International members, how do you and people in your country view US?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by acidrock, May 14, 2004.

  1. acidrock macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2004
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    The Evergreen State College
    #1
    I was wondering if international visitors of the forum could speak some about how they currently feel about the US/ americans, and maybe what the overall feeling is from people in their country. I'd be interested in knowing how you feel. I don't know if anyone's noticed, but it's almost as if America turned from a country that everyone wanted to be in, to a country that everyone hated, just a thought.
     
  2. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Republic of Ukistan
    #2
    You can screw up your own country as much as you want, but please, keep it in the privacy of your own home!

    Seriously, some of my best friends are SERIOUSLY DEPRESSED Americans.
     
  3. Neserk macrumors 6502a

    Neserk

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2004
    #3

    I think we've been hated like the popular kids in school for eons. Everyone hates us and we think they all want to be us ;)
     
  4. takao macrumors 68040

    takao

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2003
    Location:
    Dornbirn (Austria)
    #4
    i'm going after the attitude towards the US as whole first:

    1.
    before bush most people had a positive attitude towards the US
    the biggest doubters were the middle aged
    the younger/youth were generally supporting the US politics andadmiring theamerican way of life
    and the old..well they don't care anymore (at least here...you know:eek:ur region was liberated by french troops)


    2.
    the election...before the election of bush most people looked at the USA as a land of honest democracy
    after the election most people think about the american democracy as driven by lobbism,interest groups, 'not the one who votes is important ,it's the one who count the votes who is really important','only 50% of all people vote'

    3.
    11th september:
    people were shocked everywhere and felt sorry for all families who lost somebody, but even on the 11/9 i heard comments like "i really hope the US doesn't take this as excuse for everything they do " (my mother)
    i personally thought that the USA learns from this and makes a more carefull/objective foreign diplomacy with less use of their forces....well i was wrong and my mother was right...

    4.
    afghanistan:
    when the war in afghanistan started the support was big, but more and more doubters came up: "they are trying to blame another country for their own faults" ...and when i heard the giant uproar of the propaganda machine in american news (like cnn) i thought by myself: "hmm i'm not so sure anymore if i should support them"
    and seeing that the US government had no idea how to handle the country after winning didn't help the _slowly_ fading reputation either....

    5.
    iraq:
    point 1: nobody bought the WMD thing here , msot people were "WMD ? yeah RIGHT..if iraq had WMD the USA wouldn't want invade them"

    point 2: nobody bought the 'saddam - islamic terrorism' connection either.. people _here_ know were this terror is coming from: saudi arabia perhaps iran..
    saddam isn't very religous..he is more atheist than muslim...

    point 3: to bring humanitary/democracy..people weren't sure about that..me included...i (and many other ) thought:"well at least they help the iraqy people"
    and about 60-70% of the people i talked to thought: "there are 2 reasons for this: revenge for his daddy and money from oil"
    i didn't believe this because i thought money and personal targets aren't number 1 in USA foreign politics..
    but then came the big turn-around for me: seeing how US army soldiers securing a oil well with hundreds of men and completly ignoring the protection of the iraqys (for example:a museum which 4000 year old artifacts got stolen and the US army didn't care, and complete missing protection for an iraqy nuclear plant) and the rather slim humanitary help for the poor starving iraqys.....
    and now the torturing pictures..

    support for the US as nation is now zero, zip, nada in the 14-29 age group and in the 30-59 age group...anti-americanism never was so strong...now the prejudicies are coming back against the people of the USA like :"they are lazy" "only care about their own life" "money is everything for them" "they are wasting oil" "they are voting a stupid cowboy for their president" "they believe all the propaganda they hear/read" "they like being ruled by a dictator" ,there are already more jokes about americans than about our german neighbours (which really shows how 'good' the reputation of the USA is here...)

    but generally the attitude against americans is still good because the people here know that not everybody is supporting bush...but if they vote him again...well the prejudices are getting stronger everyday...

    personal addition: the comment that everybody wanted to live in the USA is a myth...people were and are very happy that they _not have_ to live there and would never consider moving there... especially those who already visited the USA... those are the ones who gone from "i want to live in america" to "i was so wrong" in 1 month being there...people experience false ideals through american TV shows...
     
  5. PickledSquirrel macrumors regular

    PickledSquirrel

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2003
    Location:
    Aarhus, DK
    #5
    I live in Denmark. Most af the people I know are speechless, sceptic and deeply concerned about USAs behaviour internationally. Common views are:

    -USAs tendency to ignore environmental issues, despite being a (or should I say, THE) major creator of environmental problems.

