I think a huge lot of people in America are really blind when something comes from outside.
Before the flaming starts, let me explain a few things:
1. I am not American, but work for NATO in a big base, and I personnally know a lot of Americans, all sorts of Americans: republicans, democrats,
black or white, hispanic or asians, men, women, children, single or married, military or civilians, from CA to NY and WI to TX, etc., all sorts! I
have several very good & close friends in Americans.
2. As a peace lover, I have always considered that all wars are stupid, however some of them are indeed based on "necessities".
3. As a matter of fact
, Americans in general know little about the rest of the world, and that
is the reason for most of the "stupid"
So let's go...
1. When I hear people say "they hate America", it makes me sad. It is simply not true. If we exclude people who are totally blinded & brainwashed of
course, there is an enormous difference to be made between hating the president, the politics, the way to do a war, etc. and a country, or i.e. its
people. I have many good friends in Americans, again all sorts of Americans. Yet, I hate totally G.W. Bush, and I do totally hate his stupid policies,
and I do really hate too the way about that war in Irak. So? What's the problem?
2. I have heard idiotic phrases like "If you're not with us, you're against us". That makes me scream louder than a volcano! In particular, I'm
referring here to the war in Irak (again). So what the heck? So, probably 160 countries are against US then? Those mean that US is at war with
basically the rest of the world then? Is there anything more stupid than that?
3. Apparently, for a lot of people, when criticizing the US, I am commiting a very serious offence. I don't see well how. US is and has been
criticizing a lot of countries in the world too, and that doesn't make them ennemies!
As for the patriotism itself, which is the subject, read above. That above is what makes some kind of patriotism totally unacceptable. That is what
makes a lot of people who are as blinded as those suicide bombers in other countries, also very stupid. That is what makes a number of people ignorant
by choice: rejecting difference. The world cannot be different, to them. But I am sorry, the world is very different.
I live in a small country that's named Belgium. And I am really very proud about all the differences between here & the US, and the rest of the
world. It is my country.
You know for instance, I have met people who complained all the time in here that there wasn't a King Burger or McDo available at every street
corner. Well I'm sorry, but that crap is not welcome in Belgium, and that's our ways. We do care a lot more than you about what we eat. Eating means
sitting at a table, with a plate, a fork and a knife. We don't eat with hands. If I go to US, I am totally saddened by the food. I can't have a
steak the way I want (rare, very rare) because it's illegal
. Fresh vegetables are nearly non existent, and amazingly expensive. You never have
good leek, endives, asparagus, or others. Bread is tasteless. Fa(s)t food is everywhere. Even a simple canned soup tastes horrible... I could rant
about it, but what's the point? Even a proper Italian restaurant over there serves a food that's not even close to italian, it has to "fit the
taste of the people"... I know it, that's the way over there. Unless I'm willing to pay a fortune, I'm gonna eat crap. Fine. I'm coming back to
We have a better education, we have better social aid, we have better health care, we have better food (absolutely way beyond question), we have
better beer and wine, we have better chocolate, we have better media, we have many more things that are better, you wouldn't believe. We do also have
things that are not as good (and I let you go quoting them, I'm sure you'll feel happy to do so).
But one way or another... Why do I say that it's better? Because I prefer it. If you do not like it, then fine, but let me prefer it! I say it is
better because I think it is better. You do not? Once again, fine! There is something that a lot of people wrapped in their
stars-and-striped-patriotism apparently cannot accept: let's just agree that we disagree. Between educated and good sensed people, difference is not
a problem, it is an advantage!
I have even met a person (just one, luckily), about 5 years and a half ago (when that war started...), who was afraid
to go out of the
base!! He was, mind boggling thing, afraid to go out of the base, in Belgium! He thought he was in enemy territory
!!! How totally astounding is
Patriotism should never forget that the rest of the world, the whole world
the right to be patriots, and thus to be
Patriotism should never forget that someone else, being proud of their own country and ways, does not
make an enemy because of that.
Patriotism should never forget that time elapses, things and people change, the world evolves, and today is not yesterday, as well as tomorrow will be
different. Patriotism should not mean immobilism.
Finally, patriots should not forget that it's not because they'll wave their flag in front of me, proudly declaring "I am an American" (or for the
record, any other country would do), it does not make them better. Liking your country is as personal as liking a song or a painting.
Patriotism was probably invented by some politician who had no support from his people, just as a reason to keep them liking him, by mistaking the
president/king/... for the country, considering some sort of "the chief is the country".
Something to think about.