Sunday, February 20, 2005

Anti-American American

This article really bugs me. I find a lot to dislike in American politics and culture but, as a Canadian, I find there is a lot I admire about the US. I'm damn glad they're here now, keeping us safe.

The first paragraph caught my attention and finding it strange I read on.

The other night I saw a documentary about NASA on
television. It featured fearless astronauts breaking the
speed of sound, shaking loose the bondsof gravity and
walking in space. I watched awestruck as great minds
_ totally unfettered by social constraints _
created miracles from science and technology. It
made me proud to be human. It made me proud to
be American. It made me understand why many
people all over the world look up to the United States.

I put the 'totally unfettered by social constraints' part in bold but the author highlighted it himself. I knew I would be reading a 'USA is evil" rant when a wonderful and surely morally-neutral event like spacewalking would suddenly be looked at as somehow avoiding or breaking normal social behavior.

His description of Korea as a 'peace-loving country' provided a welcome bit of humour.

There are some well deserved complaints about the war in Iraq but I found them lost in his next paragraph with the comment "...democracy doesn't work for everyone." Personally, I agree with Winston Churchill that 'democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others." Democracy has only really failed when it wasn't for everyone. One of Korea's greatest improvements over the past 50 years has been in it's constant push for democracy.

After complaining about (American) democracy, he advises Korea to 'be free'. Can I be the only one who sees that as quite a contradiction? Does he mean, "Be free like North Korea.", "Be free with Japan's 'help' ", or "be free and ignore all your debts to America for it's 50 years of help and assistance"?

The author had some, even many, good points but so irritated me with the others that I found myself working to discredit all of them.

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