Thebastidge: Changes in attitudes
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    Saturday, March 12, 2005

    Changes in attitudes

    In another victory for connectedness between Gap and Core states, our recent efforts in the wake fo the Asian Tsunami crisis are bearing (not entirely unexpected) fruits.

    It's difficult to demonize someone up close and personal when the observable fact is that they aren't so bad. The average Indonesian probably doesn't know much about America except for media and Hollywood distortions, along with a healthy dose of xenophobic paranoid propaganda from their own government and the local versions of madrassas. However thousands of people directly observed Americans giving aid and charity with no expectation of recompense, and millions of people were directly impacted by it.

    And then we left when their government asked us to. Probably much earlier than a reasonable person would have expected, but there it is. Indonesia has not attacked us, and we didn't invade her. I know some people will say "big deal, how magnanimous of you not to attack an innocent nation." But this misses the point: we are not out to remake every nation in our own image, to dictate their cultural norms etc. We only care that some basic level of self-determinance is in place, and that they are not a danger to others.

    When people directly observe American principles in action, that is our best means of influence. Our 'imperial hegemony' consists entirely of ideas and practices, and we won't impose them on anyone, we just offer them freely in trade.

    Anyway, check out this Indonesian poll (I saw it in the Asian Reporter) on opinions toward America and Islamic terrorism/Bin Laden-ist Islamofascism:


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