Why do people hate the USA? They’ll tell you a lot of reasons, but the real reason is this: they want something convenient to blame for their own failings, and whoever’s in charge is a good bet.
I may not need to point out the historical parallels. In the 1930s, there was also a strong anti-American feeling and people who wanted to seem enlightened shifted toward the east, both Communist Russia and Oriental Asia. They thought profundity lay there, ignoring the fact that culture is not universal and what works for one group of people may not apply at all to others.
That time established what later became known as “useful idiot” behavior. In the West there were always people who wanted to be seen as iconoclastic, brave and adventurous; they would adopt whatever they perceived as “exotic” or contrary to the morals of their society. The UIs could be counted on to aid the enemies of their country in any circumstance.
Behavior such as that has a root in a single cause, which is self-pity. If life has become meaningless, and one is upset and angry, it is most convenient to blame whoever’s in charge and thus deflect blame from oneself. Even more, it’s an unwillingness to see that an entire system is rotted from within by its illogical reliance on individual desires, feelings and judgments. Why blame a way of life, when you can blame the Americans and praise Putin and feel better about yourself?
This is a microcosm of the behavior that got humanity into the worldwide tailspin that modernity has created. The individual withdraws from reality into what feels comfortable, and creates a group of others doing the same. The end result is that society as a whole shifts away from reality-oriented thinking, and instead focuses on human-oriented thinking. Feelings. Pity. Wishes. Desires.
We can see this in progress with the comical trial of Amanda Knox for the killing of Meredith Kirchner. Most Americans think Knox is innocent, and most Europeans appear to think she’s guilty. This reminds me of the OJ Simpson trial, where just about every white person in Los Angeles thought he was guilty, and just about every black person thought he was innocent. The pattern is the same: people are voting with their ethnic or cultural interests.
The case against Knox falls apart very quickly. There is a lack of evidence. Further, there is police bungling. Even more importantly, there’s one person already convicted for the crime who won’t say what he saw that night or who else was involved — but he did implicate Knox and her then-boyfriend Sollecito in exchange for a lower sentence. Rudy Guede, an itinerant drug dealer, has in fact been noted in the press as a mysterious source of potential information:
April 29: Miss Kercher’s father John appeals to Guede to finally “come clean” and reveal what really happened the night she was stabbed to death.
Somewhere in there, a club owner named Patrick Lumumba was also accused, perhaps by Knox under stress. He seems to have known Guede. He seems also to have waltzed right out of the investigation despite having once been a prime suspect based on his alibi of having been tending bar at the time. It’s uncertain whether this alibi stands and/or whether the time of death is correct, since most everything else has been bungled by the police.
It’s clear that something is afoot, but possibly that Knox and Sollecito either don’t know (intoxication) or have told the most plausible story:
The American student has given a series of different accounts of the night of the murder. At first she told police she had spent the whole night with Sollecito, only returning to the hillside home she and Miss Kercher shared with two Italian women on the morning after the crime.
But later she “confessed” she had been at the house.
She said she sat in the kitchen while Lumumba, a married father of one, and Miss Kercher were in a bedroom.
She said she put her hands over her ears as she listened to Miss Kercher’s screams. Since then she has again protested her innocence, telling her mother Edda that she stuck by her original story.
Sollecito also apparently changed his story. At first he backed up Knox, but then he claimed she had gone out, leaving him alone, before returning in the early hours.
Guede, as few seem to remember, left the small town where the murders occurred shortly after Meredith Kercher died.
Much of this case is driven by Kercher’s parents, who get their money from owning tabloids, and siblings, who insist she is guilty.
It is as if they cannot believe that one man committed this crime and got only sixteen years. Their anguish demands to be fed with the blood of others.
Conveniently, this plays into European resentment of America. Despite emulating America in every way possible, from wearing blue jeans and buying Big Macs to creating their own Union of States with the EU, Europeans love to hate America. They think it makes them free from the disease.
But the truth is that, much as in the murder of Meredith Kercher, the disease is within. Her window lock was broken. She seems to have known her killers. She seems to have been involved in some form of unsavory activity. As one source points out, “The Meredith Kercher case is framed by prejudice as much as evidence”:
I’m not sure we can know for sure whether Knox and Sollecito are guilty or not. We became innocentisti or colpevolisti – the Italian media’s terms for those who think they’re innocent, and those who don’t – before we had any right to be either. Passionate desires for one verdict or the other were stoked by deep-seated resentments and prejudices. From the outset the innocentisti accused the colpevolisti of anti-Americanism. Following the trial the US senator Maria Cantwell wrote to Hillary Clinton to alert her to the anti-Americanism at work in the courtroom – though Sollecito, an Italian, was being tried too. Was there anti-American sentiment among the colpevolisti? The resentment, even, of a former great imperial power towards the current hegemon? Almost certainly.
How interesting. And yet Rudy Guede has admitted to the crime and sits in prison. He knows who else was involved. If as Kercher’s father suggests, the break-in was a coverup, then Meredith knew her killers too. Since she already had established that she disliked Knox, it suggests the opposite of what the courts have thought so far.
But in the end, this isn’t about Meredith Kercher. She probably died from making the wrong one-night friendships. This trial has become about the rage of the world toward America and Americans, but in that tendency, it shows how broken and pathological that anti-Americanism is. The disease is within, and Europe has infected itself. The cure is not finding scapegoats, whether Knox, The Jews(tm), the Africans, the Americans, etc., but in finding the root of the sickness and removing that. Meredith Kercher’s family’s vengeance quest can wait.