Anti-Americanism: Wikis

  
  
  
  

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Anti-Americanism, often anti-American sentiment, is opposition or hostility to the people or the government policies of the United States.[1] In practice, a broad range of attitudes and actions critical of or opposed to the United States have been labeled anti-Americanism. Thus, the nature and applicability of the term is often disputed.[2]

It is suggested that Anti-Americanism cannot be isolated as a consistent phenomenon and that the term originated as a rough composite of stereotypes, prejudices and criticisms towards Americans or the United States, evolving to more politically and economically based criticism. French scholar Marie-France Toinet says use of the term "is only fully justified if it implies systematic opposition - a sort of allergic reaction - to America as a whole."[3]

Discussions on anti-Americanism have in most cases lacked a precise definition of what the sentiment entails (other than a general disfavor), which has led to the term being used broadly and in an impressionistic manner, resulting in the inexact impressions of the many expressions described as anti-American.[4]

Tehran, Iran, 2004

Contents

Etymology

In the first edition of Noah Webster's American Dictionary of the English Language (1828) the word 'anti-American' was defined as "opposed to America, or to the true interests or government of the United States; opposed to the revolution in America."[5] In France the use of the noun form 'antiaméricanisme' has been catalogued from 1948,[6] entering ordinary political language in the 1950s.[7]

Definitions

Definitions of the term anti-Americanism have been much debated. German newspaper publisher and political scientist Josef Joffe suggests five classic aspects of the phenomenon: reducing Americans to stereotypes; believing the United States to have an irremediably evil nature; ascribing to the U.S. establishment a vast conspiratorial power aimed at utterly dominating the globe; holding the United States responsible for all the evils in the world; and seeking to limit the influence of the United States by destroying it or by cutting oneself and one's society off from its polluting products and practices.[8] Other advocates of the significance of the term argue that anti-Americanism represents a coherent and dangerous ideological current, comparable to anti-Semitism.[9] Anti-Americanism has also been described as an attempt to frame the consequences of U.S. policy choices as evidence of a specifically American moral failure, as opposed to what may be unavoidable failures of a complicated foreign policy that comes with superpower status.[10]

Its status as an "-ism" is a greatly contended aspect, however. Brendon O'Connor notes that studies of the topic have been "patchy and impressionistic," and often one-sided attacks on anti-Americanism as an irrational position.[3] American academic Noam Chomsky, a prolific critic of U.S. policy, asserts that the use of the term within the U.S. has parallels with methods employed by totalitarian states or military dictatorships; he compares the term to "anti-Sovietism", a label used by the Kremlin to suppress dissident or critical thought, for instance.[11][12][13]

"The concept "anti-American" is an interesting one. The counterpart is used only in totalitarian states or military dictatorships... Thus, in the old Soviet Union, dissidents were condemned as "anti-Soviet." That's a natural usage among people with deeply rooted totalitarian instincts, which identify state policy with the society, the people, the culture. In contrast, people with even the slightest concept of democracy treat such notions with ridicule and contempt.[14]

Some have attempted to recognize both positions. French academic Pierre Guerlain has argued that the term represents two very different tendencies: "One systematic or essentialist, which is a form of prejudice targeting all Americans. The other refers to the way criticisms of the United States are labeled "anti-American" by supporters of U.S. policies in an ideological bid to discredit their opponents."[15] Guerlain argues that these two "ideal types" of anti-Americanism can sometimes merge, thus making discussion of the phenomenon particularly difficult. Other scholars have suggested that a plural of anti-Americanisms, specific to country and time period, more accurately describe the phenomenon than any broad generalization.[16] The widely used "anti-American sentiment", meanwhile, less explicitly implies an ideology or belief system.

Eighteenth and nineteenth centuries

The degeneracy thesis

Georges-Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon, a leading French naturalist, developed the "degeneracy thesis" in the mid-eighteenth century. It held that the American landmasses were inferior to Europe and in decline due to atmospheric conditions.

In the mid- to late-eighteenth century, a theory emerged among some European intellectuals that the New World landmasses were inherently inferior to Europe. The so-called "degeneracy thesis" held that climatic extremes, humidity and other atmospheric conditions in America physically weakened both men and animals.[17]:3-19 Two authors, James W. Ceaser and Philippe Roger, have interpreted this theory as "a kind of prehistory of anti-Americanism."[18][19] Purported evidence for the idea included the smallness of American fauna, dogs that ceased to bark, and venomous plants;[20] one theory put forth was that the New World had emerged from the Biblical flood later than the Old World.[21] Native Americans were also held to be feeble, small, and without ardor.[22]

