Talk:Anti-Americanism/Archive 4

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The page was protected because an anonymous engaged in an edit war about the mentioning of the frequency of the death penalty in the US compared to Japan. In case she or he can explain the reasons here, please do so, otherwise please refrain from deleting the sentence and allow unprotection. Get-back-world-respect 12:54, 26 May 2004 (UTC)

Would anyone object to protection being lifted? If not, I'll do so today. Yours, Meelar 15:27, 27 May 2004 (UTC)

Introduction to Possible causes of Anti-American sentiment

I do not like that part. "Anti-American sentiment is a broad term" is a non-information. I find hard to see that any reasonable person would honestly claim that any racist sentiment could be "legitimate", and those who allegedly hold it - I deleted them - are probably spread all over the world - I know that there are many in Korea and Muslim communities in Asia and I find hard to believe that there are none in Africa. The opinions parts of this article connect to "anti-Americanism" are widespread in the US as well. Plus, it is ridiculous to put emphasis on left-wing intellectuals. Intellectuals per se are not more racist than average people, and have no doubt that Neonazis hate the US as much as any "evil commie". Get-back-world-respect 21:55, 29 May 2004 (UTC)

If "anti-Americanism" is taken to mean criticism of American foreign policy or culture, it isn't racist. Nowhere is it claimed that racist sentiment is legitimate. I'm fine with no singling out any particular groups in the intro, in fact I'd prefer it — I just didn't want to make too radical a change from the previous version. It is certainly informative to say that anti-Americaan sentiment is a broad term, because it's important to know that no-one agrees on what exactly it is, or whether the term is even meaningful. Cadr 22:01, 29 May 2004 (UTC)
If "anti-Americanism" is taken to mean criticism of American foreign policy then we have to start articles about "anti-Indianism", "anti-pakistaniism", "anti-Saudiism", "anti-Japanism", "anti-Libyanism", etc., etc. Words ending on -ism and describing an attitude usually label a strong, nearly fanatical conviction of something, like marxism, jingoism, anti-semitism. Hence when connected with "anti-" and a particular country they are racist. The problem is that many try to label criticism of policies as anti-...ism in order to defame and downplay it. Get-back-world-respect 01:41, 30 May 2004 (UTC)
Unfortunately we can't change the meaning of the word in order to make it easier to write articles on it. Many people who criticize American government policy only, and actually praise other aspects of America (e.g. Chomsky) are frequently labelled as anti-American. True, this may be deliberate exaggeration in order to dicredit such people, or there may be people who genuinely believe (wrongly, IMO) that strong criticism the government during a war is anti-American. The article needs to take into account the whole range of POVs. I do agree that "anti-Americanism" looks like it ought to mean fanatical and irrational dislike of anything American, but the fact is that so many people who aren't like that at all are labelled anti-American that we have to be a bit more flexible about what the word means. Still I would be welcome to see a careful distinction between people/things that are accused of being anti-American and people/things which almost undoubtably are anti-American by any reasonable definition of the word. Cadr 12:54, 30 May 2004 (UTC)

It's not important if neonazis hate america just as much as commies or more. The important part is that historicly propaganda spread by the Soviet Union has greatly increased antiamericanism across the world. Earlier propaganda by the Third Reich was much less spread and has been almost completly forgoten.

