Author: gotohell

Why do Europeans Hate Americans? [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2008-2-18 22:30:04 |Display all floors

Millions worldwide rally for peace
Huge turnout at 600 marches from Berlin to Baghdad

Angelique Chrisafis, David Fickling, Jon Henley, John Hooper, Giles Tremlett, Sophie Arie and Chris McGreal The Guardian, Monday February 17 2003
Huge waves of demonstrations not seen since the Vietnam war jammed more than 600 towns and cities around the world over the weekend as protesters from Tasmania to Iceland marched against war in Iraq. Up to 30 million people demonstrated worldwide, including around 6 million in Europe, according to figures from organisers and police, although most conceded there were too many people in too many places to count.

Action began on Friday when 150,000 protesters filed into Melbourne, with thousands more gathering across the rest of Australia and in New Zealand. Protests were still swelling yesterday in Sydney, San Francisco and in Oman - where 200 women filled the streets in the sultanate's first all-female demonstration. Smaller demonstrations choked streets from Cape Town, Dhaka and Havana to Bangkok.

Tens of thousands filled the streets of Iraq. In Baghdad, students, housewives and volunteer militia, many waving Kalashnikovs and giant pictures of Saddam Hussein, were presided over by leaders of the ruling Ba'ath party and watched over by heavily armed police.


Last night's protest in San Francisco was the last in a weekend of American mass demonstrations.

In New York on Saturday organisers counted 400,000 demonstrators who, forbidden by a court order from marching, rallied within sight of the United Nations amid heavy security. They were joined by the South African archbishop Desmond Tutu, and actors Susan Sarandon and Danny Glover. In Chicago 3,000 gathered and in Philadelphia 5,000 more carried anti-Bush banners. Other marchers massed in more than 100 towns and cities, including Seattle, Miami and Los Angeles.


Yesterday's anti-war protest in Sydney was the biggest demonstration in Australia's history, surpassing even the record set by Friday's demonstration in Melbourne. Around 250,000 marchers were addressed by American singer Jackson Browne, journalist John Pilger and Green party senator Bob Brown.

There was a typically Australian strand of irreverence about parts of the protest, with organisers giving out prime minister John Howard's office phone number.

The prime minister was unimpressed by the protests. "I don't know that you can measure public opinion just by the number of people that turn up at demonstrations," he said.


Two marches in Spain - in Madrid and Barcelona - each brought out around a million people on Saturday evening, with dozens more gatherings countrywide, taking the total number of protesters towards the 3 million mark.

It was the biggest outpouring of popular political sentiment - with the possible exception of some anti-Eta marches - since Spaniards took to the streets to protect their fragile young democracy after a coup attempt in 1981.

The protest was not directed so much at George Bush as at his faithful ally, the conservative Spanish prime minister, Jose Maria Aznar. "The Pope says no to war, the People's party says yes", "Aznar, Bush's doormat" and "USA global coup" were among the slogans on display.

"We don't understand the concept of a preventive war. The only preventive war is called peace," film-maker Pedro Almodovar told the Madrid march.


Between 300,000 and 500,000 anti-war protesters marched through some 60 towns across France on Saturday, many carrying banners declaring "Proud to be French" and waving US flags scrawled with the words: "Leave us in peace".

Police said 200,000 people attended a Paris march, the largest such gathering since the anti-National Front protests of last spring. Some 15,000 gathered in Lyon, 7,000 in Toulouse, and 5,000 in Strasbourg, Rennes and Marseille.

President Jacques Chirac said yesterday that "no option was excluded" if the UN weapons inspectors failed or were unable to complete their task, but a new survey found that 81% of the French wanted him to use the country's UN security council veto against any US-led military attack on Iraq.

Among those marching in the capital to support Mr Chirac's stance were some of his most bitter political opponents, including the Communist leader Marie-George Buffet and the anti-globalisation activist José Bové.


Berlin's peace march turned out to be five times bigger than expected by police and organisers - and twice as large as the biggest previous demonstration in post-war Germany.

