Wednesday, August 20, 2008

A World Without America Revisited

Tim Montgomerie's new AmericaInTheWorld site launched this week, with the aim of countering the growing tide of anti-americanism in this country and beyond. One of its first actions has been to create a WORLD WITHOUT AMERICA: THE SEQUEL video. Older readers will remember the furore created by the original one created 18 months ago by 18 Doughty Street (see it HERE). The first one got close on half a million views on YouTube. This one is slightly more thoughtful and low budget, and therefore its impact won't be the same. It looks at what the world would be like without the American soldier.



Tim's initative is a worthy one and I fully support his aims, but I do wonder if videos of this length work. IMHO they should be 30 seconds in length and hit you between the eyes.

Like the first video, this one will get a lot of notice in America, but that's not really the point. It's people in this country who need persuading that America is "a good thing". Tim's certainly got his work cut out on that one, and I wish AmericaInTheWorld well.

36 comments:

Anonymous said...

Putin seems to be doing a good job of countering anti-americanism at the moment.

verity's lovechild said...

That was hilariously bad. "The heat's unbearable", says the totally unbelievable soldier, while sitting in what looks like Bromley.

Anonymous said...

These videos don't work because they are made by people who think the counter to anti-Americanism is America-worship and more pertinently GOP-worship, which is very un-Tory.

Just because we would be in shtuck without the American army doesn't mean America's worst excesses can't be criticised, which is the upshot of these preachy vids.

Anonymous said...

I would have taken the website seriously if it wasnt so slavish and it resold the Iraq adventure as a success! that says a lot!

Anonymous said...

No doubt some people are anti-American. But my impression of most people who post on this site who apPEAR to be critical of America is that they are anti-stupidity. The more you desparately peddle the line that the Americans deserve our unreserved support the more, I suppose, suport you lose. The Europenas have not turned on the Americans baecause of jealously. They were willing thenm on. Show us how a grat democarcy can command world respect. Well, they didn't. Mom, I done shot me a Kraut/Commie/Raghead/ was their response. My father served in WWII and saw a GI cut down an elderly conscripted German who was trying to surrender. OK. That happens in all conflicts. It is despicable. The second wave of the Red Army who swept over Germany in 1944/45 raped and murdered. But is that our baseline?

America needs to recover is dignity, show itself to be worthy of international respect for better reasons than its economic and military power.

Aaron Heath said...

Pretty simple.

Elect Obama. Job done.

David Anthony said...

Oh dear. Not working for me I'm afraid.

Anti-Americanism won't be solved by quasi-US-military-signup propaganda.

Anonymous said...

to balance some of the anti american bile (jealousy /envy ?), when told by a european politician that the americans were no longer welcome in europe and should go home, the american asked if that included all those buried in europe

whatever the rights and wrongs of the usa/uk relationship i would sooner have them there when the going gets tough than have to rely too much on some of our european 'partners'

Anonymous said...

Re anonymous 12.36. An important point and well-taken.

But Hilter declared war on the USA, not the other way around. and yes, there was something called the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, with its secret protoclas for carving up Poland, which the Nazis violiated. Stalin was no hero.

But the Americans came close to letting us go under. They helped us, they were the great aSrenal of democracy, in FDR's words, they attacked German ships, they provoked Hitler, but it was a close run thing which was only finally decided by Tojo. I admire America. Without them we'd all be speaking some other language, taught to us at a minimaL level to keep us minmimal. Only a fool would dispute that. But does that mean that we can't ask them to raise their game, to become worthy of our admiration once again?

PhilC said...

"the growing tide of anti-americanism in this country and beyond"
eh, it's been growing since the 1950s Iain.
And, if you've been unlucky enough to have been at the sharp end of American invasions in Central America, the Caribbean or the Philippines, well before that.
I know it's difficult to believe, but not everyone shares the worldview of people in comfy Kent.

Anonymous said...

