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I admit that America is not perfect. Tyrants and populists such as Castro and Chavez in the neighborhood and Iran’s Ahmadinejad and North Korea’s Kim Jong-il on the other side of the world call America the Big Bad Bully. In a way, to be name-called by “world leaders” like these fellows is a Compliment. But, when those who owe their very life to the American “Bully” vilify America and Americans, a response is definitely in order, since remaining silent is often taken as conceding to the accusations. Consider for a moment this patronizing and insulting piece by B. R., published in a London tabloid.
“Were I a Kerry voter, though, I’d feel deep anger, not only at them returning Bush to power, but for allowing the outside world to lump us all into the same category of moronic muppets. The self-righteous, gun-totin’, military-lovin’, sister-marryin’, abortion-hatin’, gay-lothin’, foreigner-despisin’, non-passport ownin’ red-necks, who believe God gave America the biggest d*** in the world so it could urinate on the rest of us and make their land ‘free and strong.’”
And this “tribute” comes to us courtesy of our trans-Atlantic “friends.” If this is what our “friends” say about us, then it is understandable that a whole slew of our ill-wishers trip over one another to vilify us. Many French, for one, never seem to miss an opportunity to berate and betray us. The Russians are just too happy to do all they can to pain us, in a perverse way of trying to cover their own misery. And of course the Islamists and the mullahs portray America as a brain-dead Great Satan tool of Zionism.
To make matters worse, a vociferous clique of local leftists with a suicide wish are doing all they can to take the country with them to the grave they so earnestly seek. These self-appointed squatters of the higher-ground, on both sides of the Atlantic, are riding so high on their high horse that they are blind to the realities down on earth.
It is a fact that the spiteful Europeans are mired up to their eyeballs in problems that hold every promise of spelling their doom before very long. Instead of focusing on solving their own problems, many Europeans place them at America’s doorstep. These “wise” Europeans find it their high calling to lecture and deride us at every opportunity.
To understand what is going on, we need to take a quick look at some of the quirks of the human mind. Venting, blaming, and loathing provide mental relief, at a price. Venting can be a relatively harmless way of expressing frustration, a get-it-off-your-chest exercise, the kind of thing people do with friends, at a bar or on a psychotherapist’s couch, for instance.
Yet, when it comes to blaming and loathing, the picture changes considerably. It is common for people to blame themselves, deservedly or not, for their problems. It is also not uncommon for people to actually loath themselves. In extreme cases, the self-loather may destroy his own life. Therefore, loathing is a dangerous energy that must find expression. It is by far safer for the person to discharge his loathing venom on others, particularly at others who are not likely to retaliate.
America has become a safe and convenient target for both the calculating as well as the mindless loather.
Why America? Because America is big enough, powerful enough, successful enough to be envied by every large and small, also-ran and failed individual and nation.
If you are a mercenary journalist who is paid by the word to boost circulation, you had better pick on somebody big enough for your story to fly. You can’t pick on Bangladesh or Haiti. People would laugh you out of town if you do, long before the publisher gets around to firing you.
Another reason is that saying and writing nice things is not provocative, gets no one’s attention and is unlikely to get published. If you want to be heard, you need to say nasty things, as nasty as you can and preferably against the biggest target that you can attack and get away with it.
Furthermore, by being venomous you become the voice for the frustrated, resentful and envious. A few words to our European friends are in order.
Your leftist gadflies deride America’s way of life while extolling the virtues of your present political and social model. They claim that your model is the wave of the glorious future and it will be adopted by the rest of the world. Strangely enough, ordinary Europeans don’t seem to think so. Demographic trends show that most Europeans don't even believe in the European ideal in sufficient numbers to want to pass it on to the next generation. According to the European Commission, the average birth rate for the European Union as a whole is now 1.4 children per woman, which is well below the 2.1 replacement rate. According to Germany's Federal Statistics Office, more people died in that country in 2005 than were born.
Not only is Europe declining in number, it is aging as well. According to the US Census Bureau, Europe in 2000 had the highest percentage of people aged 65 andolder in the world, and this figure is set to double by 2050. Who is going to work and pay for all the entitlement programs you have become accustomed to?
Economists forecast that European budget deficits will skyrocket as governments strain to reconcile declining tax bases with millions of elderly people who force up spending on pensions, health care, and other services.
Politically, Europe is not much better off. Der Spiegel, a leftist German magazine, recently made the following observation: "Europe has become a continent of political crises with governments in Italy, France, Britain and Poland all suffering from paralysis or a lack of voter approval. Is the continent about to abandon its integration project and return to the old era of national rivalry?"
Question: Weren’t these “sister-marryin’”, “gun-totin,’” “red-necks” Americans who, not too long ago, left their “sisters-wives” behind, picked up their guns and came over and saved you from the Nazis? Weren’t there tens of thousands of these same fellows who never made it back home? Did these “foreigner-despisin’” Americans, by tens of thousands, leave their limbs in the trenches of Europe out of contempt for foreigners?
The people you call “moronic muppets” must have earned this designation not only for not demanding war reparations, but for generously giving Europe billions of dollars to help it get back on its feet. In your ethos, generosity of heart is considered moronic?
No sooner were the Nazis defeated, than the Soviet Communists annexed some of the continent and prepared to swallow the rest. Again, it was this “military-lovin’” American nation that paid the lion’s share of the bill to defend you against the Soviets’ menace while you greedily made money and provided a comfortable life for yourselves under the shield of the American forces.
Sadly enough, dear Europeans, you are victims of your own delusions. America is not the Big Bad Bully. The really Terrible Bully is Islamism, and it’s right in your midst eroding your social and political fabric bit-by-bit. You don’t need to fantasize about your future. Your future is already playing out in the Islamic lands.
Dear gadfly European, to check out your future, you only need to visit the Islamic Republic of Iran, for instance, which is one of the most civilized countries that fell to the sword of the Islamists. While you are there, see for yourself how Iran is quivering under the stone-age rules of Sharia. Attend a public hanging, not an uncommon event.
The man’s crime, you may ask? Homosexuality, you are told.
Try hoisting a poster demanding gay rights and see what happens. If you do, you run the risk of being hanged right there and then as another homosexual. The seriously “gay-lothin’” are the Islamists. They are the very same people who are busily laying the groundwork to perform similar barbaric spectacles in your cities and towns before very long. That’s your future as more and more Islamists invade your countries and supplant human rights with Islamic Sharia.
Although I wish you the best of luck, I fear that this time around America can’t help you. You are on your own. Say whatever you like about America, while your voice is not yet stilled. Regrettably, your slurs about America seem like the last words of an ungrateful doomed people.
Amil Imani is an Iranian-born American citizen and pro-democracy activist residing in the United States of America. Imani is a columnist, literary translator, novelist and an essayist who has been writing and speaking out for the struggling people of his native land, Iran
IMPORTANT NOTE: The opinions expressed by the author do not coincide with the views of Pravda.ru editors