By the time Saturday's protest reached its peak, an estimated 500,000 people were packed into the Tiergarten, Berlin's central park. Three members of Chancellor Gerhard Schröder's centre-left cabinet defied his express wishes and joined the march.


Rome's ancient monuments were draped with peace flags on Saturday and the city swarmed with anti-war campaigners, producing what organisers said was the biggest turnout in Italy's long history of mass popular protest.

The music of Bruce Springsteen blasted over a crowd of leftwing opposition politicians, film stars, Catholic church representatives, human rights groups and Iraqi exiles. March campaigners claimed three million pacifists "invaded" Rome. Police said the true figure was around 650,000, though it was "difficult to count".

The centre-right prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi, who has pledged Italy's support for a US-led war, made no official comment on the march. His deputy and leader of the far-right National Alliance, Gianfranco Fini, said the protests had brought the world no closer to peace because "ideological anti-Americanism" and "totalitarian pacifism" would not convince Saddam Hussein to disarm.

State television, RAI, did not broadcast the protest live, saying it would put "undue pressure on politicians".

Saddam Hussein's deputy prime minister Tariq Aziz, on a controversial trip to rally support for Iraq, was in Assisi to see the tomb of St Francis, the patron saint of peace. "May God the almighty grant peace to the people of Iraq and of the whole world," Mr Aziz, a Chaldean Catholic, wrote in the visitor's book.


The small turnout for Saturday's peace march through Tel Aviv confirmed that nowhere is there more support for an American attack on Iraq than in Israel.

About 1,500 people rallied at the Tel Aviv museum of art. Some were Arabs whose chants were anything but peaceful, with calls for retaliation against America and denunciations of George Bush and Ariel Sharon as terrorists more dangerous than Saddam Hussein.

Other protesters included Jews who focused their anger on the policies of their own government.

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Post time 2008-2-18 22:58:53 |Display all floors
Actually, most of the Europeans I meet like Americans just fine. Maybe not Bush or the government, but most Americans don't like them right now, either. And, based upon the reasons you listed for Europeans to hate Americans, they would be a very hypocritical bunch. I'm not sure why gotohell seems to feel evil was invented and only purportrated by America, but maybe he needs to crack open a (legitimate) history book. European nations have done more and worse as far as human rights violations.

Besides, if French children claim that their impressions of Americans are that they just eat hanburgers and such, I would dispute that they are at all educated as to what America is.

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Post time 2008-2-19 00:37:01 |Display all floors

Environmental issues

The great divide

George Bush's decision to rip up the Kyoto agreement left many of us staring across the Atlantic in disbelief. But Henry Porter is not surprised - as London editor of Vanity Fair he has found that America's view of the world is profoundly different to Europe's

The United States' decision to abandon the Kyoto agreement and put its own energy requirements above the planet's health has supplied Europe with an unusually rapid means of deciding the worth of George Bush - if indeed we needed one. At any rate, in little less than a week Europeans have concluded that the US government has been captured by an exceptionally irresponsible and foolish man. Bush seems too bad to be true.
While we all blinked at his dismissal of Kyoto and the forging ahead with plans for oil exploration in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Bush attended a dinner in Washington where he sought to relax the White House press corps with a line about water purity. "As you know, we're studying safe levels for arsenic in drinking water," he said. "To base our decision on sound science, the scientists told us we needed to test the water glasses of about 3,000 people. Thank you for participating."

What we appear to have in the White House, then, is the American equivalent of Jim Davidson: an unabashed conservative with a historic drink problem and an alluringly toxic sense of humour. But not even Jim would have confused capital punishment with death duties as Bush did a few weeks ago when he declared: "We understand how unfair the death penalty is."

We in Europe gape at such faux pas and conclude - unjustly, as it happens - that George Bush is some kind of essential distillation of all US culture and that, therefore, all America is to blame for his presence in the White House. We note that the US constitutes 5% of the world's population but is responsible for a quarter of all mankind's emissions of carbon dioxide. With only the slightest hesitation, it seems, this same nation voted in Bush Mark II, who promised to out-Reagan Reagan and to dismiss world opinion on issues which, in our innocence, we had decided were pretty much orthodoxies for the new century.

