Tuesday, September 11, 2007

The appropriation of issues like Iraq to vindicate a pre-existing chauvinism against America is despicable

Roger Cohen (September of Hope, Globalist, Sept. 3) elegantly reflects on the demise of America's international reputation following the attacks of 9/11
writes Stephen Jones from Tokyo.
Undoubtedly, President George W. Bush's foreign policy has provoked widespread acrimony, but this alone does not account for the global disdain of all things American.

In the late 1990s, I worked in Japan alongside several young Brits, Canadians and Australians. Dispensing frequent invectives against the United States, including its people, was common practice, with one Canadian boasting how she routinely expressed her hatred of Americans to impressionable Japanese junior high students.

There was little goodwill to lose in 2001. While Iraq, Abu Ghraib and Guantánamo Bay irreparably tainted America, the appropriation of these issues to vindicate a pre-existing chauvinism is despicable.

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