November 4th, 2004

smirking half-hawk

On America

A quote from Pat Spacek (author of The Parking Lot is Full, and a Canadian living in Korea)

Immediately after 9/11, America began asking itself 'why do they hate us?' It's a question that's lingered since then, and America doesn't seem to be satisfied with any of the answers it's gotten. Allow me to enlighten you:

No matter what we tell you (or, indeed, ourselves), the rest of the world actually does want American leadership. Probably not in the way that you think, of course. We don't want you to lead us into bombing far-away brown people for your economic and political gain. We don't want to be a part of your coalition. But we do want your leadership. We want you to lead us all into a world that's forward-looking, economically viable and culturally dynamic. No matter what we've seen you do, time and again we wonder if maybe this time you're going to show us the way like some benevolent older brother. To a certain extent, I think, we've bought into your self-image. We've bought into the hype.

That's why it hurts so much every time you disappoint us. Every time you show us that other America, the scared, ignorant, violent and destructive America that's so at odds with the image you try to project.

And then the bombs start falling. And we hate you even more.

I'm not sure I entirely agree with him, but it's something to think about.