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Envy or Disillusion ?

Reader comment on item: Hating America's Success

Submitted by C..B. Ko (China), Oct 30, 2005 at 08:06

Having posted to this thread months ago I'm surprised to find it alive and myself writing again.

Bill Keane is correct; we must distinguish between animosity toward the Bush administration, the US as a nation and Americans as a people. Unfortunately the harm done to America's prestige and relationships by the Bush administration has seriously undermined US credibility, engendering mistrust and hatred in much of the world and legitimizing the arguments of those that would blame America for the failings of their own societies. In simple terms, America has lost the high ground.

Likewise, the polarization and ideological undercurrent of current American politics does not play well internationally, making America appear increasingly, weak, self-consumed and unpredictable, hence, menacing. It's less an issue of the word hating the US out of envy, and more, mistrusting and demonizing it based on actions now perceived to be hostile and motivated by self-interest (or worse, folly). The administration, by word, deed and policy, promoted this perception.

The world can ill afford the sole superpower to conduct business on these terms: the very idea is destabilizing. That America's enemies promote and exploit this image is predictable; that her friends have come to believe it, alarming. Morgan has a point; Iran and North Korea are emboldened by the divisions between America and her traditional allies, and by the fact that Mr. Bush, having wasted his capital on a senseless war, is in no position to act. This is a dangerous game and situation.

Since attending university in the US 30 years ago I have considered myself a friend and have often defended the US based on the belief Americans are uniquely altruistic, and the American system for all its defects, superior in the sense that it promoted it's interests with a measure of respect for the interests of others; a sense of fairness. This is an increasingly difficult argument to make.

Rather, I argue this: if America wants to maintain it's position of leadership, it had better examine it's motives and actions, and conduct itself as great leaders do, with principles, respect and consideration for those they would lead, otherwise, the mandate of heaven falls. One cannot choose where one is born, but can choose who to follow. 300 million is a fraction of the world's population,, giving it preference requires a stronger argument.

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