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The era of Americans as heroes is over

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posted on Mar, 8 2003 @ 08:50 PM
Some time ago on the terorism forum I said that the current policies of Bush are creating such a climate of resentment among the average Joe in the rest of the world that tourists and visitors overseas will be affected for it for a long time to come...

Just found this interesting, if selective, article that talks about the phenomenon... ... more on site

But if you're heading overseas, be prepared to have it. Again and again. If the past 100 years were widely considered the American Century, this new one is fast shaping up as the Anti-American Century.

Just ask tourist Colleen Frost, 33, who hopped into a cab recently on her first day in Berlin. An English-speaking driver demanded an explanation for what he called "America's megalomania."

"He wanted to know what I would think of my country if my brother or boyfriend was killed in a war," says Frost, a dental hygienist from Santa Fe. She says the ride was over before she could provide an answer for the disgruntled cabby.

How times have changed.

A mother lode of goodwill fostered in the decades after the defeat of Nazi Germany has been reduced to dust in recent years. A growing number of foreigners see some of the United States' political decisions (pulling out of the Kyoto Treaty on global emissions) and personal choices (Americans' penchant for gas-loving SUVs) as at best unilateral and at worst selfish. The confrontation over Iraq is just more fuel on a bonfire.

From Spanish plazas to Parisian metros, American tourists are being quizzed, grilled and even spat on by people who do not approve of the Bush administration's drive for a war against Saddam Hussein.

As a result, a declining number of Americans (54% today vs. 79% a year ago) believes that the USA enjoys a favorable image abroad, according to a recent Gallup poll. And a majority of Americans (64%) cite a fear of unfriendliness as the top concern of traveling abroad during wartime, according to a survey in the February issue of Conde Nast Traveler.

Anecdotal evidence from across Europe indicates those fears are not unfounded.

"I've spent 100 days a year for the past 30 years in Europe, and, generally, people always managed to differentiate a government's action from its citizens," says Rick Steves, a Seattle-based tour operator who specializes in Europe.

"But I have never seen this level of frustration in my lifetime. They just can't understand our push for war, especially the younger generation."

Steves says the current climate is in stark contrast to the "breathtaking" we-are- all-Americans sentiment that gripped Europe on Sept. 11, 2001. He is not discouraging his clients from traveling abroad now, and cancellations have been few. That said, his Web site features a flurry of concerned exchanges about overseas travel. Steves urges would-be tourists to pack the right attitude.

posted on Mar, 8 2003 @ 09:05 PM
This is all a bit "sound bite", Net-C. I suspect that, if the Americans were as rich and the dollar as relatively strong as they and it were twenty years ago, there would be a little less unfriendliness on the part of service workers in Europe.
Gratitude doesn't last long in this 15-second world.

posted on Mar, 8 2003 @ 11:33 PM
Well in the 1830s Freemasonry was besieged by the "Anti-Mason Party" the Catholic Church, and the Anglican Church.

Freemasonry is still alive and well and going strong

It's a phase and nothing else. America will come out on top.

posted on Mar, 9 2003 @ 12:28 AM

posted on Mar, 9 2003 @ 07:37 PM
You're right, American Heros has ended.

It's now time for AMERICAN SAVIORS! WOOOOOOO!!!!!

Look out UN and other Dictators, we're coming for you!

posted on Mar, 10 2003 @ 01:17 PM
that's exactly the type of attitude he's talking about and he's right. The view of Americans has never been lower over her and it's sinking all the time.

posted on Mar, 10 2003 @ 02:02 PM
What I find most frustrating about all of this is that American people of my ilk are not being heard at all. Those of us who try to stay the middle ground. We are drowned out by the hyper-patriots who chant "USA USA" over the debate leaving everyone frustrated. I, however, don't subscribe to the ideological left (alot of the antiwar people in America and Europe) that believes any use of might is always wrong because no matter how correct that is (and I believe in my heart that it is) that is not the world we live in. If you let the wound sit, it festers and becomes infected and threatens the whole body.