The theory originated with Comte de Buffon, a leading French naturalist, in his Histoire Naturelle (1766).[22] The French writer Voltaire joined Buffon and others in making the argument.[20] Dutchman Cornelius de Pauw, court philosopher to Frederick II of Prussia became its leading proponent.[18] While Buffon focused on the American biological environment, de Pauw attacked people native to the continent.[21] In 1768, he described America as "degenerate or monstrous" colonies and argued that, "the weakest European could crush them with ease."[23]

The theory was extended to argue that the natural environment of the United States would prevent it from ever producing true culture. Paraphrasing de Pauw, the French Encyclopedist Abbé Raynal wrote, "America has not yet produced a good poet, an able mathematician, one man of genius in a single art or a single science."[24] The theory was debated and rejected by early American thinkers such as Alexander Hamilton, Benjamin Franklin, and Thomas Jefferson; Jefferson, in his Notes on the State of Virginia (1781), provided a detailed rebuttal of de Buffon.[18] Hamilton also vigorously rebuked the idea in Federalist No. 11 (1787).[22] The living examples of Jefferson and Franklin—vigorous geniuses and clearly not degenerate—helped refute the thesis.[21]

Research into the degeneracy idea dates to at least 1944 and the work of Italian historian Antonello Gerbi.[21] One critic, citing Raynal's ideas, suggests that it was specifically extended to the English colonies that would become the United States.[25]

Roger suggests that the idea of degeneracy posited a symbolic, as well as a scientific America, that would evolve beyond the original thesis. He argues that Buffon's ideas formed the root of a "stratification of negative discourses" that has recurred throughout the two countries' relationship (and has been matched by persistent anti-Gallic sentiment in the United States).[19]

Culture

Soviet propaganda poster depicting alleged lack of freedoms in the United States (1950, by Nikolay Dolgorukov and Boris Efimov). Freedom of the press is depicted as William R. Hearst spreading lies; Freedom of thought is depicted as judge giving a verdict for communist beliefs; Personal freedom is depicted as lynching blacks by the KKK; Freedom of assembly is depicted as Riot control and Freedom of speech is depicted as the Statue of Liberty with her mouth padlocked shut.

According to Brendan O'Connor, some Europeans criticized Americans for lacking "taste, grace and civility" and having a brazen and arrogant character.[3] British author Frances Trollope observed in her 1832 book Domestic Manners of the Americans that the greatest difference between England and the United States was "want of refinement.", explaining that "that polish which removes the coarser and rougher parts of our nature is unknown and undreamed of" in America.[26][27] According to one source her account "succeeded in angering Americans more than any book written by a foreign observer before or since".[28] English writer Captain Marryat's critical account in his Diary in America, with Remarks on Its Institutions (1839) also proved controversial, especially in Detroit where an effigy of the author, along with his books, was committed to the flames.[28] Other writers critical of American culture and manners included the bishop Talleyrand in France and Charles Dickens in England.[3] Dickens' novel Martin Chuzzlewit (1844) is a ferocious satire on American life.[17]:42 In the novel, Americans are portrayed as snobs, windbags, and hypocrites and the Republic is described as: "so maimed and lame, so full of sores and ulcers, foul to the eye and almost hopeless to the sense, that her best friends turn from the loathsome creature with disgust". Dickens attacked the institution of slavery in America: "Thus the stars wink upon the bloody stripes; and Liberty pulls down her cap upon her eyes, and owns oppression in its vilest aspect for her sister"[29] French statesman Georges Clemenceau commented: "America is the only country that went from barbarism to decadence without civilization in between."[30]

Simon Schama says: "By the end of the nineteenth century, the stereotype of the ugly American—voracious, preachy, mercenary, and bombastically chauvinist—was firmly in place in Europe."[31] O'Connor suggests that such prejudices were rooted in an idealised image of European refinement and that the notion of high European culture pitted against American vulgarity has not disappeared.[3]

Politics and ideology

The young United States also faced criticism on political and ideological grounds. Ceaser argues that the Romantic strain of European thought and literature, hostile to the Enlightenment view of reason and obsessed with history and national character, disdained the rationalistic American project. The German poet Nikolaus Lenau commented: "With the expression Bodenlosigkeit (absence of ground), I think I am able to indicate the general character of all American institutions; what we call Fatherland is here only a property insurance scheme." Ceaser argues in his essay that such comments often repurposed the language of degeneracy, and the prejudice came to focus solely on the United States and not Canada and Mexico.[18] Lenau had emigrated to the United States in 1833 and found that the country did not live up to his ideals, leading him to return to Germany the following year. His experiences in the USA were the subject of a novel entitled Tired of America (Der Amerika-Müde) (1855) by fellow German Ferdinand Kürnberger.[32]

