Monday, 11 October 2010
Criticisms of America and American Policies
This is a link to a website I found called Pajamas Media, the article is called: Anti-Americanism in Europe Fuelled by Ignorance and was written by Soeren Kern( a senior Analyst for Transatlantic Relations at the Madrid-based Strategic Studies Group) in 2008. As established from the title of the article, it presents european perspectives of America, showing their views and then providing statistics that prove otherwise. One criticism it makes is seventy percent of Britons think the U.S has done a worst job at reducing carbon emissions since 2000, which understandably you could agree with as we are continuously presented with images from America of unnecessarily big cars and vans riding around and never of someone using public transport. However, America's rate of growth of carbon emissions has decreased by ten percent since 2000, while that of the EU has increased by 2.3 percent.
Another criticism highlighted in the article is, the French are well known for scorn of American fast food, which I think many people would say is the least favourable contribution from America. Seeming to cause increasing levels of obesity from it's cheapness, convenience and speed. However, an unknown fact about France is that one out of every two French people visit McDonald's at least once a year. More over, McDonald's is so popular in France that the country is now McDonald's second-biggest money maker in the world after the United States. In addition to this Spain ridicule Americans as overwhelmingly overweight, a recent study shows that two thirds of American's are overweight. However, Spain has more overweight people than any other country in Europe(except for Italy and Greece), with almost forty percent of Spanish adults being overweight and the Spanish Health Ministry says Spain is on track to overtake the U.S in the obesity department in less than ten years.
Finally it points out one issue that Europeans as a whole are quite ignorant about, with regards to America, and that is the Death Penalty. European elites like to portray the EU as being morally superior to the U.S and regard America as bloodthirsty. Obviously you can relate to this view, killing is morally wrong under any circumstance and should not be used as a means of punishment to any criminal no matter how serious the crime. However, in a poll from the French Daily Le Monde , regarding the execution of Saddam Hussein, it found sixty nine percent of British, fifty eight percent of French, fifty three percent of German and fifty one percent of Spanish people were in favour of the execution.
This ignorant view of America could be because, it is suggested 'those who know the least about America seem to hate it the most', therefore if Europeans have not visited America or maybe are reluctant to do so because of the views they posses, they cannot speculate about America and it's policies. All they know is what they have seen on the television and have heard from other people, they cannot judge what they do not know.