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Serbia, USA: What Serbs Think About America

In his blog post called “America is shaking”, Neven Andjelic shares his opinion on the United States (SRP):

This big country is shaking. A number of events have caused the current condition. None of them has anything to do with my arrival to Berkley four months ago when I first grounded the superpower. I kept refusing to visit America for years because of ideological [differences] […] as well as because of fear of flying which was a more dominant reason. Now, as I have conquered this phobia and some hundred of days on the American job, my impressions about this country, people and the rest of the dominated world are complete. I turned pessimistic. The way elites are ruling this country could hardly be found in any other part of the “free world.” They are inaccessible for the people on behalf of whom they govern. They use god as much as they can when talking, and old family as it once was is important almost as almighty. They have chosen a Muslim to the American congress, but we have to wait a bit for the open atheist to be elected there. In the meantime, evangelistic leaders and reborn Christians are increasing the number of their followers by using flammable speeches against all other options including homosexual people […].

Somehow everything looks hypocritical in America. Patriotism seems to get the same echo although it appears to be a universal feature of ideological love towards the homeland. When you use these ingredients, you get some kind of ideology stew with result of having George W. Bush in the White House. Final outcome could be felt all around the world.

Average American needed six years of life under that kind of rule to realize that government isn’t the best one for him or for the rest of humanity. How happy liberal Americans were when they barely (this “barely” has to be highlighted) won both houses of congress. After six years, there is a chance to control Bush and others if the Democrats don’t fail the expectations which could happen easily. They are already more cautious when giving statements for the media, but then we take a look from a wider perspective, what is the major difference. Let me paraphrase Yasser Arafat’s statement in which he compared two main Israeli politicians – in essence, the difference between the Republicans and the Democrats is similar to the difference between Coca Cola and Pepsi Cola. He forgot to mention that both of these soft drinks are unhealthy.

Once as I formed my attitude towards America, I looked at the other side. How many people feel ashamed about their national choice both in the year 2000 as well as four years later [like Serbs]. Let's neglect vote count in Florida as almost 60 million of Americans turned out to be very foolish […]. The other America which counts [votes] is almost equally foolish; they just don’t possess power to vote them out. They make pretty funny t-shirts [these days], they sell calendars which count down the rest of the small Bush’s days in office […]

It all appears pretty vivid and funny, but the essence of it all is that power is held by the elites attempting to satisfy their own interests. The Democrats are a bit better than the Republicans, but still, the world remains in great danger [from them all].

Why all these words [from me]. Well, except that they got harmful global policies, that their home policies often neglect those in greatest need, that they have terrible health care system, this country is really great. A few nights ago, an earthquake struck the area where I live. After five minutes of panic which I experienced in front of my house, I returned inside to check if there was any report about what happened accessible online. I found precise location of epicenter, exact time when the earth started shaking, altitude and the strength. I was shocked because this is America as well. This is the country of able people, cutting-edge technology, this is the land of opportunity. They can do anything if there is a desire, almost anything. That’s why I am so scared.

Neven’s statement about the USA’s elite sparks a discussion.

Taska Dana says:

I know one country which is not ruled by elite… Serbia…))) […]

[…]

America is the greatest fair in the world… everything is so big there, including fairs… and there are plenty of all kind of traders… you should go to China or India… It's even crazier there…

Nikola Vitas:

It appearas to me that you spotted a few hard issues for America: her attitude towards religion, the influence of corporations, the lack of freedom to choice which turns down the whole democracy story. If you have some spare time it would be interesting to dedicate a whole blog to the impact that the pharmaceutical industry has [on the society of this nation].

[…] While I write this I can hear the sounds of [Leonard Cohen's song] that goes like this:

It's coming through a hole in the air,
from those nights in Tiananmen Square.
It's coming from the feel
that this ain't exactly real,
or it's real, but it ain't exactly there.
From the wars against disorder,
from the sirens night and day,
from the fires of the homeless,
from the ashes of the gay:
Democracy is coming to the U.S.A…

Znikolic:

Neven, four months is pretty short time. You may realize four years from now that this poll was decided by religious leaders as they stood by not giving their support to the Republicans. You can already see the price of this behavior with the moderate statements from the winning team (the Democrats), and you will be able to see this in the following months and years.

America is founded by the people who left their own country because of their religious beliefs. Religion is therefore inscripted deeply within the American society.