It is your opinion that:
* "Soviet propaganda" was propaganda.
* It increased anti-Americanism (whatever you take that to be).
We cannot state these things as facts in the intro; it's too controversial and POV. Cadr 12:54, 30 May 2004 (UTC)
I think no one would reject that there was anti-American propaganda in the Soviet Union or Islamic countries and that it increased anti-Americanism in the countries of the Warsaw Pact and Islamic countries. What we should not do is pretend that legitimate criticism of the US could legitimately be labeled anti-Americanism or that this kind of racism was more widespread in Europe than elsewhere or that leftist intellectuals had a greater tendency to it than working class nationalists. Get-back-world-respect 16:47, 30 May 2004 (UTC)
I mostly agree with you here. However, we should not call anti-American propaganda in the Soviet Union propaganda, because calling anything propaganda is inherently POV. Of course, if we had any specific examples of such propaganda, we could certainly point to information showing it to be false — a far more NPOV aproach. My issue with your argument is only that "anti-American(ism)" is frequently used to label people who are clearly not racist or reflexively against anything that has any association with America, and this useage of the term (even if it has its origins in hyperbole and smear-tactics) should be mentioned and discussed in the article, since it is so widespread. Othwerwise, the article is in danger of implying that lots of (potentially) legitimate criticisms of America are anti-American. If we really want to describe anti-Americanism as a form of racism, we would have to remove all mention of criticism of American culture and foreign policy from the article, since such criticism could not have anything to do with anti-Americanism in this narrow (racist) sense. (NB: I do not regard criticism of specific aspects of a country's culture to be racist, which may be moderately controversial, I don't know. In any case, my point about foreign policy still stands...) Cadr 17:53, 30 May 2004 (UTC)
I live close to the former Berlin wall. That wall was called "anti-fascist protection fence" by the government of the GDR. Do you think this should not be called propaganda?
It shouldn't be called propaganda for the reasons I gave above. It's fine to explain why it is usually preceived as propaganda, though. Cadr 20:30, 30 May 2004 (UTC)
Propaganda just means that the information was presented in a way to fit the ideological preferences of the one who uses it. It is overdone if you always avoid the term propaganda. The "Country of Evil" term is clearly propaganda, as were Soviet terms used towards the US. Get-back-world-respect 20:36, 30 May 2004 (UTC)
Calling something propaganda implies that it isn't true, which is POV in the case of subjective statements such as "X is evil" or "X is Fascist". Easier for everyone to avoid using the P word in such circumstances, or at least explain who thinks that it's propaganda and why. Cadr 20:43, 30 May 2004 (UTC)
I think it is legitimate to write that anti-American racism exists, that "anti-Americanism" is often used to defame and downplay legitimate criticism of the US and understanding those legitimate criticisms is vital for understanding "anti-American" racism because the negligence to distinguish between criticism of particular aspects of a country and hatred towards the country as a whole is what makes the difference between racists and critics. Get-back-world-respect 20:25, 30 May 2004 (UTC)
I agree with what you say, but it's still POV. Anti-Americanism is often used to describe non-racist sentiments. This is possibly owing to exaggeration on the part of the user of the word, but it might be because they actually think that certain criticisms of American policy or culture are inherently anti-American. For example, flag-burning is not racist by any stretch of the imagination, but people who indulge in the practice might well be described as anti-American by commentators on the right. In my opinion, this is because they're using smear-tactics — labelling people who make legitimate protest as anti-American when in fact they are not, but this is just one POV. We can't promote this POV in the article, because it isn't NPOV to imply that large number of right-wing commentators are duplicitous in their use of the word. Cadr 20:43, 30 May 2004 (UTC)
I think when foreigners burn US flags that is usually racist. Get-back-world-respect 20:46, 30 May 2004 (UTC)
Well I completely disagree, and so would a lot of other people. You can't promote that POV in the article. Cadr
Also, you keep picking out peripheral issues in my comments and not responding to any of the arguments in them. Cadr 20:57, 30 May 2004 (UTC)
I do not see a need to discuss the propaganda thing at large because the article can remain as it is with us agreeing to differ. Get-back-world-respect 21:44, 30 May 2004 (UTC)
The sentence "Anti-American sentiment" is a broad term, and opinions vary greatly on what constitutes anti-American sentiment, whether it is legitimate, who holds it, and what can be said to cause or explain it. is obsolete after the introduction. If you want to keep parts of it move them to the top, it does not make sense to define the term twice.
I do not want to keep the Muggeridge quote because it makes seem as if anti-Americanism was mainly based on envy which I doubt very much and that explanation is described above already. Get-back-world-respect 20:40, 30 May 2004 (UTC)
Not sure I quite agree on either point, but you can have your way on this one. Cadr 20:45, 30 May 2004 (UTC)

For an American to understand why so many people hate America, all they must do is walk into their local Wal-Mart (especially the food section) have a look around and think "Half the world is in poverty and dying of hunger." That should explain it.