The problem with Tim Montgomery's view is equates pro-Americanism not just with pro-GOP, but with US Christian Conservatism. Frankly, given the number of raving loons and bigots that movement carries with it, that's going to be a hard sell.

Hugh said...

The growing tide? The tide is currently receding. Also, what most people hate about america, whether they realise it or not, is the GOP. The Republicans are currently far to the right of our own Conservatives, so I don't know why any mainstream British conservative would ally or associate with them.

Hugh said...

Also, this video utilises the classic tactic of setting up straw men to be brought down: it brings up WW2 and the cold war alongside the Iraq wars, as if the latter are comparable to the former - they clearly aren't. It took a few weeks to bring down Saddam Hussein, but how long and how many deaths did it take to bring down Hitler and Communism? The comparison is an insult to our intelligence.

In addition, the add infers that Europeans hate this 'soldier' and the American army collectively, and tries to mesh this with the 'pundits' who criticize the mission. It's the classic Republican smear, that if you don't support an aspect of foreign policy, you aren't supporting the troops. 'Support the troops' is now nothing but a slogan to hide the fact that Republicans consistently vote against additional equipment and education for the troops they supposedly support, and that the Bush administration has allowed conditions at veteran care hospitals to deteriorate to a horrific extent.

That is the real story of the US at the moment. I supported the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, so I am no pacifist. But this ad is enough to make me angry. Either Tim Montgomerie hasn't bothered to look deeper than the talking points of chickenhawks, or he is willingly participating in deception.

The truth in these matters is more simple than the idiocy of slogans and of this ad.

Anonymous said...

Curiously it was Blair who set in motion the split between the USA and UK by signing a secret treaty with other EU 'partners' back in 1999/2000 covering the development and purchase of arms. This treaty mandates european-only military equipment, so breaking our long standing relationships with the USA.

So if you want anti-americanism look no further than Blair.

Wrinkled Weasel said...

This is tragically naive - the whole concept - Just as well that it is too absurd to be taken seriously other than by the inhabitants of trailer parks.

It is as if the makers of this twaddle think we don't read the papers, watch TV or spend time reading and thinking about the issues or refer to history. In that respect it is condescending to the max.

I am minded to remember that those countries who are not democratic or popular, tend to preface the name of their homeland with "The Democratic and Popular" or those who falsely claim to be run by the people and call themselves "The Peoples' Republic...etc.

The point being that however much America claims to be the fairy godmother of the world and the land of the free, (and in this film, Saviour of the Jews, jsut for good measure) I am afraid I shall just think of How Nixon lied about Watergate, or how Valerie Plame's cover was blown because her husband questioned WMD, or Abu Graib or Guantanamo, or Korea or G Gordon Liddy, Dick Cheney, Scooter Libby, Joseph McCarthy, Pinochet,My Lai, Enron, etc.

I suggest you read a little Noam Chomsky, Mr Montgomerie.

Paolo said...

God, i wondered how long it would be before someone bought up the dreaded name of Chomsky - possibly the most over-rated political commentator to have walked the earth. The man believes in anarchy, for crying out loud. He really should have stuck to teaching linguistics

As for the rest of Wrinkled Weasel's comments. Nobody's perfect and that is especially true of entire nations. As for your list of complaints with the US, well if that's the worse you can come up with then I'll be the first to shout God Bless America.

The US has never claimed to be "fairy godmother" of the world and for much of its history has had a marked reluctance to interfere in affairs beyond the American continents. That said, if I had to choose one country to be fairy godmother to the world, it would be very hard to look beyond the US

As for it being land of the free, with the exception of a few Western European countries, how many other nations are there where Mr Chomsky would still be free to spout his criticisms of the state that shelters and protects him (literally in Chomsky's case, I think)?

Anti-American said...

And if Tim Montgomerie succeeds in getting us to like and respect the US what do we get in return? Will they stop forcing their unwelcome GM foods on countries that don't want them? Will it force Israel to return Palestinian land to the Palestinians and stop building illegal settlements? Will they stop exporting their brainless culture to the rest of the world?