The nature of American democracy was also questioned. The sentiment was that the country lacked "[a] monarch, aristocracy, strong traditions, official religion, or rigid class system," according to Rubin, and its democracy was attacked by some Europeans in the early nineteenth century as degraded, a travesty, and a failure.[27] The French Revolution, which was loathed by many European conservatives, also implicated the United States and the idea of creating a constitution on abstract and universal principles.[18] That the country was intended to be a bastion of liberty was also seen as fraudulent given that it had been established with slavery.[31] "How is it that we hear the loudest yelps for liberty among the drivers of negroes?" asked Samuel Johnson in 1775.[33] He famously stated that, "I am willing to love all mankind, except an American."[27]

Charles Dickens stated: "The heaviest blow ever dealt at liberty will be dealt by this country [America], in the failure of its example to the earth."[34]

Twentieth century

Fascist critiques

Nazi propaganda poster addressing the Dutch public in 1944 with the words: "The USA are supposed to save European culture". The image utilizes a number of themes, some of which (racism, use of excessive force, American culture and the influence of Judaism) are still in use within some varieties of modern anti-Americanism.

Drawing on the ideas of Arthur de Gobineau (1816–82) European fascists decried the supposed degenerating effect of immigration on the racial mix of the American population. The Nazi philosopher Alfred Rosenberg argued that race mixture in the USA made it inferior to countries like Germany which had a supposedly pure-bred racial stock.[17]:91-2

Anti-Semitism was another factor in these critiques. The belief that America was ruled by a Jewish conspiracy was common in countries ruled by fascists before and during World War II.[17]:91-7 The Jews, the assumed puppet masters behind American plans for world domination, were also seen as using jazz in a crafty plan to eliminate racial distinctions.[17]:91-7 However, despite these plans, Adolf Hitler did not count America as a credible adversary of the Third Reich because of its incoherent racial mix: "half-Judaised" and "half-Negrified".[17]:94-7

In an address to the Reichstag on 11 December 1941, Hitler declared war on the United States and lambasted the American President Franklin D. Roosevelt:

"He [Roosevelt] was strengthened in this [political diversion] by the circle of Jews surrounding him, who, with Old Testament-like fanaticism, believe that the United States can be the instrument for preparing another Purim for the European nations that are becoming increasingly anti-Semitic. It was the Jew, in his full Satanic vileness, who rallied around this man [Roosevelt], but to whom this man also reached out".[35]

Within days of this address Hitler ordered the complete extermination of the Jews: the Holocaust. According to Saul Friedlander this was because Hitler imagined that he was now at war with a Jewish World Conspiracy fronted by communist Russia on the one hand and capitalist America on the other.[36]

Twenty-first century

9/11

National Park Service 9-11 Statue of Liberty and WTC fire.jpg

Following the September 11, 2001 attacks, leaders in most Middle Eastern countries, including Afghanistan, condemned the attacks. Iraq was a notable exception, with an immediate official statement that "the American cowboys are reaping the fruit of their crimes against humanity."[37] Another publicized exception was the celebration of some Palestinians.[38]  
 

Contemporary regional attitudes

Canada

Journalists Brendon O'Connor & Martin Griffiths state in their book Anti-Americanism that they would at first glance think that Canadians seem as likely as other to embrace characteristics that are characterised as anti-American. O'Conner and Griffiths include such actions as criticising Americans as a people, or the US as a country as being anti-American often demonising, denigrating and resorting to stereotypes. They have also written that the Anti-Americanism found in Canada had unique qualities, no where else has it been so entrenched for so long, nor so central to the political culture of Canada. Canadian columnist Larry Zolf has written that "anti-Americanism is a core part of the Canadian identity since Day One of this country."[39]. But American columnist Jonathan Kay thinks Canadian anti-Americanism can be viewed as less virulent and asserts that Canadian Anti-Americanism is a mixture of fear and envy[40]. Canadian historian Kim Richard Nossal thinks that the a low level attenuated form of anti-Americanism permeates Canadian political culture, though "designed primarily as a means to differentiate Canadians from Americans."[41]. Although J.L Granatstien has suggested that Anti-Americanism was dead in Canada, John Herd Thompson and Stephen J. Randall in their book Canada and the United States (2002) states that there is anecdotal evidence that it still flourishes, and that it continues to nourish the Canadian sense of identity.[42].

