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The Washington government has given up its grandiose plans of reform for the Islamic world, which the Europeans held for megalomania

As far as I know, "the Washington government" has *not* given up the "megalomaniacal" ideas. Quite the contrary. The troop surge in Iraq is a clear sign that the Administration has not given up on the initial idea - establish a stable Iraq, which in time could become a model for other Arab states.

I don't know where the author got that from, but I guess the he had to made some concessions to the home crowd who would otherwise have difficulties taking seriously an article, which doesn't contain at least a few jabs at America.

I could also never understand how the "invasion" of a piece of round, flat meat (McDonald's ) and a cup of coffee (Starbucks) could threaten the cultural fiber of century-old societies. If they do indeed induce the decay of such noble societies, it seems to me that those societies were somehow not able to fulfill the wishes of their people. However you look at it, it's embarrassing to feel threatened by cheap fries and overpriced coffee.

Having said that, one should be grateful for small favors. This article does make some valid points and it's probably written in a style that is easy for the German audience to digest.

The Washington government has given up its grandiose plans of reform for the Islamic world, which the Europeans held for megalomania

Yeah, well if Europe doesn't wake up fast, it's going to be part of that Islamic world we have to 'reform'.

How's that for megalomania?

I live in South Korea, and so many people I talk with want to move to the USA and my Chinese friend is "gobsmacked" at anti-Americanism. They all love the USA and capitalism too. Funny, those countries that are the most resistant to globalisation and real capitalism seem to have failing or nonexistent economies. Those who embraced and harnessed it, are going on the up and up, and their standard of living is improving dramatically. Already, 300 million Chinese have been lifted out of abject poverty, though are still not very high on the social ladder. That in the past 30 years. That's the equivalent to the entire population of the USA. That's no small accomplishment. I suspect that Communism in China will fall within the next 20 years, just like it did in the former Soviet Union. It doesn't reflect objective reality. There are some laws in nature that you can't get around. I suspect Western capitalism is just one of those natural laws.

jcgirl1979, where have you been? I've missed you!

There was an opinion piece in the Financial Times yesterday noting that global proverty over the last 10 years has declined by 8% - almost all of it due to the creation of wealth in China.

What an amazing place.

I've worked with some mainland Chinese who managed to get to the U.S. For the most part, they do well. But there is a strain that cannot adapt to the independence expected of and by Americans. I was a software developer for about 30 years so I managed quite a few brilliant techies from China. A few simply insisted that their job was to write code to spec - not to figure out the spec. They were absolutely freaked. They needed an authortarian hierarchy. I had one woman - bright, sweet, incredibly hardworking - who had a nervous breakdown at her first 3 month review because she got a B+ instead of an A. The telecom business is quite complex - you don't get an A until you understand the business in addition to the tech side. A B+ was the highest I had ever given a 3 month newbie.

Eventually we had to fire her because of her paranoia and fear.

Over the years, I've managed about 10 mainland Chinese and 4 were like this. That's a social/cultural strain they really need to work on.

Pamela,

Adapting to a different culture is tough and takes a long time. My wife is from Japan, and has lived approximately half her life there, then in the US. Even after living here and being married to me for one or two decades, I remember her taking great offense at something I said.

I can't even remember what it was, but to me there was nothing offensive about it. However, her translation got filtered through her culture and it took a lot of explaining for both of us to understand each other's point.

Beyond keeping an open mind, I don't know how one adapts to a different culture.

Mark:

My German wife adapted to the U.S. by first watching Bugs Bunny. If a foreigner can understand that "Skewie Wabbit," then one can understand the American soul.

She also watched "Mister Ed" and the "Beverly Hillbillies." She thought that these shows were full of imagination. Imagine on German TV, a program about a talking horse who is jealous of his owner's wife, and visa versa. Or imagine some yokel German finding oil on his property and than living like an Arab prince with the beautiful people in Nice or Gastaad? Unmoeglich!

Check out Stern magazine’s latest anti-American hatchet job: http://stern.de/politik/ausland/588208.html?nv=sb

The State Department put out statistics that there were 22,000 deaths related to terrorism last year, a 25% increase over last year. Most of these deaths were in Iraq due to sectarian fighting. Most of the victims were Iraqi citizens. However, the report also mentioned Humas and Hezbohla and their attacks on mostly Israeli citizens.

The report made several conclusions One of which was that Europe was not doing enough to stop the financing of these terror operations, especially the financing of Hezbohla.

Stern’s reaction: All 22,000 deaths were brought about by George Bush....he is solely responsible.! “The war against terror is defeated.”

Obviously the Paris riots, the recent killings of Christians in Turkey, the Van Gogh killing, and the closing down of the Mozart Opera because it blasphemed Mohammad are all Bush’s fault too. Check out the hate mail supporting this editorial from the loyal readers.

Is it me, or do the Germans now live in Bizarro World? Putin has suspended civil rights for his entire nation and continues to bully Europe like his Soviet predecessors. Yet, it is more important to pile up on Bush. The fate of the world’s most heinous killers at Guantamino are more important on the German mind than their own personal freedoms or that of there fellow Europeans. There is never a sharp editorial against Putin, nor are the readers ever invited to send anti-Russian hate mail.

