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... put it clearly: America had it coming. The surprise is how a broad spectrum of the Canadian middle class, including academics, professionals and business people, is coming to the view that America needs, beyond any tactical strikes or smart bombs it might deploy, a more humane and even-handed approach to the world. (Siddiqui par. 32) Many terrorists do want to burn the U. S.
and are willing to die for their beliefs. These suicidal anti-Americans will never be persuaded to change their minds. (Naim par. 15) Current and past U. S. foreign policy has yielded different results. During my college life I have been shocked and horrified by U.
S. governmental actions, such as the U. S. sponsored coup against democracy in Guatemala in 1954 which resulted in killing over 120, 000 Guatemala citizens to protect the interest of the United Fruit Company, an American corporation. (Schlesinger 32) I also remember the U. S. war against the people of El Salvador in the 1980 s when I was young, which resulted in deaths of more than 80, 000 people which the government considered to be collateral damage.
The U. S. government defines collateral damage as being innocent people who are just casualties of war, or also considered soft targets. Both of these examples are extraordinary, because besides the random professor who may teach this information, it is not easily found. The U. S.
media never reported the information in mainstream daily newspapers and are still considered to be taboo subjects among the media. For the dedicated researcher you can shuffle through thousands of pages of congressional reports and white house papers and find the information, if you are willing to dig, in unfordable places. Why do the media and the U. S.
government go to such extremes to hide this information from us? Am I wrong when I say that I thought our government was supposed to support our interest? As a country that has been a world leader in giving its citizens freedom and human and civil rights, we are expected to set an example for the rest of the world. I do not think that the example we want to set is, If you agree with them support them, if not take all necessary action to force their support or change. As long as we continue to bomb countries because they disagree with us and continue to support countries that kill thousands of innocent citizens for selfish gain, the U. S.
will always be blamed for aiding these actions. As long as this is their reality, we will be their enemy. (Zapp par. 12) For all the pain the U. S. heaps upon the world with our foreign policy decisions, it seems that we create a dream for just as many people who are not experiencing the negative affects of our policy. This dream is often referred to as the American dream. From a very early age, starting in elementary school and on up we are taught that the American dream is the only way to live and that the rest of the world strives to live the American dream.
Being an adult now, I realize that those thoughts carry many falsehoods, originating with my schoolteachers and ending today with the American press who teaches the same ideas. For Americans, if the rest of the world wants to be us and live an American life, how bad can we truly be? As Americans we appreciate a standard of life which is much higher than that of most of the rest of the world. So to live the American dream is equivalent to being able to succeed, be free in your choices, being free in your speech, and most of all being able to seek prosperity and happiness in everything around you. Dr. John Lewis from Ashland University feels that terrorists hatred of the West is not based on jealousy, but based on good.
Lewis writes, The moral, political, economic, and religious support necessary for these attacks have been provided over the past 25 years by specific governments in the Middle East. Those governments wish to destroy the Great Satan: America, her core values, and the prosperity that has followed from our pursuit of those values. (Lewis par. 4) Herein lies the problem; does everyone in the world truly wish to be American? At the harmless end of the spectrum is the envy brought on by the United States pre-eminent wealth and might. Anyone who has been king of the hill for very long will find others cheering his occasional stumble or trying to knock him off outright. Arrogance, real or imaginary, adds combustion to emotion. Moving farther along this spectrum, resentment evolves into fear.
Renowned attorney Chi-Dooh Li writes, Herein also lies a great paradox. Ask people anywhere in the world, including the Arab world, where they would live, given the choice, and the overwhelming number would name America. (Li par. 27) No matter how much hate one may possess towards the United States they still see clearly how different their life can be here. While there is very little question as to the greatness that America offers its citizens and thousands of immigrants who move here each year, there is question as to how we treat other countries. We lead by example for other great countries.
At this point in history we have very good relationships with other important countries such as Russia, England, and Israel, but once those good relationships end where does that leave America. Our policy continues to work and thrive around the world because other super power babys allow it to operate. Would we be so successful in our peacekeeping or war fighting if other countries did not support us? The old saying, whats good for the goose is good for the gander, comes to mind when I think about the situation we are now. One day America will not be top dog and one day someone will force us to live in the conditions that we have heaped upon the world, but will we be prepared?
As Americans continue to live their lives in a happy little daze, the world continues to plot how to bring us to our knees once again. We live our lives in a way that allow us to worry about ourselves and nothing else. We allow our government to take care of business the way they see fit. We also allow the media to educate us in a way they see fit.
Americans as a general rule take no active role in educating themselves in politics. The problem is that one-day, Americans themselves will be accountable for the governments actions, and we will have no clue as to what we did wrong. Seeking to fix the problems now is the only solution to ward off further problems in the future. Everyone in the world is not going to love us all of the time, but if we can at least win over part of the world some of the time, things will continue to get better. While apathy will most likely always exist in America, especially where politics and government are concerned, there are a few ways to look at how the media is not completely responsible for American ignorance.
Lance Bennett tries to explain how both sides can exist together, he writes, In the ideal civics book version of American democracy, power rests with the people, who are, in effect, the voice of the political system. Leaders are supposed to take cues from the people and express their voice politically. The journalist in this scheme occupies the role of the independent monitor who reports to the people on how well leaders handle the public trust. (Bennett 195) Citizens can become an effective part of this by thinking how they receive the information and how the media and the politicians can deliver it more effectively. Besides trying to figure out a way to make the current system work, citizens would also behoove themselves to help create a better national communication system.
The media is not going to do all the political participation for the public; everyone must do his or her own part. Bennett discusses this quiet clearly by saying, In short, it can make a big difference to people if they realize that becoming better informed does not simply mean reading more papers or watching more television. It means decoding the information from these and other sources with a critical eye. (Bennett 201)
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Music Academy. Chennai Madras, India. 10 Nov. 2001. Dorman, William. The U. S.
Press and Iran: Foreign Policy and the Journalism of Deference. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1987. Isikoff, Michael, and Daniel Klaidman. The Hijackers We Let Escape. Newsweek 10 June 2002 Its The U.
S. Foreign Policy, Stupid. Editorial. The Toronto Star [Toronto, Ontario] 19 Sept. 2001 Kaplan, Richard. Politics and the American Press: The Rise of Objectivity, 1865 1920. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002.
Killer, John. At Arab All-News Channel, Western Values Prevail. New York Times 12 October 2001, sec. B: 7. Lewis, John. Hatred of Western Civilization: Why Terrorists Attacked America.
Ashland University. Ashland, 12 Sept. 2001. Li, Chi-Dooh. Why Do They a. ) Hate, b. ) Fear, c. ) Envy, d. ) Resent US? Seattle Post-Intelligencer 21 Oct. 2001 web > Moises, Naim. Why the World Loves to Hate America Foreign Policy Magazine December 2001 web > Range, Malcolm.
Rule of Force v. Rule of Law: The Global Lock-down on Civil Liberties. Canadian Dimension Magazine December 2001: 60 - 66. Schlesinger, Stephen. Bitter Fruit: The Untold Story of the American Coup in Guatemala. New York: Anchor Books, 1990.
Williams, Patricia. This Dangerous Patriots Game. Observer of London 2 Dec. 2001 The World is Watching. Director Peter Raymond. With Elizabeth Gray. First Run / Incarus Films, 1988.
Zapp, Kenneth. The Naivet in Asking Why Do They Hate Us So Much? Minneapolis Star Tribune 13 Oct. 2001 web >
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