According to Nora Jacobson (writing in the New York Times) Canadian anti-Americanism is a mixture of smug contempt and wariness that alternates between the paranoid and the absurd. Generally Nora Jacobson claims that this takes the form of comparisons and evaluations. She also claims that events such as the banning of cattle imports and the belief that the war of 1812 is not covered in great detail in Canadian school text books in order to not offend the Americans are signs of this subtle anti-Americanism. Nora Jacobson claims that during the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks she heard many Canadians say that Americans had finally gotten what they deserved, and that the US had got its just deserts. She also accuses Canada of defining itself through a negative comparison ("Canada: We're not the United States").[43]

Europe

In a 2003 article, Historian David Ellwood identified what he called three great roots of anti-Americanism:

  • Representations, images and stereotypes (from the birth of the Republic onwards)
  • The challenge of economic power and the American model of modernization (principally from the 1910's and '20's on)
  • The organized projection of U.S. political, strategic and ideological power (from World War II on)

He went on to say that expressions of the phenomenon in the last 60 years have contained ever-changing combinations of these elements, the configurations depending on internal crises within the groups or societies articulating them as much as anything done by American society in all its forms.[44]

Sergio Fabbrini, in a 2004 article wrote that the perceived post 9/11 unilateralism of the 2003 invasion of Iraq fed deep rooted anti-American feeling in Europe, bringing it to the surface. In his article, he highlighted European fears surrounding the Americanization of both the economy, culture and political process of Europe.[45]

In her contribution to the seminal book Anti-Americanisms in World Politics edited by Peter Katzenstein and Robert Keohane in 2006, Sophie Meunier writes about French anti-Americanism that although it has a long history (older than the US itself) and is the most easily recognizable anti-Americanism in Europe, it may not have had real policy consequences on the United States and thus may have been less damaging than more pernicious and invisible anti-Americanism in other countries.[46]

During the George W. Bush administration, public opinion of America declined in most European countries. A Pew Global Attitudes Project poll shows "favorable opinions" of America between 2000 and 2006 dropping from 83% to 56% in the United Kingdom, from 62% to 39% in France, from 78% to 37% in Germany and from 50% to 23% in Spain.[47]

In Europe in 2002, vandalism of American companies was reported in Athens, Zürich, Tbilisi, and Moscow. In Venice some anti-globalist attacked a Mc Donald's restaurant owned by Italians[48]

After WWII, when "American" and "liberation" were synonyms in French hearts, the Suez Crisis caused unhappiness among the French right; for the French left, it was the Vietnam War and 'US imperialism' that were the sources of resentment[49]. It certainly contributed to the French leaving NATO[50], which cannot exactly be called anti-Americanism. Much later, the alleged weapons of mass destruction affair certainly dirtied the previously favorable image. In 2008, 85% French people considered American government and banks to be most liable of the Financial crisis of 2007–2010[51].

Following the 2008 South Ossetia War, anti-Americanism was said to have grown amongst the intellectual-political class in Russia too.[citation needed] In response to the conflict with Georgia, Boris Kagarlitsky said: "Ironically, one of the dominant trends here is that we are anti-American because we want to be exactly like America. We are angry that Americans are allowed to invade minor nations and we are not."[52]

In Turkey, Anti-American protestors held signs saying “Obama, new president of the American imperialism that is the enemy of the world’s people, your hands are also bloody. Get out of our country.” when Barack Obama visited Turkey.[53] Protestors also shouted phrases such as "Yankee go home" and "Obama go home".[54][55]

East Asia and Oceania

In Japan and South Korea, objections to the behavior and presence of American military personnel is sometimes reported as anti-Americanism, such as the 1995 Okinawan rape incident.[56][57] The ongoing U.S. military presence in Okinawa remains a contentious issue in Japan.[58]

While protests have arisen over specific incidents, they are often reflective of deeper historical resentments. Robert Hathaway, director of the Wilson Center's Asia program, suggests: "the growth of anti-American sentiment in both Japan and South Korea must be seen not simply as a response to American policies and actions, but as reflective of deeper domestic trends and developments within these Asian countries."[59] In Japan, a variety of threads have contributed to anti-Americanism in the post-war era, including pacifism on the political left, nationalism on the right, and opportunistic worries over American influence in Japanese economic life.[60]

Korean anti-Americanism after the war was fueled by American occupation and support for authoritarian rule, a fact still evident during the country's democratic transition in the 1980s.[61] Speaking to the Wilson Center, Katherine Moon notes that while the majority of South Koreans support the American alliance "anti-Americanism also represents the collective venting of accumulated grievances that in many instances have lain hidden for decades."[59]