It is as if when the Berlin Wall came down, Stern hired the staff from Neues Deutschland.

Ohferchrissakes how many times do I have to link this?
A Genealogy of Anti-Americanism

Or his book

Reconstructing America: The Symbol of America in Modern Thought

David and Ray, would you just post the article at the first link so I can be done with it? Europe's intellectuals has used - that is the operative word - used - America as a psychological mirror for centuries. The sooner Europeans realize how they have been manipulated by their 'intellectuals' the better.

I actually tried to get DePauw's book - can't find it - out of print.

The last time I checked, James Ceaser was a PoliSci prof at UVA. If he's still there, you can check the web site for his email. When I first found him he was most gracious.

On another track - this thread is threatening to become the funniest on DMK ever.

Bugs Bunny indeed.

MarkD, speaking as a wife, I can tell you that I can't even remember what it was, but to me there was nothing offensive about it. would have happened even if you had married an American woman.

Just ask my husband.

David and Ray, again, it's your blog, but it might be helpful for the cultural conversation to post on the blog the article about the genesis of anti-Americanism.

Just a thought.

Bugs Bunny.

heh.


Pamela : Wow, I didn't know I had made any impression on anyone here, let alone was missed. Thanks for the compliment. I'm really touched. The main reason I haven't been on here is because the language and the badmouthing had gotten grotesque. I had been very insulted by what a "troll" had said and the general tone of the discussion here that I thought it no longer worth my time to come to the forum. I am a logical and rational person. If someone is interested in having a kind discussion, I am game. But if it is just for an occaision to name call and to degeneracy, then I am not going to waste my breath. I have better things to do with my time. I am very happy with David and Ray that they have been knocking off the "trolls" and the "troublemakers" better recently, and that the atmosphere of the forum is improving. Look at the comments section of this article. Isn't it more civilised and respectful ? You even said it must be the funniest thread ever on DMK. Let us all try to keep the mood and tone respectful and welcoming. I'm impressed with the more positive turn of events here, on the DMK forum. My 20 won worth !!!

@jcgirl1970
I didn't know I had made any impression on anyone here, let alone was missed.

Yep. I remember you well and with fondness. As for the name calling - well it happens and sometimes it should. I am not innocent in that regard. There are some trolls that need to be trashed, drawn and quartered.

The internet is not a polite place nor should it be. It is a place for argument and debate. Some are less civilized than others. But if all the civilized posters go away, what then?

It's a tough world. I know.

And somewhere there is a PhD candidate in sociology thinking up a way to discern American culture via Bugs Bunny cartoons.

They could have a field day with that character with a lisp who was always trying to kill everything with a shotgun. What was his name? Anyway, Bugs always survived.

And we all know that carrot was a phallic symbol.

@Pamela

The Amazon address you gave for DePauw's book lists 1 in stock, more on the way, and 14 used.

@sagredo

DePauws' book? That link is for Ceaser's book.

Pay attention. It helps in the long run.

having lived in Germany for 4 years as a teenager it never ceased to amaze me what exactly it was that pissed German's off the most about American.
It all seemed to boil down to the fact that we got to out-German them. They bitched most about things that didnt really matter at all while things that made a difference were saved from being addressed. Kinda like arab countries bitching about "Palestine" instead of personal freedom.
Whenever I tried to point any of this out and rail at them for not being proactive and throwing off their jealousy and obvious manipulation by the trend, they just called all that "American Thinking" and we left it at that..
So it all ended up hurting them and not me so I let them "friss an dein sheiss die selben". What else was I to do? Spend hours trying to save them from themselves?
The difference is that Iraqis wanted to build nukes and use them. Everybody in the effing world said so, it only became a problem when an American (W) actually tried to DO SOOMETHING ABOUT IT EXCEPT TALK.

OUR CARDINAL AMERICAN SIN, ACTION.

playertwo,

Marry Me.

Oh. Wait. I'm already married. Quite happily I might add.

Sorry for being flip, I don't mean to offend. But really, yours is a very refreshing post.

What else was I to do? Spend hours trying to save them from themselves?

Yeah, well, unfortunately, the time will come when we have to ask ourselves if we want to spend blood.


Nein.

Nyet.

Been there, done that, don't need the T-shirt.

From the post above -

Further, in order for the US (or more precisely American entrepreneurs) to "export" McDonalds, Starbucks, Coca-Cola, Hollywood movies, blue-jeans, and other products around Europe and the world, there has to be someone on the other end willing to buy the products. No one is forcing those products down anyone's throat.

Interesting to see how mentioning some of these products does result in someone completing the list (or not completing it, since the worst export product of all times, the Harry Anslinger Syndrome, is seldom mentioned by name). This points to the fact that the concern is in fact not with this or that product out there on the market, but with the structure made up by them in their entirety - the culture industry.