AfricanMum said...

I could never be anti-American. Most of my blood relatives are citizens of that country. They've all done well. we owe USA a lot! However, we have to accept that most Republicans would be sectioned if they lived in this country, or in any other one for that matter. If you're a Christian you realise just how dangerous some Americans have become. They actively preach end time theology. Ie, the interpretation of the book of Revelation that says it's our duty to bring about the end of the world through a war with Muslims (I suppose now Russia as well). They're egging on Iran (whose president shares a similar world view ironically), as this in their view would bring about the return of Jesus. I'm afraid electing Obama won't change anything. The guy wishes to be President and has courted all these groups that have the same crazy world view. he'd fight Iran and Pakistan at the drop of a hat, as he needs to prove to folks back home that he's not on the other side. I don't think we'll have a world without America, but I think Brits are becoming very wise that we'll eventually have a world where America would be on its own if it launches any crazy wars.

Anonymous said...

paolo @ 4.30 - well said. for all the things the usa as a political entity has done (and will do) that turns out to be wrong or selfish or just silly (and name any country that hasn't done all of these and more) i would still cheer, if i was in trouble, when the cavalry rides into sight.

the usa doesn't export its culture to unwilling recipients, we all
have the right to accept it or not and please do not whinge if you don't want it but others do, that is their right to choose and yours not too.

finally i also would not wish to live in a country containing in its title democratic,peoples popular or union including 'european union'(an organisation of most questionably worth and merit).

Paolo said...

Africanmum,

Whilst you're correct that there are some worrying people on the religious right (and show me a religion, perhaps Buddhism excepted, that doesn't contain absolute nutters on its wider fringes), I think you over-estimate the influence that the serious nutters have

Yes, there is a religious influence to the Republicans, but there is to the Democrats as well (historically much of the southern bible belt were solidly behind the democrats), simply because the States is a religious nation. Yet, the seperation of church and state holds strong there despite some blurring of the lines.

Regrettably, both Iran and Pakistan are issues that will need to be dealt with - and not just to ensure the safety of the US, but of the Western world as a whole

I hope they can be dealt with peacefully (and despite what your average Guardian reader believes, the US will not want to go to war again unless it is absolutely unavoidable) but if, for example, Iran manages to obtain nuclear weapons, well then all bets are off.

Wrinkled Weasel said...

Paulo.

Chomsky is a dissenter. Something you must live with. I disagree with many of his ideas, but I don't plan to assassinate him or ban his books. It is just that, in this case, one has to be aware that not everyone loves the USA, or believes it has the moral or philosophical high ground.

I cited enough cases where the government of the USA or its servants have broken International Law, trodden on human rights, massacred or just played dirty tricks. Playing the "nobody's perfect card" is bizarre, isn't it?

Pop goes the weasel said...

Wrinkled Weasel

Name me a country that hasn't done anything wrong...

The Anti-American French - they only supported the Hutu in Rwanda because they speak French and not the English spoken by the Tutsi

Russia - errr.... Chechnya, now Georgia. Next - Ukraine?

Belgium - don't seem to remember them having a fantastic record in central Africa

The UK - great record in Ireland, both historically and more recently... Suez...etc. Though I am no fan of historical revisionism, the carve up of Africa
and the UK's activities under Empire are not beyond criticism.

For what it's worth, I don't really give a toss about Guantanamo - if idiots chose to be in Afghanistan fighting for the taleban, they get what they deserve.

Although I don't often recommend him, I think you lefties should read the Richard Littlejohn article from earlier this week on the left's hypocrisy when it comes to war - bad if it's the US / West, but no protests if others do it. Where are the protests about Russia's behaviour in Georgia, or Chavez' intevention in Colombia?

Anonymous said...

If the war had ended differently, there wouldn't have been a Berlin wall.