    -American's apparent lack of ability to understand how people can disagree with them, or simply not like the way they act abroad. A lot of them seem to truly believe that "USA is the reason that you europeans sleep safe at night"...

    -Americans are generally considered extremely naive and very little-knowing of the rest of the world.

    -George W Bush is generally considered more of a safetythreat than north Korea, the Middle and far east, and the local gang of thugs alltogether.

    Funny thing is, that all the bias' towards the average american, does not apply to any of the americans that I know. They are all friendly, openminded, knowing people, who share the worries listed above. But then again, they may have been in europe too long to truly represent their country :D
     
  6. professor macrumors newbie

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    Feb 4, 2003
    Location:
    Berlin, Germany
    #6
    Pretty much the same here in Germany, old and young people alike.
     
  7. Neserk macrumors 6502a

    Neserk

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2004
    #7
    true

    true

    also true.

    This is true but many americans would not acknowledge or believe it.

    Thankfully, we aren't all like this. I couldn't guess how many are. But from what I've seen from living here and being an American I have to say that the beliefs about many Americans are pretty accurate.... it is embarassing...
     
  8. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    Palookaville
    #8
    This may come across like a Bush-bash, but I think it needs to be said in this context. The differences you are seeing are between Americans who are interested in the world outside themselves and their country and those who are insular and nationalistic. By definition, you are meeting the former and not the latter. It's a well-known fact that George W. Bush had never visited Europe before he became president. This is an astonishing statistic when you consider that a man with so much opportunity to travel and see the world managed to become a middle-aged adult without having done so. Yet, many impoverished American college students find a way to visit foreign countries before they turn 25, a habit they tend to maintain for the rest of their lives.

    The difference is a matter of interest in, or some might say curiosity about, the world around them. I hope Europeans will continue to judge Americans more by the people who come over to tour their cities and cultural sites, eat in their restaurants, and drink their beer, and meet the people, than by the current leadership and the values they represent.
     
  9. pseudobrit macrumors 68040

    pseudobrit

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Jobs' Spare Liver Jar
    #9
    I get a kick out of the arrogance behind the whole "if you opened the borders, everyone would move to the US" idea.

    It's nonsense.

    More or less, a place is a place is a place. The only variables tend to be the language, the economy and the weather. People, cities and life in general are/is generally the same wherever you go.
     
  10. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2002
    Location:
    Republic of Ukistan
    #10
    Fortunately, we do! And of course we also judge them by the enlightened denizens of these hallowed pages....

    But we are also aware that there is something very nasty lurking between your shores.... :eek:
     
  11. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    Palookaville
    #11
    I love it when you talk dirty. :eek:
     
  12. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    Republic of Ukistan
    #12
    **** **** *** * **** ** *******!!! :D
     
  13. acidrock thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #13
    I agree
     
  14. IIvan macrumors regular

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    Nov 21, 2003
    #14
    Wow- this is a really interesting thread- which is an amazing comment from a cynic like myself. Please tell more all of you foreigners!
     
  15. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    Republic of Ukistan
    #15
    Who's the foreigner? :D
     
  16. IIvan macrumors regular

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    Nov 21, 2003
    #16
    Being young and untraveled- I unwittingly refer to, and possibly think of- all non-Americans as foreigners.

    Living in the southern part of America- the extreme faith in our leadership and direction is really aggravating. People here just trust what they hear and don't give it much thought. Im glad maybe its different somewhere
     
  17. winwintoo macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2003
    #17
    Well as a foreigner who lives not that far away, I long for the days when your president's biggest failing had something to do with a cigar, or was that being compared to a cigar or ......

    At least Clinton only screwed one American at a time.

    m
     
  18. Neserk macrumors 6502a

    Neserk

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    Jan 1, 2004
    #18
    And to quote a bumper sticker: When Clinton lied, nobody died!
     
  19. wowser macrumors 6502a

    wowser

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    Jan 25, 2004
    Location:
    Inglaterra, Europa
    #19
    I'm English and spent a year in California:

    They are wonderful, friendly, warm and welcoming people and less shallow than the English (I am generalizing, but you have to make some generalizations). The Bush admin, companies with dubious moral ethics, et al, however - that's what's rotten.
     
  20. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    Republic of Ukistan
    #20
    Hey! :p Don't overdo it!
     
  21. Neserk macrumors 6502a

    Neserk

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    #21
    He isn't. We Americans who live in Southern CAlifornia are especially wonderful :D It is all the sunshine!
     
