Sunday, July 17, 2005

Likes and dislikes

Foreign Policy magazine is running a tortured piece, In Search of Pro-Americanism by one Anne Applebaum, who seems to be an unreconstructed professional anti-Communist associated with the Washington Post.

Almost plaintively she reminds us " some percentage of the population of even the most anti–American countries in Europe and Latin America remains pro–American."

Well yes. And she gives us an anecdotal picture of what she calls "America's natural constituents" and admonishes columnists to take note of them:

. . .perhaps, we should add new stereotypes: The British small businessman, son of a coal miner, who once admired Thatcher and has been to Florida on holiday. Or the Polish anticommunist intellectual, who argued about Reagan with his Parisian friends in the 1980s, and disagrees with them about the Iraqi war now. Or the Indian stockbroker, the South Korean investment banker, and the Philippine manufacturer, all of whom have excellent relations with their American clients, all of whom support a U.S. military presence in their parts of the world, and all of whom probably harbor a fondness for President Bush that they wouldn’t confess to their wives. These stock figures should be as firmly a part of the columnists’ and commentators’ repertoire as their opponents have become.

These men are probably nice enough to their pets, but not a crowd most of us would want to hang with.

In the same publication, Steven Kull of the Program on International Policy Attitudes asks a more interesting question: if they don't like the US, what country do they like? See the answers here.

Photo is Laughing Sal, once a fixture of Playland by the Beach in San Francisco

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