Spanish Town, Jamaica
I always take a while to post here because I only get a chance to folow up at 9 in the mornings. Like Balladeer said "life is calling" I try to read all that was said before so I can get a good grasp of the way the issue is being ventilated.
Now Michael said in (I believe) his last post, that "nothing is being achieved" by the discussion. I want to make it clear to all of us that contrary to that view, a whole lot is being achieved. We have, for the last couple of days, been discussing in a civil and decent way, with no vitriol that I can detect, an issue which some of us, quite obviously, feel very passionate about. That, ladies and gentlemen. is quite an achievement. We are (I assume) are all from different backgrounds, some of us from different countries, and maybe different socialisations. Notwithstanding, we have mangaged to be decent. In a world where there is so much hostility and intolerance, I think that we should be proud of ourselves. As far as the specific issue is concerned, I am not sure that there has to be a general consensus on who is right or wrong for there to be the achievement of general understanding of each other.
Now I wanted to comment on the original topic of the thread: The World is Against us..." It seems to me that a number of the views posted here, have clearly illustrated this belief that the world is against America; that there is some underlying plot, or scheme against America, and Americans. My question is, why on earth would the entire world be against America? We (the world in general) owe so much to America, that it would be inconceivable that such a notion could be true. In fact, it is absolutely not true. The world does not hate America. The world (I believe) simply wants the US to uphold the ideals that it was founded upon, in a fair and impartial way. If even the hint of partiality or ufairness, or indeed, arrogance, is exhibited, the US will be viewed with suspicion. Why is this? The world has always been suspicious of Superpowers, and where there is only one Superpower, the suspicion increases tenfold. I think that what most of us (Non-Americans) worry about is simply this: What do we do if this massive Superpower, the most powerful in history, decides to become a tyrant? Now I suppose that Americans may not be able to fully comprehend the fear associated with such a thought but for the rest of us, it is a very real possibility.
So when we hear the utterances coming out of the White House ("with us or against us") we wonder; when we remember the attitude to the World Court, we wonder; when we consider some of the Constitutional rights of Americans which seem to be in jeopardy after 9/11, we wonder; When we think about the general attitude of US foreign policy, we wonder; When we recall that Israel has repeatedly ignored directives from the UN, with US support and (seemingly) encouragement, we really have to wonder. Some of us view the war in Iraq as another (maybe the most frightening) indication of a Superpower which seems to be intent on doing what it likes, regardless of world opinion.
Having said all that, some of us still love America. My mother has lived there since 1984, (incidentally, she supports the war but I do not love her any less) and my country has benefited greatly from the goodwill of America. I think that the US is a very great nation. Most of my favorite sports, movie, music, and artistic personalities are from America and I think that the American Constitution must be considered one of the greatest documents ever crafted. All of this does not change my mind about the war in Iraq. In my opinion, it is simply wrong. Does that make me anti-American? Do I have to support EVERYTHING that America does so as not to be considered against America? Because when you get right down to it, this is what pro-war Americans seem to be suggesting: If you are not with us, you are against us.... ooops, didn't somebody else say that already?