People around the globe have always been mystified by American public’s seeming indifference towards the style of foreign policy that American government conducts. Yes, there are occasional rallies and protests but the overwhelming impression, and correctly so, is that most Americans just don’t care. This brings up the inevitable question – why don’t Americans care?
The answer really is fairly straight forward – Americans don’t need to care. Despite of all that is happening in Iraq and all that happened in Vietnam, America has emerged from it virtually unscathed. American economy is doing well, and life hums on as usual. Yes, the oil prices have shot up and three quarters of all news now is solely about terrorizing tyrannical freedom-hating terrorists, at least until drum beating about wrong arrests in child beauty queen murder fills up every ticking minute of news for days on end. But fundamentally nothing has changed; at least no discernible echo of doubt has survived Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise and Jon Benet. I think the ability of these pop news items to wipe news clean of terrorism is indicative of how much of a concern terrorism is in itself to average Americans.
Color coded terror alerts and the rabble-rousing shenanigans of political pundits on television have reduced the topic of terrorism to nothing more than some form of macabre entertainment. Americans may seem to people around them to be living in this self-proclaimed post-9/11 mindset perennially under collective fear psychosis but doesn’t mean that they will miss a good sale at Macy’s or the latest gossip about Tom Cruise. The fact is that while America may seem to be in grip of the collective memory of past trauma, in the meantime they will also do business and do biotechnology and browbeat countries to get better trade deals. Let me summarize the point that I am trying to make since it is not all that obvious, Americans don’t care about the foreign policy ramifications even their self proclaimed “post-9/11” world and all the concern is more or less skin deep. The fact that American don’t care that deeply about the perils of terrorism, even though it may look otherwise, shouldn’t come as a surprise because as I mentioned earlier the footprint of terrorism on US has really been a minor one, as compared to other countries. So in a way there really is no cause for alarm since there really never was a fire, well not at least as big as one made out to be.
So in all a lot of pundits may cajole people into thinking that America needs to worry about how the world thinks about us and one must just switch channels. American companies are still selling a lot of goods in Saudi Arabia and Egypt and China (yes â€“selling) and will continue to do so as long as they stay away from drawing cartoons about Muhammad.
All is hunky dory but still the world is in midst of conflict. It may be the natural state of world, the uncivilized freedom-hating barbarians, or the chaos may have been financed by US; it doesn’t really matter. Except if Americans are willing to answer the moral question. As luck would have it, they have answered that too. Americans will tell you that they have all along been waging a moral war â€“ from Ho-Chi-Minh to Baghdad and if the world doesn’t want to become free â€“ well too bad. Whether Americans have arrived at the right answer is immaterial for whatever the answer, they will continue to thrive.