Such anti-Americanism is reflected in Korean popular culture. The monster film The Host (2006) was in part inspired by an incident in 2000 in which a mortician working for the U.S. military in Seoul dumped a large amount of formaldehyde down the drain. In it, a horrible mutated monster from the river menaces the inhabitants of Seoul.[62] "Fucking USA" is an anti-American protest song written by South Korean singer and activist Yoon Min-suk. Strongly anti-US Foreign policy and anti-Bush, the song was written in 2002 at a time when, following the Apolo Ohno Olympic controversy and an incident in which two Korean middle school students were killed under the wheels of a U.S. Army vehicle, anti-American sentiment in South Korea reached high levels.[63]

In a poll taken by the Reader's Digest with 1000 Australians, 15 per cent of Australians described themselves as anti-American. Another 67 per cent held neutral views of America, and 17 per cent said they were pro-American.[64]

Middle East

Anti-American mural in Tehran

According to Tamim Ansary, in Destiny Disrupted: A History of the World Through Islamic Eyes (2009) early views of America in the Middle East and the Moslem World were mostly positive.[65] After World War One admiration was expressed for American President Woodrow Wilson's promulgation of democracy, freedom and self-determination in the Fourteen Points and, during World War Two, the high ideals of the Atlantic Charter received favorable notice.[65] However, in 1953, the removal of Iranian prime minister Mohammed Mosaddeq in a C.I.A. based coup resulted in widespread anger against America and a reversal of attitudes.[66]

Cultural anti-Americanism in the Middle East may have its origins with Sayyid Qutb, an influential Egyptian author, who Paul Berman titled "the Philosopher of Islamic Terror".[67] Qutb, the leading intellectual of the Muslim Brotherhood, studied in Greeley, Colorado, from 1948–50, and wrote a book, The America I Have Seen based on his impressions. In it he decried everything in American from individual freedom and taste in music to Church socials and haircuts.[68] "They danced to the tunes of the gramophone, and the dance floor was replete with tapping feet, enticing legs, arms wrapped around waists, lips pressed to lips, and chests pressed to chests. The atmosphere was full of desire..."[69] He offered a distorted chronology of American history and was disturbed by its sexually liberated women: "The American girl is well acquainted with her body's seductive capacity. She knows it lies in the face, and in expressive eyes, and thirsty lips. She knows seductiveness lies in the round breasts, the full buttocks, and in the shapely thighs, sleek legs – and she shows all this and does not hide it."[69] He was particularly disturbed by Jazz, which he called the American's "preferred music, and it is created by Negroes to satisfy their love of noise and to whet their sexual desires ..."[70] Qutb's writings influenced generations of militants and radicals in the Middle East who viewed America as a cultural temptress bent on overturning traditional customs and morals, especially with respect to the relations between the sexes. As Paul Hollander has written: "The most obvious and clear link between anti-Americanism and modernization is encountered in Islamic countries and other traditional societies where modernization clashes head on with entrenched traditional beliefs, institutions, and patterns of behavior, and where it challenges the very meaning of life, social relations, and religious verities. What becomes of the world when women can go to work and show large surfaces of skin to men they are not related to? In a recent case, the indignant male members of a Kurdish family in Sweden were 'provoked' by the transgressing female of their family who had the temerity to have a job and a boyfriend and dress in Western ways. She was finally killed by her father."[2]

Hollander went on to explain:

"In Arab countries and among Muslim populations, anti-Americanism is not only the monopoly of intellectuals but also a widespread disposition of the masses. In these areas, traditional religion, radical politics, and economic backwardness combine to make anti-Americanism an exceptionally widespread, virulent, and reflexive response to a wide range of collective and personal frustrations and grievances-and a welcome alternative to any collective or individual self-examination or stock-taking. More generally, it is the rise of alternatives, ushered in by modernization, that threatens traditional societies and generates anti-American reaction. The stability of traditional society (like that of modern totalitarian systems) rests on the lack of alternatives, on the lack of choice. Choice is deeply subversive-culturally, politically, psychologically. The recent outburst of murderous anti- Americanism has added a new dimension to the phenomenon, or at any rate, throws into relief the intense hatred it may encapsulate. The violence of September 11 shows that when anti-Americanism is nurtured by the kind of indignation and resentment that in [turn] is stimulated and sanctioned by religious convictions, it can become spectacularly destructive."[2]

The chant, 'Death to America' has been in use in Iran since at least the Iranian revolution in 1979,[71][72] along with other phrases often represented as anti-American. State sponsored murals characterised as anti-American dot the streets of Tehran[73][74], however, many Iranians admire the US[66] so it is unclear how prevalent sentiments which might be described as anti-American are. It has been suggested that under Ayatollah Khomeini anti-Americanism was little more than a way to distinguish between domestic supporters and detractors, and even the phrase 'Great Satan'[75] which has previously been associated with anti-Americanism[76] appears to now signify either the US and/or the UK.