And then something fascinating happened, something which had long been waiting to happen. All the resentments about American national life - the continued use of the death penalty, the refusal to address guns, the overbearing nature of its entertainment industry, the disinclination to wholeheartedly ratify treaties on landmines, and the International Criminal Court - coalesced into a single charge sheet which damned American society as being arrogant and out of touch with global concerns.

The mood has been building for a long time, but the decision to abandon Kyoto crystalised the issue in people's minds. Suddenly Europe is tired of the American dominance in practically every area of life, which is how the French have found themselves a hero in the McDonald's wrecker, Jose Bove.

Americans are amazed by the swiftness and unjustness of it all. They really do like to be loved and they feel that Europe gives them scant credit for the era of peace which has been guaranteed by successive American governments since the last war.

I have a lot of close American friends, having worked for a US corporation for a good part of the last decade. With one of them I have only to mention the number of teenagers being executed in the US and he shoots back: "Hey, if it wasn't for us, you'd all be speaking German." Then he usually takes another sip of wine and adds: "Or Russian." Less than 50% of this is an ironic evocation of Archie Bunker.

Last summer I went out with another friend who edits one of the big news magazines in the US, a very charming anglophiliac Wasp. Unwisely I began to explain the European suspicion of America, listing the usual grievances that now form the charge sheet. He took it for a while then deliberately set down his glass and gazed at its stem, evidently struggling to hold on to his temper. "The trouble with Europe is that every time you get into trouble you yell across the Atlantic for help. But, when things are good you expect us to listen to your horse---- lectures about the way we run things in the US." The point is well made, and indeed Europe's need to carry its own big stick and to sort out its own problems in the Balkans is one of the driving instincts behind the European Defence Force.

Americans see Europe as ungrateful but also congenitally inclined to political chaos. This suspicion of Europe stretches back to the hot summer of 1787 when, among others, Benjamin Franklin and George Washington sat down to write the constitution for the 13 states of America. In every sentence, they strove to distinguish the new republic from the oppression and abuse in the old world. That self-conscious creation of a political antithesis was strengthened over the 19th century and into the 20th by the fact that great numbers of people fled Europe's famines, pestilence and persecution for America. Thus the ancestral memory of Europe, albeit hazy, is as a place to escape from. American jokes about Europe dwell on its dodgy, screwed-up, murderous past.

Americans may feel cut off from the civilising presence of European culture and dimly hanker after their ethnic roots, especially those who claim Scottish, Irish, Greek and Italian ancestry. But there is also the feeling among many that their not-so-bright kin were the ones left behind to tend the goats. The European cousins may look up and see the Parthenon, the ancient temples of Sicily or the walls of Dubrovnik in their everyday life, but it doesn't substantially change the fact that they are still goatherds. Meanwhile, the American relation boasts a used car lot bigger than the Forum. So what earthly reason can there be to take notice of the European's views about landmines and genetically modified food?

Something less than 25% of all Americans have passports and it follows that the American experience of the outside world is extremely limited. While Europeans are exposed to a constant flow of fascinating information about American life, there's no reciprocal interest in the US about Europe, except when we have floods and foot and mouth and atrocities in the Balkans. Then the US takes notice, but this only serves to underscore the impression that life outside the great republic is far from comfortable.

William Pfaff, writing in the Los Angeles Times the other day, noted a mistake made by the new secretary of the treasury, Paul O'Neill, who had commented that something had to be done to help the Japanese achieve a higher standard of living. As Pfaff writes: "In fact, Japan's problem is that its living standards are so high - much higher on average than in the United States - that Japanese consumers can't think of much they want to spend more money on."