This is just risible. Even if you're sympathetic to Tim's argument (as I am), you end up being less sympathetic by the end of it.

verity's lovechild said...

I don't really give a toss about Guantanamo - if idiots chose to be in Afghanistan fighting for the taleban, they get what they deserve.

Of course, we don't know that they were "in Afghanistan fighting for the taleban", because they apparently don't "deserve" a trial to establish guilt. Idiot.

Wrinkled Weasel said...

pop goes the weasel - I am not a LEFTIE!!!!

I admire Mrs Thatcher. The Falklands war was right. She broke the tyranny of the unions. I believe in capitalism and independent schools and forcefeeding my daughter CJD burgers just to prove a point and I want to ban the BBC.

I am an intellectual. It means I can see two sides to an argument. The USA is decadent, bankrupt and corrupt and if you cannot see that my arguments will piss you out of the window anytime, anywhere.

How very dare you! Lefty!!! Never!

Red Exile / Красная Ссылка said...

Your version *was* better. Much.

But if I had the time and resources I would love to do the rebuttal to the newer, sacchaine one.

I was pondering something analagous
on my own blog today: you would loathe every single thing I said.

chuck said...

Most Brits aren't anti-American just anti-neo con. People in Britain generally love America as it's culture "appears" very similar to ours, yet is vastly different and much more appealing.

Anonymous said...

I was listening to newsnight there. Some American saying that Russia has chosen the path of agression and must be contained.

The very best of luck with that project, beacsue you will need all of it, you witless buffoon. Treat them as the legitimate power that they are or perish, Georgia is more democratic so must be defended eh? The UK is is supposed to be a democracy and I have yet to see one post on any blog which thinks that our present'leader' - Teamless GB - is to be respected. He wasn't actually elected to the job. OK, neither was Churchill, the first time around. Fair point. But see if you can spot the difference.

America is now the problem, not Russia. and I say that with the deepest regret.

Anonymous said...

Iain, I'm sorry. I think you're a great bloke and your blog, like that of Tom harris, is a wonderful service to democracy. But this whole business with Russia and the reflexive response of the US and their poodle (US)has made me really angry. I can't stop thinking about it. I never write letters to the papers. Honestly. Maybe I should. I think Guido is interesting but mad. I think you are interesting but sane. Annoying when a sane person obviously disagrees with you but let't try to keep it sane.

Who was it who said, and I quote from memory, not google or a book, so don't be too harsh on me, something like the following, referring to events in 1941 'There was I, in the heart of this sullen Bolshevik state that I had tried so hard to strangle at birth'

Soemone who knew he had to deal with them, that's who.

Paolo said...

Wrinkled Weasel

I normally enjoy your comments on here, but really think you've lost the plot on this one.

"Chomsky is a dissenter" - wow, thanks for that insight. I fail to see how I am not living with this - my opinion is that his books on american policy are hardly worth the paper they are written on - it really doesn't keep me awake at nights. As for your comments about banning or assassinating him - where on earth did they come from?? If that's meant to be some kind of straw man, its pretty pathetic. After all, I pointed out that not only does America allow him to spout his idiocy but the very nation that he so disdains protects him out of public funds to keep the nutters away from him.

I cannot think of many other countries where this would be the case. Would Chomsky even be alive now if he was born in Russia and criticised it to the same extent?

I don't think anyone was arguing that the entire world loves or agrees with the US, were they?

What on earth is bizarre about saying that "nobody's perfect"? Nobody is. Every nation has their black marks, but if this is the worst you can hold against the US, then that puts them pretty much on the side of the angels in my book. You seem to have some kind of shiny moral standard that only you understand but that you measure the US against. Try measuring other nations against the same standard and see how they show up.

As to your later comments, what do you mean the US is decadent? How? Its sounds like you've never been within a thousand miles of the place. With a few exceptions, the last criticism you can level at the US is that its decadent. As for bankrupt, that applies more to our government than the US if you're talking fiscally, but somehow I don't think you were
Criticise the US and its policies by all means.