I guess I am just saddened that now that I am actually in adulthood (I recently hit 30) and might be able to go see all those wonderful places I have dreamt about seeing I might get spat on because someone does not like my government.

I am officially rambling so I sign off...


[Edited on 10-3-2003 by observer]

posted on Mar, 10 2003 @ 02:06 PM
Pretend you're canadian like the other american tourists. I think the Canadian embasy even give out fabric flags and lapels to stick on your clothing and bags to tell people.

Ironic isn't it

I met some americans disguised as canadians travelling once....

posted on Mar, 10 2003 @ 07:31 PM

...Netchicken is actually telling the truth there...I meet a group of Americans, who had flown across to tour NZ and to watch the World Rugby Sevens here in Wellington City earlier this year...

...they were wearing clothing with Canadian emblems on it. I picked by their accents they weren't Canadian, and asked where they came from...they were from NYC, Seattle and one from Florida...they had been purposely 'mascarading' as Canadians as they feared getting harrased for being American.

Well, me and my mates harrassed them alright...with lots of free beers
, then showed them around the city and got them so drunk one had to be carried to the taxi at the end of the night (eeer, early morning by that time)...

posted on Mar, 10 2003 @ 07:44 PM
Call me naive, but I'm really disappointed to hear of Americans travelling abroad disguised as non-Americans. I would much rather face the harassing than pretend to be from another country. I have nothing against Canada, but come on. I would question anyone's loyalty who chose to do this.

I agree with observer when he says if you let the wound sit that it becomes infected and threatens the whole body, well put.

posted on Mar, 11 2003 @ 12:23 AM
I agree with you is sad indeed that ANY tourist feels threatened enough to feel the need to go 'incognito' around anywhere.

The Americans we were talking to at the World Rugby Sevens said they had been advised (by their US travel agents) before leaving the USA to 'keep a low profile and not appear American'...

...sad indeed...some of us Kiwis might not fully support the impending War, but hell, we've had eachothers backs in many many conflicts for any issues are all good after a few beers

Oh, and heres a side issue which was bloody hilarious:

At the Rugby Sevens, you're kinda encouraged to come dressed in a costume and basically its two days of fun/partying/loud music and good vibes...and plenty of quick games of International Rugby of course.

Throughout the day, on the big screen at the stadium, there are heaps of crowd shots of everyone having fun all dressed up in crazy costumes etc...anyway, there was a shot on the big screen of two dudes dressed up as Osama Bin Laden and Saddam Hussien...

...the Americans (previously dressed as Canadians) we were sitting next to looked up and were kinda shocked for a moment that people could come dress up like Osama and Saddam...until the camera pulled back to widen the shot...and you could see that Osama and Saddam were wearing big shackles and were surrounded by about 2 dozen other guys dressed up as US Marines!!
Then these 'US Marines' jumped on top of 'Osama' and 'Saddam' and started to beat the snot out of them with their toy rifles

The USA Rugby Team warming up on the side-lines appreciated that too and had big smiles on their faces...


posted on Mar, 11 2003 @ 04:08 AM

Originally posted by Netchicken
Pretend you're canadian like the other american tourists. I think the Canadian embasy even give out fabric flags and lapels to stick on your clothing and bags to tell people.

Ironic isn't it

I met some americans disguised as canadians travelling once....

I understand. When I was travelling, many peoples were asking me if I was french. When I was saying " no, I'm Belgian ", they were looking really friendly and they were smiling to me. Strange, isn't it ?

In 1988, I went to Giesen, a german town and a US base. 4 G.I's were looking a little bit uspet upon us, until I came to them and I told them ( with a big smile ) the * magic words * : " We are Belgians, and in Belgium many peoples are speaking french. So, don't worry, we are not frenchie." And believe me, those words were really magic !

