|The State of the Union|
(How the rest of the world views the U.S., from a
traveling Americans perspective)
The views here are absolutely my own. They are forged by going to places and interacting with people. When you eventually get enough language skills, and get over the fear of making a fool out of yourself, and start traveling, you can eventually sit down and talk with lots of foreign nationals and form your own opinion. This one is mine. Nationals are much more likely to share their views on the U.S. when they are outside the U.S. Not that I can blame them, Even I wouldn't consider insulting a country I was currently in. I can tell you that international meetings are a wonderful place to meet lots of nationals from lots of countries in one place. You don't need to travel to Russia to talk with a group of Russians....
The general view of the civilized world (the non-civilized world doesn't even know we exist, and doesn't care to know) is that they basically hate the U.S. (With the possible exception of Australia, I haven't talked to enough Australians to know. If you can shed any light on this, drop me a line). Yep, that's a pretty big brush to paint the world with, but there is a lot of hate out there.
Those that are big enough militarily, or those that THINK they are big enough militarily, or those who have a friend who IS big enough militarily, generally think that we are arrogant, don't know when to keep out nose out of other peoples business, and a bunch of bullies. Well, what can I say. They are probably right.
Those that do not fall into one of the categories above generally seem to be scared to death that the U.S. will one day find something that interests/angers us in THEIR country, and that we will come over for a visit to "rectify" the situation. Again, what can I say, They are probably right.
Think I am wrong? Try reading the graffiti that covers just about every surface in foreign countries. Think that's a small sampling of the population writing that? Make friends with the nationals and then ask them what they REALLY think. You need to be careful here, because in most countries, they really need to know you well before they will tell you the truth. Most of the world is more polite that we are.
That being said, I have never encountered anyone who hates Americans (ok, that's not entirely true, there are a few exceptions to every rule). Its America the don't like. If you don't understand the difference, you need a few move civics lessons. So, don't let the anti-American slogans bother you. They are NOT directed at YOU.
Don't agree with the above? If you are American, I don't care (everyone HERE is entitled to their opinion). If you are a foreign national (and not one that is trying to become naturalized), I am interested in why you don't agree. Drop me a line in a language of your choice, and I will discuss it with you.
This site was last updated 11/16/03