But save your hatreds for nations that truly deserve them.

Anon 11:05. Basic errors don't do your argument much good. UK prime minsters have never been directly elected by voters.

I really hope your lack of understanding of the UK political system is because you're Russian. Otherwise your last line could only be uttered by a complete and total fool. Unless you're actually Noam Chomsky. Hmmm...

You're right on one thing though. The very best of luck to anyone trying to contain Russia. They will need it and it will not be easy but it is certainly absolutely necessary

Devil's Kitchen said...

Well, I think that it's great that he has actually managed to launch it; from here on in and going on past form, I give it two weeks...

DK

Sabretache said...

Cringingly bloody awful. Fawning, servile, mauldlin. An injured innocent exercise in how to be a successful poodle appreciated by your master. Tim Montgomery should be in line for a Tiny Blur awards I'd say.

Anonymous said...

"Pretty simple.

Elect Obama. Job done.

August 20, 2008 12:31 PM"

and elect somebody with ties to a former member of the Weathermen?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m89m0pC_bpY

i dont think so.

archduke said...

the ad is also factually inaccurate.

at any one time, roughly 2/3's of the entire German army were tied up in the eastern front during WW2.

sad to say it , but the truth is - we wouldnt have won, without Soviet manpower.

if the entire german army faced us in normandy, we wouldnt have stood a chance.

thats just a fact of history.

Pop Goes the Weasel said...

Verity's Lovechild:

'Of course, we don't know that they were "in Afghanistan fighting for the taleban", because they apparently don't "deserve" a trial to establish guilt. Idiot.'

Errr, well, why exactly were they in Afghanistan? On holiday?! Seems pretty unlikely to me... All the explanations I've heard from their lawyers sound like BS to me. What's really disgraceful is not that these gits that want to kill us have been denied the rights that they would deny others, but that we've allowed some of them back here, presumably to promote Islamic fundamentalism...

Wrinkled Weasel

My apologies for the 'leftie' slur! But your comments do sound very Guardian-esque. 'Americans are stupid / decadent / etc.'

Well, some Americans are stupid. But so are many Brits - look at how many read the Sun, the Mirror or, for that matter, the moronic Guardian / Indescribably Boring. For their Jerry Springer, we have our own equivalents. Some Americans are decadent. Yes. And our footballers are not?

Most Americans I know are hard-working, God-fearing, good family people. That doesn't mean that they all are. But they deserve more than the BS that's thrown at them by socialists who are jealous of their success and wealth, or snobbery from Brits (which is just another manifestation of jealousy).

Martin Meenagh said...

This is very time specific. If America hadn't intervened in world war one, maybe there would have been no communism and no naziism. If America had not been around in the nineteenth century, maybe Britain would have been a looser global empire which would have wiped out slavery by 1840, and one which might not have incorporated Ireland and the Irish problem into Britain.

Maybe American Indians would have survived. Maybe Mexico would have split and reformed as a democratic state; maybe Hawaii would still exist as a peaceful kingdom; maybe Spanish, French and Portugese interference in South America would have actually resulted in the normalisation of the hemisphere before Britain kicked them out. Maybe the British would have wiped out the Barbary pirates and christianised the Ottoman Empire. Maybe globalisation would have arrived a hundred years early. Maybe modern capitalism wouldn't have been linked to military production schedules and schemes.

It's all quite airy-fairy. America does exist. It should stop spending far more than it can afford, not fight wars of choice without thinking about what it's doing, and elect Obama-Biden before it collapses. The better question to ask is not 'what would a world without America have been like?', its 'What will a world with a crippled or incapable or preoccupied America be like?'

Ask yourself about the PanaMcCainiac-Moonchild ticket-- 'he may be McCain--but is he able?' Able to reverse? Able to repair? or able just to follow the Bush-McCain line?