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Martin Hash
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Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2010 2:02 pm


Post by Martin Hash » Mon Nov 29, 2010 6:22 am

As a travel writer who has visited 70 countries on 7 continents, I recommend that Americans should not go abroad without the support of other Americans. In fact, the surprise of anti-Americanism in other countries will most certainly catch tourists by surprise – Americans just don’t know that the rest of the world hates them. I’ve heard several explanations of this phenomenon, the most likely being resentment and envy, or the fact that our political system exults the individual over the group, but it makes little difference why – it is only important that we confront the reality of the situation.

In other countries, especially European-influenced, the adults of my generation demean everything about America: our manufacturing, our intelligence, even our military! Yet they still have enough memory of America’s generosity to trigger some modicum of objectivity. Unfortunately, those people’s children, early 30s and younger, have no such positive counterbalance. Twenty-somethings hold an opinion they have been spoonfed by their anti-American elders and foreign media, resulting in disdain, scorn, and ridicule. To the rest of the world, Americans are “The Simpsons.” There is no repairing that perception – and, frankly, anytime you let someone else’s opinion of you modify your actions, whether it be an individual or a nation, you are putting yourself under their control. Rather than worry about what the rest of the world thinks of us, it is only important to be able to predict it – because if you don’t know your enemies then you can’t protect yourself from them, rather it be aggression, trade, culture, or religion.

Another equally important concern is what Americans think of other countries… Currently, most Americans are guilty of benign neglect: blissfully unaware of the contempt in which they are held. Someday though there is going to be hell to pay because people don’t like people who don’t like them, so when the general public eventually becomes aware of the odious esteem of their worldly counterparts, American foreign policy will be radically realigned. America has a long history of isolationism – expect those feelings to reemerge with a vengeance.