Greece presiding over EU, US media hatespeech and singled out anti-US regions and individuals

As I exlpained in the edit summaries, the mentioning of Greece presiding over the EU during the outbreak of the US war against Iraq ads nothing here but could be misinterpreted because Greece was not presiding over NATO and it had nothing to do with the previously mentioned Greek dictatorship.
The US media hatespeech is not my POV but factual and sourced.
Regarding the singled out alleged "anti-Americanists" see above. And do not revert before checking talk. Get-back-world-respect 03:24, 30 May 2004 (UTC)

That article was voted to be deleted. I find it a good idea to include valuable parts of it in this article as another user suggested. Get-back-world-respect 17:45, 30 May 2004 (UTC)

At GWBR's request, I undeleted the mentioned article long enough to extract the contents. It is at Talk:Anti-American sentiment/Pro. I support his desire to include appropriate material from that article in this article and rename this to something more appropriate and neutral. Does anyone object? -- Cecropia | Talk 15:27, 5 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Sounds like a good idea. What do people think the new name should be? Some ideas:

  • Attitudes toward the United States of America
  1. Cecropia | Talk 04:55, 6 Jun 2004 (UTC)
  2. Get-back-world-respect 17:13, 12 Jun 2004 (UTC)
  • Views on the United States of America
  • Opinion on the United States of America
  • Criticism of and support for the United States of America

My vote's for the first of these options. The original articles were (putatively) about sentiment, and so I think that "attitude" best mirrors the original conception of the articles. --Atemperman 20:16, 5 Jun 2004 (UTC)

The first one is also the one that I suggested to Cecropia. We should not have titles like "anti-" at all, they are inherently not neutral - except for antibiotics and such 8^p I do not like the fourth variant because this article does not only deal with criticism but also with racism. Second and third are to wide because one might start to sneak in opinions on a whole bunch of things that are not connected with the topic - like they have the best baseball team, the most beautiful vice president, the greatest camping areas or whatsoever. Get-back-world-respect 22:24, 5 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Would you criticize an title like "Pro- and anti-American sentiments" as much? I think "anti-American" is a word of such wide spread that it is merited to be put in a title. It's nothing Wikipedia has made up. It's one important aspect limiting the posibilities of many a democratic US-friendly government (and some undemocratic also, I think).
--Ruhrjung 05:08, 6 Jun 2004 (UTC)
I regard it as sufficient to have a redirect. Just because a smear term is used a lot does not mean it needs to be in an article title. Get-back-world-respect 17:12, 12 Jun 2004 (UTC)

the usage of accusations of anti-Americanism

The following sentence has been removed in the last day. Maybe it ought to be polished and re-inserted at an appropriate location?

It is controversial whether such perceptions are always correct, since it may be that "anti-American" is sometimes used to smear countries which are merely critical or unsupportive of the US. It could conversely (and again, controversially) be argued that some kind of anti-Americanism is usually the root cause of such criticism and lack of support.

--Ruhrjung 19:46, 5 Jun 2004 (UTC)

What do you see in that sentence that is not already dealt with in the introduction? Get-back-world-respect 22:24, 5 Jun 2004 (UTC)
I would put it the other way around. The introduction sumarizes the article. If this isn't considered important enough to be noted in the body of the article, then surely it will soon also be removed from the introduction.
--Ruhrjung 04:47, 6 Jun 2004 (UTC)

4.228's paragraph about Canada

An anonymous user in the IP range 4.228 has been repeatedly trying to insert this paragraph for several days now:

It is worth noting in this connection that patriotism and nationalism exists all throughout the world. One particularly egregious example is the Canadian press, which often purports that Canada is more racially diverse than the United States. Many Canadians believe this, when in fact, 87% of Canada is white [1][2]. Many Canadians are also unaware that slavery existed in Canada's history and that discrimination still exists.

But Get-back-world-respect and I have been removing it because this paragraph is purely about Canada, whereas this article is about what people think of America. Rather than discuss it here, he's been trying to sneak it in via various deceitful edit practices. I figured I might as well start off a discussion here myself, taking the moral high road as it were, and see if that gets him to follow along and actually talk about it here too. Bryan 21:33, 5 Jun 2004 (UTC)

He was discussing above (Death penalty and Canada), saw that what he wrote could not convince anyone and decided to engage in edit wars. Get-back-world-respect 22:24, 5 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Ah, I see now. Never mind then. I was planning to stick to the three-revert rule and do everything "by the book" trying to get him to talk about this, but at this point he looks like a plain old troll to me. (I also notice that he hasn't touched the talk: page in ten days, so I can't really count the stuff above as being discussion of this particular edit.) Bryan 22:46, 5 Jun 2004 (UTC)