across the globe, the researches stumbled upon the fact that there was another phenomenon, much more worrying than globalization. It’s called the anti-American movement. They didn’t wait long to turn that into an ISM word, so before we knew it, we were discussing anti-Americanism.

Anti-Americanism is fun and widespread. It’s trendy and catchy. We were shown a big number of rather interesting graphs and figures, all proving that the world is now hardly bearing with America. France and the UK were among the countries where it was no longer fashionable to chase after the American dream. The love has been declining quite tremendously from year 2000, plummeting rather significantly after the 9/11 and even more drastically after the Iraq invasion. In 2003, only 1% of Jordanians still favoured the US in some way; the rest of the Muslim world was also much unimpressed.

When asked about the ‘What’s your problem, man’, most respondents said they had issues with American policies. The truth is, not that many people really know of the policies existing and practiced by the States. So what they meant to say is ‘they had issues with the American government’. Fewer people thought of American people as carrying evil and promoting intolerance. However, a staggering amount of respondents gave up their last hope in Americans (as people) after they’ve re-elected George W. Bush. Disappointed they were indeed. In the words of the presenter himself ‘As the Daily Mail put it ‘How can 54 million people be so dumb?!’’. Before you go on and argue – it’s a rhetorical question. As Justin Timberlake has it ‘oh, oh, the damage is done, so I guess I’ll be leaving’. The president was elected and there should be no arguing.

When the researchers settled down to find the answer to the ‘Why, oh, why do they hate us so much?’ question, they came up with a bewilderingly stupid answer: Americans are different. I’ve heard this ‘we are different’ crap so many times it’s starting to gently pour out of my ears. Every single country is unique. Americans, due to the prolific work of the Hollywood, have long successfully imposed their ideology on the rest of the world. Besides, being tolerant as I am, and as fashion dictates it nowadays, I’m willing to accept any kind of ideology. So, what Americans believe in is much tolerated, if hardly respected sometimes.

Another explanation provided for the un-love was the religiosity of the Americans. Apparently, over 95% of Americans take guidance from religious organizations and count with their opinion. Oh, bollocks! So now I have to blame god for all the wrong-doings of the Americans?

Third excuse: Americans are patriots. Oh, now that’s just not smart. I’m sure students around the world have experience Patriotism a la Chine and had a taste of what united Chinese students look like when someone is attacking their country. And yet people aren’t hating the Chinese, definitely not for their patriotism!

What I personally have against the States is (1) their pseudo-democracy, (2) their blatant propaganda (I mean, just watch that Bush’s speech recently: how many times have they applauded and how much of a show it was?), (3) their hypocrisy (probably above all) and (4) Bush’s accent.

Going back to the responses to globalization: the researchers have found out that the ultimate ‘Land of opportunity’ does not rest on the land of the US anymore. It’s like the geographical poles not matching with the magnetic poles of the Earth. The British are looking enviously at Australia, the Chinese have their mouths watering over Canada and the Pakistani, surprisingly, are queuing to get into China! The grass is always greener on the other side. And only the Indians are still looking up at the US and seeing buckets of green currency in their dreams.

Despite the huge number of rather peculiar statistics (which I absolutely love!), the essence of this book strikes me as another biased PR book to fix the image of the US in the eyes of its fleeting lovers around the world. I mean, why would they call it ‘America against the world’ and not ‘The world against America’ if they were to objectively speak of the phenomena? Victimizing self is just poor taste and obtuse tool to win an argument. I know it’s considered bad manner to speak of a book that’s not been published yet, but I just couldn’t hold it in anymore. I do promise to read the book if it’s ever out and do a proper review of it. However, with my biased extremist views I think I’ll hardly change my opinion on that book.

P.S. My dad said that a famous dead Russian journalist’s dad (sorry about that, was just being precise) said that only the stupid and the ignorant could hate America. If so, then I am the ignorant one. Oh, and I don’t hate America, like the anti-globalists don’t hate globalization. I should travel to the States some day and do a review of the country.

- 5 comments by 1 or more people Not publicly viewable

  1. said that only the stupid and the ignorant could hate America. If so, then I am the ignorant one. Oh, and I don’t hate America


    05 Feb 2006, 12:50

  2. Alex

    Hehe, Hamid has a point. Sadly I nodded off long before I got to that paragraph :P

    09 Feb 2006, 01:11

  3. I fail to see Hamid's point….

    09 Feb 2006, 09:20

  4. My father says only idiots like aubergine.

    Well if that's the case, then I'm an idiot.

    Oh and I love aubergines.

    09 Feb 2006, 16:55

  5. Argh – delete that above one otherwise my wit backfires.

    My father says only idiots like aubergine.

    Well if that's the case, then I'm an idiot.

    Oh and I hate aubergines.

    D'oh, too late :'(.

    09 Feb 2006, 16:56

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