This blog contains material I wrote and posted on multiply.com between the years 2005 and 2011 only. It does not contain any new material. For newer writing, please check my main blog (Bill the Butcher).
Sunday, 25 November 2012
A response to the charge of anti-Americanism
A few days ago, as the majority of you probably are aware, I wrote a blog post on the anniversary of the 11/9 attacks and I was promptly accused in certain quarters of being anti-American. Basically, I was accused of tarring all Americans with the same brush with which I painted the US government of the time and those who support it to this day.
I believe this calls for a response.
First: I, personally, do not subscribe to any idea which says the citizens of any country are responsible for the actions of their government; as anyone who’s read me for a while knows, I am of the view that no government can or will adequately reflect the will of the average citizen even if it presumes to speak in his or her name. Governments have only one agenda, in the final analysis – to perpetuate themselves, and to do this they ally themselves with those forces which will help them to perpetuate themselves.
For instance, the government in this country is one which allegedly – since voted to power in a democratic election – speaks for the people; yet it’s not a government for which I voted and its policies go against virtually everything in which I believe. It is anti-egalitarian, pro-Big Business, utterly disregarding of the environment and of social realities in its domestic agenda; and in its foreign policy it is abjectly subservient to the dictates of the US. Therefore what this government, which is not my government, does is not in my name, and I refuse to be associated with its policies and be blamed for what it does and has done. In 2003, the government of the time came perilously close to sending troops to help in the imperial occupation of Iraq, backing off only because of political compulsions, and if it had sent those troops that would not have been in my name either.
Similarly, I do not blame all Americans for the actions of their government of the time; it would be moronic of me to blame them all even if one single individual American had opposed those actions, and, as we all know, there were literally millions of Americans who opposed them and continue to do so today. Even those Americans who were brainwashed by the pliant media into supporting those actions were not to blame – if, that is, they have woken to realities now and repudiated their former stance. Millions more have done this and they are not to blame.
Second: When I speak against those who supported that response of the American government, I do not restrict my criticism to American citizens: there were millions of Indians who supported those actions (the actions of a “tough government”) and continue to do so today, when ultra-pro-American rhetoric is welcome in the media, which it wasn’t eight or even five years ago. Those Indians, Filipinos, Canadians, or whoever who continue to support the Imperial agenda are as much to blame as the Americans who continue to do so, or even more because they have less excuse, as those actions are not of the country they live in.
Third: I believe that an Imperial government is harmful, above all, to its own citizens in the passage of time. The Empire’s own people become its worst victims, even though they may live through a Golden Age during the peak of its powers. When the crash comes, it is they who suffer the most. While there may be a soupcon of justifiableSchadenfreude in their plight, it doesn’t hide the fact that they’re as much the victims of the Empire as the people the Empire rules over; and so they are not people I can hate. The current plight of Americans who lose jobs and homes as the government pours money into lost wars and even more weaponry will illustrate my point.
Fourth: I believe the events of 11/9 were used by the US government of the time to begin two major wars which would have led, if successful, to at least two more major wars (against Iran and Syria) and whose ultimate aim was to secure profits for giant US corporations, including oil and “reconstruction” producers, mercenary groups, and the military-industrial complex. These profits would only benefit the super-rich and would do nothing for the ordinary American who would do the actual fighting and dying (and continues to die in ever-increasing numbers). Therefore if I were to be anti-American I’d be blaming them, the poverty draftees and other sacrificial victims, for the actions of those doing the actual sacrifice.
Fifth: I have, over the years, blasted just about every country I can think of. At a conservative estimate, I’ve criticised, in no particular order, the governments of:
India, Pakistan, China, Cambodia, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Iran, Iraq, Kenya, Ethiopia, Germany, Japan, Russia, Georgia, “Israel”, Britain, Italy, Brazil, Australia, and frankly I forget who else.
So if I’m anti-American I’m anti-nation-in-general as well, which I don’t really think is a bad thing to be.
A note: I’ve been deleted by a couple of contacts, at least in one of those two cases because of that blog post. (I should make it clear that another person and I had issues about the post which we resolved in an exchange of personal messages, and that this lady is not among those two contacts I mentioned.)
Now I believe that anyone is free to delete me anytime and I won’t make an issue of it, even if I felt the loss, even if I thought you a valued contact; I don’t measure myself by the number of my contacts. But if you imagine that by criticising your government’s policies I am attacking you, personally, you probably should not be engaging with anyone who doesn’t live in your immediate social milieu, let alone someone halfway across the planet, anyway.