In 2002 and in mid-2004 Zogby International polled the favorable/unfavorable ratings of the U.S. in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco and the United Arab Emirates. In Zogby's 2002 survey, 76% of Egyptians had a negative attitude toward the United States, compared with 98% in 2004. In Morocco, 61% viewed the country unfavorably in 2002, but in two years, that number has jumped to 88 percent. In Saudi Arabia, such responses rose from 87% in 2002 to 94% in June. Attitudes were virtually unchanged in Lebanon but improved slightly in the UAE, from 87% who said in 2002 that they disliked the United States to 73% in 2004.[77] However most of these countries mainly objected to foreign policies that they considered unfair.[77]

The Pew Research Center's report released in June 2006 probed more deeply the stereotypes of westerners in the Middle East. While more than 70% of Middle Easterners identified more than 3 negative characteristics of the Westerner stereotype, the three strongest were selfish, violent and greedy. Few had positive opinions of Westerners, but the strongest positive stereotypes were devout and respectful of women.[78] The report also demonstrates strong unfavorable views of Jews and weakly favorable views of Christians predominate in the Middle East. In Jordan, 61%, Pakistan 27%, and Turkey 16% have favorable views of Christians while in Jordan 1%, Pakistan 6%, and Turkey 15% have favorable views of Jews.[78]

Qutb's ideas influenced Osama Bin Laden, an anti-American Islamic militant from Saudi Arabia, who is believed to be the founder of the Jihadist organization Al-Qaeda.[79][80] He is a member of the prestigious and wealthy bin Laden family. In conjunction with several other Islamic militant leaders, bin Laden issued two fatawain 1996 and then again in 1998—that Muslims should kill military personnel from the United States until they withdraw military forces from Islamic countries and withdraw support for Israel.[81][82]

After the 1996 fatwa, entitled "Declaration of War against the Americans Occupying the Land of the Two Holy Places", Osama bin Laden was put on a criminal file by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) under an American Civil War statute which forbids instigating violence and attempting to overthrow the U.S. government.[83][84] He has also been indicted in United States federal court for his alleged involvement in the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and Nairobi, Kenya, and is on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list.

Bin Laden, on behalf of Al-Qaeda, has allegedly claimed responsibility for the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States of America in videos released to the public.[85][86]

In 2008 an Iraqi cleric welcomed the "shoe intifada" against American Imperialism following an incident at a press conference in Iraq in which an irate Muslim journalist flung his shoes at President George W. Bush. Following this incident American embassies worldwide were targeted with shoes by anti-American demonstrators.[87]

On 14 January 2009, Bin Laden vowed to continue the fight and open up new fronts against the USA on behalf of the Islamic world.[88]

Anti-Americanism has risen in Pakistan as a result of US Drone attacks in Pakistan introduced by Bush and continued by Obama.[89][90] In a poll surveying opinions towards the USA, Pakistan scored as the most anti-American nation, jointly alongside Serbia.[91]

Latin America

"The United States hastens the delivery of arms to the puppet governments they see as being increasingly threatened; it makes them sign pacts of dependence to legally facilitate the shipment of instruments of repression and death and of troops to use them."
Che Guevara, April 9, 1961 [92]

In Latin America, anti-American sentiment has deep roots dating back to the 1830s and the Texas Revolution in which the province seceded from Mexico and after nine years the "Republic of Texas" was incorporated within the USA.[93] :53-4, 57-8Mexican anti-American sentiment was further inflamed by the 1846-1848 Mexican-American War, in which Mexico lost almost half of its territory to the US.[93]:57-8[94] The Chilean writer Francisco Bilbao predicted in America in Danger (1856) that the loss of Texas and north Mexico to "the talons of the eagle" was just a foretaste of an American bid for world domination.[17]:104 Such interventions from the USA prompted a later ruler of Mexico, Porfirio Diaz, to lament "Poor Mexico, so far from God, and so close to the United States".[17]:104 Mexico's National Museum of Interventions, opened in 1981, is a testament to Mexico's sense of grievance with the United States.[17]:121

In the rest of South America the 1855 American intervention in Nicaragua and the Spanish-American War of 1898, which turned Cuba into a virtual dependency of the United States, also prompted hatred of the US.[95] A very influential formulation of Latin-American anti-Americanism, engendered by the 1898 war, was the Uruguayan journalist José Enrique Rodó's essay Ariel (1900) in which the spiritual values of the South American Ariel are contrasted to the brutish mass-culture of the American Caliban. This essay had enormous influence throughout Spanish America in the 1910s and 1920s and prompted resistance to what was seen as American cultural imperialism[96] Perceived racist attitudes of the white Anglo-Saxon Protestants of the north towards the populations of South America also caused resentment.[97]