Among my friends in the United States I find a similar frustration with our misapprehensions - the idea, for instance, that every schoolyard is being raked by a 12-year-old with an assault rifle, or that you are quite likely to see a car chase through the streets of Manhattan. In fact, Americans drive much more slowly than Europeans and for the most part lead lives of dull plenty in the suburbs. Except in the big cities, America is astonishingly slow and conservative. HL Mencken, the great journalist of the first half of the century, certainly understood this when he attacked the way Americans refuse to discuss religion: "The result is that all religions are equally safeguarded against criticism, and that all of them lose vitality. We protect the status quo and so make steady war upon revision and improvement. That is a profoundly clever observation about the US, which is so often mistaken for the jittery crucible of invention. In areas other than commercial enterprise, it has been remarkably slow to challenge the status quo - segregation and gun law - mostly from fear of offending the Bill of Rights and Constitution.

While America has a clear narrative to its political history which unrolls with fascinating drama but always with a consistent set of interests and procedures, Europe is evidently prey to more mobile and fitful political passions. In 1925 Mencken saw how the two cultures rubbed each other up the wrong way. Europeans, he wrote, despaired of "our growing impatience with the free play of ideas, our increasing tendency to reduce all virtues to the single one of conformity, our relentless and all pervading standardisation."

That still encapsulates the European doubt about the United States of America, and if you add the big issues listed on the charge sheet, you pretty much have it all. George Bush is a product of that deeply conservative strain in America that wars against revision and improvement. In Europe we are brave enough or foolish enough to think that we can revise and improve, which is why the clash occurs. To my mind the division appears deeper than it actually is, and in fact I'd bet my last dollar that we won't throw in our lot with Europe, which many suggest is the logical outcome of the current frustrations with American conservatism. There is one point that everyone is forgetting in the heated debate about Kyoto. America invented environmentalism and still has a high proportion of people who give to environmental charities and believe that taxes should be raised to fight pollution.

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Post time 2008-2-19 02:11:54 |Display all floors
Originally posted by zglobal at 2008-2-18 21:18
I was asking a Brit on this occasion.

Your imaginary friend in the little corner of your little mind?
You will reap what you sow!

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Post time 2008-2-19 02:15:24 |Display all floors
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Roach Exterminator

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Post time 2008-2-19 11:50:09 |Display all floors

Why do Europeans hate Americans?

[quote]Originally posted by gotohell at 2008-2-18 18:54

You need to ask the Germans, French and even some Brits that question. [/quot
I live in the U.K and from my experience they seem to be hated because of their arrogance. their greed their
inability to understand Humour or sarcasm when directed at them because they are usually too thick to understand the point being made, and all of the illegitemate babies they left during and after WWII also they are
loudmouthed disease ridden warmongering self centred hypocrites,calculating drug pushing land grabbing resource theiving, I know that this is not the case for most Americans but it seems that most Americans that have contact with Europeans seem to have these faults, and because of the Corrupt government and Government controlled media unfortunately a lot of Americans beleive what the U.S gov and media tell them. the whole of the world is out to get them, 1st it was the so-called Red under the bed now it is all Muslims are
terrorists or potential terrorists, who will be the next targets? it makes me laugh when I heard that anyone on this palnet no matter what country they live in, if they say Kill the President, and you dont even have to say the U.S one, but just by saying those words, the U.S gov reserve the right to extradite that person where ever he/she may be, so Ironical, I remember when the U.S gov were sending assasins to kill Castro and
Kim Il Sung and they had rewards for anyone who would commit the assasinations, seems to me that the
understanding of hypocrisy and what is right and wrong seems to get confused in their minds.
also the corrupt actions of their patent office, example if you invent or develope a fuel that can be used by the masses for next to nothing, the U.S gov can and will take your invention under an article in one of their
Senate Bills regarding fuels, if that fuel or vehicle etc can be adapted or used for military purposes then that
technology and information of that said technology will be seized by the state and imprisonment of the
developer/inventor shall be enacted if he/she attempts to make that knowledge public.. and America claims to be the land of the free!!!

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Post time 2008-2-19 13:52:15 |Display all floors
People in KKKangaroo land love KKK of AmeriKKKa!

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