I'll not write what they told us about France and why they were looking upset against us, until they knew that we weren't french but we were Belgians.

posted on Mar, 11 2003 @ 05:09 AM
Sadly, the business of Americans assuming temporary Canadian nationality is widespread: I've come across it quite often over the past couple of years in Thailand, Indonesia -even Malaysia.
I'm not at all sure it's justified: but US tourists, I know, do get some pretty scary advice at home before they leave.
Oddly enough, here in the PRC I've never come across anti-Americanism among ordinary folk.
Actually, I was in Vancvouver a couple of weeks ago and you should see the harrassment the Americans were getting just trying to return to their own country!

posted on Mar, 11 2003 @ 04:33 PM
The reason that Americans are fading memory is because for the most part, many Americans are too lazy to look at both sides of the issue, and just go with what the media says. Americans need to slow down, help others around them, and pay attention to the world. It would help if the Americans understanded other people's way of thinking- mainly French and Middle Eastern. Especially their religion.

posted on Mar, 12 2003 @ 12:23 PM
Well those "Americans" posing as Canadians can just stay there. I am an honorably discharged Veteran and I think I speak for all Veterans when I say that those people can just cash in their citizenship and return to their homeland or wherever their ancestors came from. We who served are proud of America. Those guys should be knocked in the head. Their freedom and citizenship were not secured so that they could "conveniently" deny their freedom and citizenship. If that was how they truly feel about it maybe they should just stay where they were visiting. I have heard it said many times, most notably by Archie Bunker, "America: Love it or leave it!"

posted on Mar, 12 2003 @ 12:49 PM
I agree TL!!

posted on Mar, 12 2003 @ 01:32 PM
Except for one thing...I don't think you have the right to say that you speak for *all* US veterans, TL...
How many veterans got screwed over after having discharge? I happen to be one that got screwed out of my education benefits due to a lacksadaisial bureacracy. I also got screwed out of the premiums I paid for continuing my health insurance after discharge.

I've also gotten a heafty list of examples of other vets that've gotten screwed...Right out of the mouth of my rep at the local VA office. Of course, due to the Privacy Act, he couldn't give me any *names*, but the case histories he told me of were real. BTW, were you aware that the VA offices are *not* a department of the government? That's right...Run by *civilians* (although many who work there are vets too) who *do* care about vets.

Before you ask, my discharge was *not* Dishonorable & neither was the other vets that I referred to above, so you can take that particular theory to the trashcan. I can add more examples of getting screwed to the list...Do you really want to hear them?

posted on Mar, 25 2003 @ 01:50 PM

Really good link to another messageboard where an american wondered if he would be safe going to europe...

"We saved your asses in WWII". Say that, and be prepared for prices to be raised, and people to act as rudely as they possibly can.

Some other things: Joke about Bush(It will identify you as "smart" american, and people will like you), don't ask for American side dishes(ie: Fries with a local delicacy), try different things, attempt to speak the local language, and remember that you are on vacation, relax. No one likes people from any country that are humourless, impatient and rude.

There's a joke I heard in Germany, which you may find useful:

An American tour goup are driving though Europe. Their tour guide tells them "Right now we are crossing the Sienne, approaching the Notre Dame, and to our left you can see the Eiffel To.." "Hold on!" interrupts one of the tourists; "No details! WHAT COUNTRY?"

Europeans do not hate US citizens. We detest the current US politics, we critisze and oppose most of the US politicians, but we do not have anything against US individials (as long as they leave us alone with their war). You might hear people speaking out their opinion on US politics, but I am pretty sure you will not experience any personal difficulties. Of course there are madmans and exceptions, but you can meet them in the US too. Let me give you a final advice: do not believe everything of to the media, especially not the US mainstream media.

Read the NYT and read a few European quality papers like Le Monde, El Pais, Die Zeit, or The Guardian. You will get a different perspective on Europe, a different perspective on the word, and probably on the US.

posted on Mar, 25 2003 @ 01:57 PM
This guy was on the radio once and he was talking about him traveling lately. He said he was harrassed everytime someone asked him about the Iraqi war.
More later...

posted on Mar, 25 2003 @ 09:21 PM
I think I'll make this my next signature:

Sometimes the complaints left him speechless, like the time he was told " 'America had no culture' by a kid wearing a Kobe Bryant T-shirt and listening to rapper DMX."

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