In the twentieth century American support for the 1954 Guatemalan coup d'état against the democratically-elected President Jacobo Arbenz Guzmán fueled anti-Americanism in the region.[98][99][100] This CIA-sponsored coup prompted a former president of that country, Juan José Arévalo to wrote a parable entitled The Shark and the Sardines (1961) in which a predatory shark (representing the USA) overawes the sardines of South America.[17]:114

Vice-President Richard Nixon's tour of South America in 1958 prompted a spectacular eruption of anti-Americanism. The tour became the focus of violent protests which climaxed in Caracas, Venezuela where Nixon was almost killed by a raging mob as his motorcade drove from the airport to the city. In response President Dwight D. Eisenhower assembled troops at Guantanamo Bay and a fleet of battleships in the Caribbean to intervene to save Nixon if necessary.[101] :826-34

Fidel Castro, the revolutionary leader of Cuba, has throughout his career tried to co-ordinate long standing South American resentments against the USA through military and propagandist means.[102][103] He was aided in this goal by the failed Bay of Pigs Invasion of Cuba in 1961, planned and implemented by the American government against his regime. This disaster ruined American credibility in South America and gave a boost to her critics worldwide.[101]:893-907 According to Rubin and Rubin, Castro's Second Declaration of Havana, in February 1962, "constituted a declaration of war on the United States and the enshrinement of a new theory of anti-Americanism".[17]:115 Castro called America "a vulture...feeding on humanity"[101]:862 The United States embargo against Cuba maintained resentment and Castro's colleague, the famed revolutionary Che Guevara, expressed his hopes during the Vietnam War of "creating a Second or a Third Vietnam" on the South American continent against the designs of what he believed to be US imperialism.[104]

The 1964 Brazilian coup d'état, the invasion of the Dominican Republic in 1965 Operation Condor, the 1973 Chilean coup d'état, the Salvadoran Civil War, the support of the Contras, the training of terrorists and war criminals in the School of the Americas and the refusal to extradite a terrorist, U.S. support for dictators such as Augusto Pinochet, Anastasio Somoza, Alfredo Stroessner have continued to influence regional attitudes in a negative way.[105][98][99][100]

The perceived failures of the neo-liberal reforms of the 1980s and the 1990s intensified opposition to the Washington consensus,[106] leading to a resurgence in support for Pan-Americanism, support for popular movements in the region, the nationalization of key industries and centralization of government.[107] America's tightening of the economic embargo on Cuba in 1996 and 2004 also caused resentment among South American leaders and has prompted them to use the Madrid-based Iberian Summit as a meeting place rather than the American dominated OAS.[108] One of the most vocal of these leaders has been Hugo Chávez of Venezuela, who is known for his strong opposition towards the American government, particularly George W. Bush, driving him to address the latter in many ways, including, referring to him as "el diablo" (the devil) before the opening of the United Nations General Assembly in 2006.[109] He has clearly stated his intent to use Venezuela's oil resources as a card "against the toughest country in the world, the United States."[110] In addition, Bolivian president Evo Morales has also shown his anti-American credentials on many occasions. Furthermore, the expansion of the U.S. military base in Manta, Ecuador was met by considerable criticism, derision, and even doubt by the supporters of such an expansion.[111] The near-war sparked by the 2008 Andean diplomatic crisis was expressed by a high-level Ecuadorean military officer as being carried under American auspices. The officer said "a large proportion of senior officers," share "the conviction that the United States was an accomplice in the attack" launched on by the Colombian military on a FARC camp in Ecuador, near the Colombian border.[112] The Ecuadorean military retaliated by stating the 10-year lease on the base, which expires in November 2009, will not be renewed and the U.S. military presence was expected to be scaled down starting three months before the expiry.[113]

United States

Interpretations of anti-Americanism have often been polarized. Anti-Americanism has been described by the American scholar Paul Hollander as "a relentless critical impulse toward American social, economic, and political institutions, traditions, and values."[2]

Globally, increases in perceived anti-American attitudes appear to correlate with particular policies or actions,[114] such as the Vietnam and Iraq[115] wars. For this reason, critics sometimes argue the label is a propaganda term that is used to dismiss any censure of the United States as irrational.[116] Noam Chomsky sees the term as a reflection of a totalitarian mindset that identifies state policy with the country and its culture.[117]

