The US Are Talking To You

From: Jacques Du Pasquier (
Date: Sun Nov 11 2001 - 15:41:25 MST

It seems quite clear that anti-US resentment will not go away soon in
the world. Anders spoke about such feelings in EUrope, and then
rightly said, "And remember - we are your *allies*. Now think about
the rest of the world."

These feelings have some good reasons (some of the interventions
mentionned here these days, etc.), and some bad reasons (false
representations, jealousy, blaming your misfortunes on someone else
and escaping your responsability, etc.)

I think the resentment is bad, not (only) because it is so sad for the
US to be misunderstood, but because it allows leaders in those
countries to bring their countries in destructive and
auto-destructive directions.

So what about issuing a kind of formal, symbolic, named, short,
evocative, simple, strong statement of the basic world view and
intentions of the US, for all people to refer to it. It would be
directed to everyone, and written in terms understandable by all.

I have no idea how this could be done, and I see all sorts of problems
with it (lack of agreement within the US on the said worldview and
intentions, risk of committing unilateraly to something, mockery from
the media, opposition from the Arab dirigeants being bypassed in the
communication, etc.) But I throw the idea anyway, as I really feel
something like that, something other than mere action, is needed, and
should at least be tried.

Such a statement would not say : we are so altruistic. Instead, it
would be sincere. It would give an idea of the US constitution as
their view on society (individual freedom, respect and
responsability). It would affirm the desire to share this world
peacefully, productively, and happily. It would be a call to
responsability, too, something like : reject terrorism and hatred,
affirm your pride and your aspirations, your future is in your own
hands, and we'll be happy to help a bit if we can. Maybe it would even
give some clue about economy, and make a convincing case that riches
are not like a big god-given pie to share equitably, but they are
something people create through their talent and efforts. People could
debate about it. Maybe it would even acknowldege some of the US

As things are now, I think you can convince about any person in third
world countries with the riches-as-pie fallacy, and consequently bring
them to hate the US. Someone has to tell them that they are going
nowhere that way. This appeared to me clearly while talking over email
with a muslim arab friend living in Mauritania.

However it is received in the first weeks, the statement would stay
(in some form), and maybe it would start later a reflexion in many

Is that useless or can it be mutated into something useful ? If a
statement is not feasible, could something else play that role ? Do
the US already effectively communicate their views to the people, in
their own language ? If not, no wonder they don't understand the US.
When you intervene in someone else's world, it looks quite normal to
introduce yourself.


The email dialogue mentionned, in French :

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Sat May 11 2002 - 17:44:18 MDT