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anti-Americanism « Previous | |Next »
August 6, 2003

In a previous post I referred to Alexander Downer, Australia's foreign minister, dismissing criticism of his government's foreign policy as anti-Americanism. This is the quote:

"The left-wing intellectuals] are obsessed with anti-Americanism...It doesn't worry me, to tell you the truth. But if you're a policymaker, you have to think about consequences. What sort of world would we live in if the U.S. took the advice of the gratuitous left and said it would wash its hands and go back to an earlier tradition of isolation? What would happen to nuclear proliferation? The anti-American mob are emotionally driven, not intellectually driven."

No attempt was made to define anti-Americanism. Such civility is not forthcoming from Downer these days. He's fighting the culture wars and so any opposition to American policies and attitudes is sufficient to contitute anti-Americanism. Anti-Americanism means hating America.

Downer's vulgarity does not allow for the possibility of being critical of US foreign policy under the Bush administration yet being pro-American. Secondly, it does it allow for the possibility of a criticism that points how American foreign policy practice does not live up to its ideals of freedom, human rights and democracy and it draws attention to the yawning gap. Thirdly, Downer's conception is also absurd. Consider this. I presume that Downer would be critical of the US drug culture, its inner city violence, its radical liberalism etc. That is America. So Downer is anti-American. So the Australian foreign minister hates America.

Here is an considered attempt to have at defining anti-Americanism. It is by Martin Griffiths, from Flinders University, and it is a review of several books. (You need to scroll down the page).

Just for balance, here is something on shortcomings of the left.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 9:59 AM | | Comments (0)