See also

References

Notes

  1. ^ Merriam-Webster and the American Heritage Dictionary.
  2. ^ a b c d Hollander, Paul The Politics of Envy, The New Criterion, November 2002, accessed 29 April 2007.
  3. ^ a b c d e O'Connor, Brendan: "A Brief History of Anti-Americanism from Cultural Criticism to Terrorism", Australasian Journal of American Studies, July 2004, pp. 77-92
  4. ^ O'Connor, Brendan, p 89.
  5. ^ The ARTFL Project - Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913+1828)
  6. ^ Le Petit Robert ISBN 2-85036-668-4
  7. ^ Roger, Phillipe. The American Enemy: The History of French Anti-Americanism, introductory excerpt, University of Chicago Press, 2005.
  8. ^ Mead, Walter Russell (May/June 2006). "Through Our Friends' Eyes – Defending and Advising the Hyperpower". Foreign Affairs. http://www.foreignaffairs.org/20060501fareviewessay85311a/walter-russell-mead/through-our-friends-eyes-defending-and-advising-the-hyperpower.html. Retrieved 2008-04-12.  Review of Josef Joffe's Überpower: The Imperial Temptation of America.
  9. ^ Markovits, Andrei S.. "European Anti-Americanism (and Anti-Semitism): Ever Present Though Always Denied". Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. http://www.jcpa.org/phas/phas-markovits-05.htm. 
  10. ^ Kagan, Robert. Of Paradise and Power: America and Europe in the New World Order (2003)
  11. ^ Interviewing Chomsky Preparatory to Porto: Alegre Zmagazine
  12. ^ On Violence and Youth—Noam Chomsky interviewed by Pepi Leistyna and Stephen Sherblom, chomsky.info, quoting Harvard Educational Review, Vol. 65, No. 2, Summer 1995 [Fall 1994], http://www.chomsky.info/interviews/1994----02.htm, retrieved 2008-01-05 
  13. ^ Noam Chomsky on the State of the Nation, Iraq and the Election, DEMOCRACY NOW!, October 21, 2004, http://www.democracynow.org/2004/10/21/noam_chomsky_on_the_state_of, retrieved 2008-01-05 
  14. ^ Jacklyn Martin (December 9, 2002), Is Chomsky 'anti-American'? Noam Chomsky], chomsky.info, requoting The Herald, http://www.chomsky.info/interviews/20021209.htm, retrieved 2007-12-05 
  15. ^ Pierre Guerlain, A Tale of Two Anti-Americanisms (European Journal of American Studies 2007)
  16. ^ Katzenstein, Peter and Robert Keohane. "Conclusion: Anti-Americanisms and the Polyvalence of America", in Anti-Americanisms in World Politics, Katzenstein and Keohane, eds., Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2006 (forthcoming).
  17. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Rubin, Barry; Rubin, Judith Colp (2004). Hating America: A History. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-530649-X. 
  18. ^ a b c d e Ceaser, James W. "A genealogy of Anti-Americanism", The Public Interest, Summer 2003.
  19. ^ a b Grantham, Bill (Summer 2003). "Brilliant Mischief: The French on Anti-Americanism". World Policy Journal 20 (2). http://www.worldpolicy.org/journal/articles/wpj03-2/grantham.html. Retrieved 2008-05-16. 
  20. ^ a b Meunier, Sophie (March 2005). "Anti-Americanism in France" (PDF). Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University. http://www.jhfc.duke.edu/ducis/GlobalEquity/pdfs/Meunier.pdf. Retrieved 2008-05-18. 
  21. ^ a b c d Popkin, Richard H. (January 1978). "The Dispute of the New World: The History of a Polemic, 1750-1900 (review)" (PDF). Journal of the History of Philosophy 16 (1): 115–118. http://muse.jhu.edu/login?uri=/journals/journal_of_the_history_of_philosophy/v016/16.1popkin.pdf. Retrieved 2008-05-27. "Jefferson, who was U. S. ambassador to Paris after the Revolution, was pushed by the rampant anti-Americanism of some of the French intellectuals to publish the only book of his that appeared in his lifetime, the Notes on Virginia (1782-1784)". 
  22. ^ a b c Goldstein, James A.. "Aliens in the Garden". Roger Williams University School of Law Faculty Papers. nellco.org (Posted with permission of the author). http://lsr.nellco.org/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1019&context=rwu/rwufp. Retrieved 2008-05-22. 
  23. ^ de Pauw, Cornelius. Recherches philosophiques sur les Américains ou Mémoires intéressants pour servir à l'histoire de l'espèce humaine. London, 1768.
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      Also attributed to Oscar Wilde and George Bernard Shaw.
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  53. ^ Protests as Obama Leaves Turkey
  54. ^ 'Obama go home,' protestors say
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