Making Amends

Dear World,

It’s been a rough couple of years for us. 

We went through a lot of difficult and confusing times, and had to work through some very traumatic issues.

We’re not proud of everything we did during that painful phase. 

To be frank, sometimes we lashed out.

We said hurtful things, and sometimes behaved thoughtlessly, even to the people closest to us.

Lately, we’ve been trying to make up for some of the harm we did.

We know that not everything we did can be undone.

But we’re trying to do a bit more listening.  A bit more understanding.  And to take other peoples’ needs into account, not just our own. 

It’s the beginning of a long process.  And there will surely be more misunderstandings along the way.

But we’re glad you seem to finally be taking notice.

Sincerely,

The United States of America

11 thoughts on “Making Amends

  1. The ‘world’ of course being defined as Europe and the Middle East, correct?

    They are cerainly part of the world – but just maybe Africa, Asia, and South America count also? Or am I just being narrow and insular in believeing that those areas matter at all when the Europeans are enrageed at the US?

  2. @Andrew:

    And which country is viewed most positively of all countries? On average 56 per cent say it is having a positive influence with just 18 per cent saying it is having a negative influence? See the summary of the BBC report (PDF), p.11. Time for some kind of schadenfreude…

    @Don

    The results were conducted conducted across a total of 34 countries: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Costa Rica, Egypt, El Salvador, France, Germany, Ghana, Great Britain, Guatemala, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Lebanon, Mexico, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Panama, Philippines, Portugal, Russia, South Korea, Spain, Turkey, UAE, USA.

  3. Yes, Elfmeter. And the table of average ‘results’ comprised half of those countries – none in Africa. Germany, France, Russia, and Canada (with high or very high disapproval rates) WERE scrupulously included. Thoe only nation with a high approval rate included was the Phillipines.

    As for the high German approval rate – well Germans may well come to regard that as a trifle misleading. The approval rate in the ‘contributory’ part of NATO may not be quite as high – or we may ‘approve’ – but not enough to ‘contribute’ in a crisis – if you know what I mean….

    Actually I approve of Germany, so much so that I wish the US to slavishly follow German policies in Aghanistan. When the next European crisis comes along the US should contribute a bit more than 3000 garrison troops firmly stationed in a relatively safe place with orders to fire only if fired upon.

    It’s a fine policy and the US should follow it in future vis Germany, France, Spain, et al. Not with Canada or the UK however…..

  4. “…3000 garrison troops firmly stationed in a relatively safe place with orders to fire only if fired upon. ”

    It’s called being smart. Heroes are never smart. That’s why they have to become heroes; else, they just would be the village idiots.

  5. The Brits have an excellent phrase which applies to this supposed German cleverness, Junger ‘too clever by half’. It applies to the smart boy who believes he can play both sides against the middle because he’s so clever and the others are too stupid to notice.

    We in the US have noticed – I assure you. And I suspect the Russians have noticed also.

  6. Squirming neurotically for worldwide love seems to be contagious. Not only true blue Germans, but mere Germanophiles are in danger, too. That said, torture and arrogance are neither helpful nor advisable, true. Than again, Don is up to something: it won’t be the aging European demography, that will keep democracy alive. Neither will Russia, China, nor our friends from south of the Mediterranean, for whose warm feelings and respect many do-gooders cringe emphatically. Stockholm syndrome, anyone?

  7. To end on a friendlier note, again: Both Karl Kraus’s Die Fackel and Ludwig von, ugh, Ficker’s Der Brenner are available for free, thanks to the Austrian Academy of Science. Der Brenner was highly esteemed by Kraus, as an article in the Süddeutsche tells (informing me of Mr von Ficker’s existence as well, that regrettably had escaped me so far). If it were not for their dastard politics, I’d take out a subscription. Here’s the Academy giving some background. The pages are rendered as facsimiles, however, they are searchable.

  8. To make this clear: it’s the Süddeutsche, that I won’t take out a subscription anymore. Mr von Ficker (re) converted to Catholicism in his later years, and thenceforth supported what the Süddeutsche calls “Catholic existentialism.” Yet, his friends continued to consider his paper a good read. As still is the Süddeutsche really, but, oh well…

    As for Sebastian’s missing link: I really tried to get hold of the TNS poll, but didn’t succeed so far. However, many quote it, e.g. Josef Joffe. I’ll post a link, once I find it.

  9. Interesting links, Mr. Möhling. Kraus, and especially Ficker, following a lineage back to that genial gadfly, S. Kierkegaard.

  10. “Squirming neurotically for worldwide love seems to be contagious. ”

    Too true, Marek, too true. And I’m not the only one around here who has come under fairly general crossfire for pricking sacred cows. Nice to be reminded of that.

    One would think that such an ostentationously cultivated crowd would try to understand the outliers a bit better but ’tis not so. Self-styled ‘intellectuals’ run with the lemmings every bit as much as other mobs, or so I find….

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