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The ugly american returns! - politics


Originally available in 1958, "The Ugly American" (Lederer & Burdick) accepted American blunders abroad and our breakdown to categorize that what we termed leninism in new countries was simply the screams of crave and bleakness appropriate manifest. 15 years later, we extricated ourselves from Vietnam and licked our wounds for 30 years, after all advent to some sort of accommodation with free fire zones, Agent Orange, and My Lai. Never again, we swore. We would care for our nation's confidence but only move into war zones when gross injustice or caring concerns demanded a reaction -- Somalia, Bosnia, the first Gulf War.

We felt relief: a line in the sand had been drawn that we would not cross. The new American protocol called for self-protection but also restraint, a hint of nobility, and the belief that, above all, we were the central mainstay of freedom, diversity, and the rule of law.

September 11 shook that hard-fought-for ideal. No longer must we basically guard our boundaries but now we had to look about us everywhere we were - at the stranger coming up for a train, the sweating, swarthy fellow explorer at the airport, the foreigners in the upstairs apartment.

We felt betrayed. The quid pro quo of "You leave us alone and we'll leave you alone" went awry. Those who hate us were meddlesome into our confidential space. We felt violated. In a predictable reaction, we struck out, in quest of the enemy in the hills and caves of Afghanistan where our agony had been carefully deliberate with premeditation and cold coldness to our pain.

For two years, we at a snail's pace revised our goals, our ideals, our general commitments. Our outraged sense of self, revulsion, and anger increasingly overcame our elected belief in the civil liberties of all to citizen self-determination. To fight the enemy, we became him. We adopted his mindset of the ends justifies the means. Angry and frustrated at his capability to arrive at at our very heart and make our world appalling and dangerous, we morphed into him, using assault as a means of apology alongside the terrifying defenselessness we feared to face.

In 2003, the choice was made to openly act of violence a monarch citizens state which, while celebrated for verbal saber rattling, posed no absolute intimidation to us nor had it committed an against the law invasion or fresh argument on everybody else since the last Gulf War.

With guns blazing, we marched into the OK Corral. Even with the conclusive banality of enemy combatants desertion into the common residents moderately than duration their base and being annihilated, we were "surprised" at the ease of incoming Baghdad. We had ancient history the instruction of our own Revolutionary War when it became clear that continuance face-to-face with well-supplied redcoat squares was a recipe for total destruction.

"Mission Accomplished" trumpeted the President, the Administration, the for the moment powerless and sleeping media. The worst was over. There were now easily "mopping up" operations left in a fatherland which be supposed to be awesomely gratifying for what we had achieved. Instead, of course, more U. S. troops would die after our mission was "accomplished" than in the hot war itself.

Why the surprise? Once again, as in the days of Vietnam, the Tet Offensive, the bombing of Cambodia, once again the face of the Ugly American was exposed to the world.

Why are we hated? We are the superpower, the bully in the educate yard.

Difficult as it is to forge an uneasy truce with us when we act with arrest and decorum, it becomes difficult when we throw our burden about and beat our collective chest with pride, hubris, and the will to move alone exclusive of frustrating to rally allies or global support. The Ugly American is loose in the streets of the Central East, a aim at for all, a ally of none: arrogant, defiant, outcast, and alone.

Never again, we said. Oops - the isolation and the hate is back. We can now have the satisfaction of aware we generated it all by ourselves. Who needs an enemy when we have us?

Virginia Bola is a qualified clinical psychologist with deep good in Common Psychology and politics. She has performed healing army for more than 20 years and has calculated the property of cultural army and employment on the individual. The cause of an interactive workbook, The Wolf at the Door: An Unemployment Survival Manual, and a monthly ezine, The Worker's Edge, she can be reached at http://www. virginiabola. com


Pocketbook Politics  The New York Times

OP-ED: The politics of revenge  Observer-Reporter

Politics this week  The Economist

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