Hollowood in fact is neither a culture nor an industry, it is a religion - in the worst sense of the word, that is a narcotic to the individual. It has its own priests (majors), saints (celebrities), churches (cinemas) and rituals (films), and of course its own claim to speak in the name of all the world whether it wants it or not. It is trying to encompass every single aspect of life with a hagiographic matrix whose grasp for totality would make Richard Wagner spin in his grave. You believe you can make up your own mind and think for yourself? Soon there will be a film flooding the market, that in a grotesquely distorted way will resemble your ideas, and the practitioners of that parody of a religion will assure you that their smug insanity was your entertainment. You value your cultural independence and do not want it to be ripped apart by narrative parasites? The real world is nothing more than a rummage table to the Hollowood elite, and its hopeful idiosyncrasies are there to be assimilated and reprocessed into infantile psychobabble to be fed to spoiled kids. Nothing has an intrinsical meaning any more, everything is trash when their gleichschaltung is through with you. It´s a sacrilege against any honest ambition for peace of the soul.

The tragedy is, in many parts of the world peoples tend to fall to the idea that the only way to permanently pull the plug of the Hollowood craze was to have America fail politically and militarily on the world scale. This is especially regrettable, since the described phenomenon also is hostile against everything positive America has brought to the rest of us, such as individual liberty, personal responsibility, and equal opportunity, and the idea that government only has a right to exist if it is there to protect these values.

I kind of understand how people can view America as a negative influence on the world. We certainly see the Democrats and the Left as a negative influence on America and the world, but primarily on America, rather than the world, or if the world then we are really thinking of Iraqis and Americans there.

But for other folks in the world like Poland or Indian, perhaps they see the weakening of America and see it like one of those tornadoes. Out of control and not good for the little guys. A negative influence because we appear fragmented, with PillowC going to Syria and what not, you know. A fragmented leadership is worse than a united one that just makes bad decisions. Because for the former they are too busy infighting to pay attention to anyone else.

And if people only understand America through Hollywood, then no wonder they are negative. Half of Americans are negative about Hollywood crack. Addictive, but not very healthy.

Firefly, Babylon 5, and maybe Stargate SG1are the best examples of the fruits of American historical achievements. In terms of full human emotional output that is. In few other stories do you get the sense of sacrifice and need, economy and scale, that is in those sci-fi series. I tend to watch Japanese anime, Naruto and Bleach. And from the comments from those at my college, there's a jack of others who watch it as well. Which I found peculiar because it required a specialized interest in the first place.

In some ways it is the exoticness that appeals to me and to Americans. And to Japanese, certainly their popularization of English words is because of the way English sounds, perhaps it sounds exotic to them, compared to Keigo for example.

Pamela, I first read that link from Steven Den Beste (which curiously, is also an anime fan, although of a different generational style), and it a very good history lesson on European perspective. Or just human perspective.

In the end, America likes new things. Europe hates new things, social mobility, and chaos. Americans thrive off chaos, because we are the masters of chaos. Not so much anymore of course, gone are the days of the Frontier, but we still got events like Flight 93 to remind us that Americans when faced with a problem will work to fix it, together, without sitting around waiting for entropy to wear down the galaxy to a nub. Can do attitude. No insh'allah here. Except for the Quakers, but still.

The ability to adapt to change is the ability to master chaos. For if you stay with order all the time... you stagnant, and then you get the French riots. Too much order is just like decadence and decay. Too much chaos, and it is just like systemic slaughter and war.

America in mastering one or the other, really tries to seek a balance. The balance of power, the balance between safety and freedom, and the balance between good and evil.

In a certain sense, Western civilisation is out of balance. There is a force at work which is eating out its self-confidence from within. It makes majorities feel that whatever form of barbarianism is out there the West would be worse. And it has a self-amplifying effect, people see it at work and do not like what it does, and as a result they discard Western civilisation which they see as the source of that force. The mere look at the phenomenon can be deeply demotivating.

I have now for a while been wondering whether Nancy Pelosi is aware that her pilgrimage to what Muslims believe to be the tomb of John the Baptist in the Ummayad Mosque of Damascus, and the statements she made there - effectively: If I wasn´t a Christian I would be a Muslim - is an exact replay of what Wilhelm II did on his 1898 trip. It would be interesting to know whether she is deliberately walking in the footsteps of the Kaiser, or whether she has found this way on her own.

This force makes majorities believe that 9/11 was something completely different than it obviously is, that anyone but the ideological heirs of the historical Nazis were the new Nazis, and all the rest of it. Although Muslim immigrants concur with it, it is not an import article. It has gradually risen from within over the 20th century, and further developed in the shadows of the cold war. It fully came to the fore when the Islamic jihad began openly challenging Western civilisation.

It is neither chaos in any sense of the word, nor is it entropy or utopianism. It is more like the lack of original trust that erodes systems which require their subjects to hide their true dreams from each other until they get tired of it. It is a feeling that something is fundamentally wrong with Western civilisation, but it is not carried by any rational idea to change it to the better. It is difficult to be pessimist about it, because it is itself a form of pessimism, and therefore it is equally difficult to be optimist about it.

But this time, there is no Kaiser.

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