(By Ray D.)
UPDATE: Another interesting piece on anti-Americanism entitled "Anti-Americanism feels like Racism". Wouldn't it be nice if media talked about this more than once in a blue moon? Wouldn't it also be nice if media admitted their own major role in fostering, encouraging and spreading anti-Americanism throughout Europe? Unfortunately - most of the follow-up comments by the BBC's overwhelmingly left-wing audience demonstrate that many on both sides of the pond are still in a deep state of denial about the problem or simply belong to the "blame-America-first" crowd. Excerpts from the article:
""But some people just fly off the handle without even talking to me - it's as if they had been waiting to run into an American all day to let their feelings out," she says.
To avoid confrontations she says she lowers her voice on the Underground and in pubs.
But in one incident an older man asked her directly if she was American.
"When I said yes he said: 'I just want you to know that I think you are the poorest people I have ever met in my life' - meaning we were low-life.
"I said I was sorry he felt that way, but that I disagreed."
The man started shouting obscenities at her group. The row developed into a brawl and Ms Cox suffered a black eye as she tried to pull two people apart.
"After that I cried for two days, then booked a flight back to the States. I felt so hated, I needed to be with people who loved me."
Some friends now advise her to tell people she is Canadian, to deflect potential abuse, an option she calls "sad"."
By the way: Why did the US Embassy in London REFUSE TO COMMENT ON THIS STORY? Some of America's so-called "diplomats" are apparently so afraid to ever rock the boat that they won't stand up and discuss the pervasive hatred faced by Americans abroad. This sad and pathetic dereliction of duty by many at the State Department and elsewhere within the US government has gone much too far. How can those charged with public diplomacy at the London Embassy refuse to comment on this and still pick up their taxpayer supplied checks in good conscience? We know there are people within the US government who do see the problem - but they are far too few.
"The protests against nuclear weapons, for instance, concentrated on American weapons. The anti-war rallies were against American-led wars. The anti death penalty campaign focused on Texas.
A pattern was emerging and has never seriously been altered. A pattern of willingness to condemn America for the tiniest indiscretion - or to magnify those indiscretions - while leaving the murderers, dictators, and thieves who run other nations oddly untouched. (...)
In the heart of Paris, there is the Avenue Franklin Roosevelt. Roosevelt, the man who helped defeat Nazi Germany and liberate Parisian streets, is celebrated here. And the point many French people make is that they would celebrate George W Bush, too, if they agreed with him. The source of anti-Americanism is plain they say. As one interviewee told us: "It's the policies, Stupid."
Well up to a point: in Paris there is plenty of evidence to be found that anti-Americanism is way more than that, that's it's not simply reasonable opposition to the things America does.
The kind of anti-Americanism fostered by French intellectuals down the centuries revolves around intense dislike of what America is - not what it does."
A lot of this sounds remarkably like what we have been saying for the past three and a half years. Perhaps a wider segment of society is starting to open its eyes. Perhaps...
Endnote: A fascinating comment received today:
"It will take a lot more than a change in tone to rebuild the many burnt bridges between Europe and the US.
There's so much more than language at play here. Americans are extremely resentful of foreign efforts to undermine their rights as established and guaranteed by the US Constitution and Bill of Rights. There is an inept and transparent attempt to weaken and undermine the United States though bogus notions of 'International law'. Kyoto is a prime example - How on earth can such a proposal be taken seriously when China is exempt? Or UN declarations that individuals do not have right to defend themselves. And then that have the gall to call us stupid for rejecting such nonsense? Wow, Just wow.
It's actually quite amazing that the American people have been so tolerant of the relentless European assault on American core values. The attempt to establish government as supreme at the expense of individual liberty is especially grating (free speech, the right to keep and bear arms, etc) and the very negative portrayal of Americans who hold such rights and privileges dear does not go unnoticed. Europeans can do as they please, but when they try to impose their values on Americans, the line is crossed. They're forgetting most of us were escaping constraints, limits on opportunity, serfdom, and oppression when we left for the New World. And you want to re-impose that elitist crap on us? Hmmm. It doesn't compute. We really don't understand the European affinity for living under someone else's control - be it a king, dictator, or nanny state.
To achieve parity (or supremacy) Europe seems far more interested in tearing the United States down than pulling themselves up. This anti-Americanism issue much, much deeper than merely the tone of the discussion. It should start with bringing as halt to the European attempts to undo what America has achieved.
Personally, I'd much rather have anti-Americanism out in the open and in plain view rather than lurking behind a superficial and disingenuous smile."
Oh yes. We know the disingenuous smiles and the phony exhortations by so many European America-bashers that they really and truly love the American friends and only want what's in their best interest. Then the same people turn around, and, in the company of the like-minded, shamelessly smear and stereotype an entire nation - blaming it for all the world's problems.