  22. professor macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2003
    Location:
    Berlin, Germany
    #22
    Picture a big shiny car with a good engine (well - a bit of a gas guzzler, but it runs well and does its job). The metal polished, adored by the neighbors, everybody wants a ride. A succession of drivers took good care of it, except an occasional owner who wasn't a good driver. But its frame was good and the metal strong, and the subsequent owners quickly restored it to its former beauty. Over time, it became a legend.
    Then the car was bought by a new owner. Now, one could see it speeding around the neighborhood, running the red lights everywhere. Worse. The driver bumped it into pretty much every car in the neighborhood, until not only many of the cars around got dents and scratches, but also the car itself was hard to recognize anymore. You could hardly see the lttle guy behind the wheel who looked as if he had hardly passed the test, if at all. But in the back seat, almost invisible because of the new dark window panes they had installed sat a bunch of thugs telling him where to go and how fast and how to wreck all the other vehicles around.
    Eventually, the engine stalled, the tires blew, the neighbors frowned (frowning was all they would do, because they were so scared of the guns the thugs kept sticking out of the windows). Then the car got stuck in the wreckage it had caused. The neighborhood looked like a war zone, lots of car wrecks left and right. The driver and his thugs took flight.
    The neighbors now wonder how soon a new driver will come, and whether he or she will have the power and resources to restore the car to its old beauty. It sure is possible, and it still has a strong frame and a reliable engine (which is in dire need of being upgraded to an environmentally more sane version), but it requires a lot of effort to restore the car, and a lot of careful driving to regain the trust of the neighbors.
     
  23. resm macrumors 6502

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    Feb 1, 2002
    Location:
    Singapore
    #23
    Banana Republic

     
  24. billyboy macrumors 65816

    billyboy

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    Location:
    In my head
    #24
    The troubling public perception of America as a whole, and consequently the press about American people is down to the actions and attitudes of its leaderships. Obviously in a democracy, the people should have the final say in how a country is run, and clearly having decided not to go the polls in sufficient numbers, the American people are living the truism that you get the service you deserve. But to extrapolate George Bush to Joe Public is way off base, even though it is understandable human nature.

    Just as a caveat, my dearest friend in the whole world is American and amongst other things, I love her for her ballsy, larger than life attitude.:D So in that respect she is all American. But also she is different in that she really does embrace "foreign" ideas, and is really interested in how people live and how people think in other parts of the world. And having seen how it is elsewhere in the world, she tends not to take her privileged lifestyle for granted either. Anybody who thinks Americans are lazy arent really accounting for the fact that the fabulous wealth of the average American (better off than most people in the world) has been earned by the hard graft of ordinary individuals. And any nation that gives its workers 2 weeks holiday a year and expects blood during work time, again, can't really be adjudged a nation of sloths.



    There have been some very insightful perceptions so far, especially the Professor's car analogy and the guy from Austria. I did not recognise the idea though that Americans in California are less shallow than British people. Maybe if you move in intellectual well travelled circles - but that "less shallow" idea doesnt stack up in my experience of the average citizen living the American dream in the golden state of sun, sand, skiing, sex, drugs and rock n roll, potato chips, weak beer and custom cars.

    Also, with a few notable exceptions, I would say the best way to see the good side of Americans as a whole ( hospitable beyond belief, fun and full of energy) is when they are in their own country, where they blend in, I guess. Has nobody ever noticed how loud Americans are compared to North Europeans? But in the States, that larger than life characteristic is perfectly suited to the scale of the country. So I can easily understand how an American presence storming its gauche way into Iraq would go down like a stack of poo. And it must be hard negoatiating with America for whom, with so many resources at their disposal, anything is possible to achieve. And as a young country, the US does not have the sense of history when it negotiates for change, and seems sadly lacking in empathy for very deeply held non Christian religious rules that cant just be put to one side to get a job done.
     
  25. Ozi macrumors regular

    Ozi

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2004
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia.
    #25
    Many fellow Australians are very annoyed that you went to war with Iraq, when they were co-operating with weapon checks. Weapon checks which would never have found anything anyway! :rolleyes:

    personally, i see America as being incredibly stupid when it comes to foreign policy. You set up the Taliban, you organise drug lords to assisinate your political enemies, and the CIA has dabbled in almost every foreign conflict to date. You refuse to take a strong stance on the environment (no fuel regulation tightening for SUVs, NOT signing the Kyoto Protcol, and you continue to execute people under the age of 18, which makes you one of only 5 countries to do so. Iraq, Saudi-Arabia, North Korea, Iran and Nigeria. What a great group to belong to. (watch the West Wing to learn more! :D)

    You meddle in conflicts, then act suprised when your Blackhawk helicopters are shot down with weapons you sold to terrorists 10 years ago.

    This incredible short-sightedness leads to you looking like idiots and fools.

    ~ozi
     

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