The Declaration of Independence states: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

American congress resolution from the year of 2000: “Whereas the national motto of the United States is ‘In God we trust'; … Whereas nearly every criminal law on the books can be traced to some religious principle or inspiration … Whereas the national motto recognizes the historical fact that our Nation was believed to have been founded ‘under God'…”

A local law in the state of Texas from the year of 2003: “Sec. 1.004. DISPLAY OF NATIONAL MOTTO. A public elementary or secondary school or an institution of higher education as defined by Section 61.003 may display the United States national motto, ‘In God We Trust,’ in each classroom, auditorium, and cafeteria.”

As all the statistics data tell us that Americans are dedicated to religion much more than citizens of any other developed nation. On the other hand, Americans are very tolerant when it comes to religious liberties and convictions than any other developed nation.

The same way America used to present political ideas of freedom and democracy, products like Coca Cola and jeans, America will offer her conservative but pragmatic and tolerant religiosity to the world.

7 comments

  • raincrow

    Consumerism, wealth, religiosity, imperialism, and somewhat prickly and limited tolerance have been hallmarks of the American psyche since Europeans first got here (maybe it’s something in the water??). These forces ascend every few decades, and we make ourselves and the rest of the world miserable. Then our opposite pole exerts itself: the equally American disdain for consumerism, wealth, religiosity, imperialism, and limited tolerance.

    I’m a poor student of history, but this is either the 3rd or 4th time the U.S. citizenry has — for reasons unfathomable to me — allowed plutocratic, corporatist/monopolist, imperialist, adventurist robber barons to take over the government and legislatures, raping and pillaging the nation and world for their own glory, amusement, and enrichment, all done in the name of God and Manifest Destiny. We’ve cut them down to size before and we’re in the process of trying to do so again.

    As the planet warms, the squeeze on agricultural lands and potable water become more acute, and people begin migrating en masse toward the poles, I can only see the entire world becoming more conservative, selfish, nationalistic, warlike, and intolerant. Life on Earth is going to be very interesting by 2040. Add more nuclear weapons, shake don’t stir…

  • An interesting and respectable opinion. But I can’t help finding this Americano-scepticism, the dominant mood of the age, a bit sad. Ignorant, even. Whatever you call the USA, there is no escaping that it is democratic. Americans elect everyone from school governors to dog catchers. And as for the Evil Empire thesis, I have a awkward question: What, precisely, are the alternatives? The American “empire” replaced much worse ones (German, Russian, British even), and it will surely be displaced by China within a few decades. Will it really seem so bad then?

  • I used to think that the democrats and republicans were twidle-dee and twidle-dum until Reagon came along, and I learned there is a difference, as there is between Bush2 and Clinton. However, I was saddly surprised that it has taken US 6 years to figure out that the Bushits are not only not on our side, but they are incompetent as well. Being an optimist, I expect that since the pendelum swung so far right, it will now swing well to the left, and hopefully stay there for a good long time. How are things in Serbia? In 1964 I enjoyed hitch-hiking around a peaceful and friendly Yugoslavia. I hope that Serbia is again living in peace and getting along with its nieghbors.

  • divide to rule – that’s how they made conflicts in the Balkans. World would be much better without politicians. I truly believe people would be much happier if we fight for common interest together. But the problem is – mighty guys, so called elite comes to power to rule and get all the money from poor people, that is reality anywhere.

    We have to promote values of positivism. Global Voices is a great place for that. But, it has to spread and go beyond internet. Understanding and talks are essentials.

  • Matt Coatney

    As an American I am apauled by the ignorance and apathy of most people I meet. But I understand why some people choose to go along with the wolves in control because, although Im not a fighter, Ive been in many fights simply for expressing my beliefs. The sad part is all Im talking about is peace. I’m not a christian but most people I meet are and these are the biggest biggots and war mongers I know. They believe these wars they start are justified in their Christ, they believe the corporations that stomp the backs of the poor in other countries for cheaper production are a gift from their Christ and they believe they have a god given right to do whatever they will anywhere in the world and at the end of the day Jesus loves them for it. Yet they don’t actually want to help anyone inside this country that needs it let alone other countries unless it gets them something. It makes me sick. They call themselves Christians and if that is a Christian I’d like to see them all burned alive. I really think its an evil attitude and an evil way of life.

  • Raj

    Some good thoughts but deeper analysis of the US politics shows that there are only three real groups in US – Corporate Lobby, Arabist Lobby and the very weak Centrist US Patriots. The liberal left and the religious right are just the narrative cover for policies to benefit these two main lobbies. There interests are usually aligned and always against the American people.

    The bombing of Serbia by NATO was fostered by the alliance of Arabists(Saudi, State Department) and the Corporate(Soros, Rudd-Finn). All these Arabist Albright, Holbrooke, Wesley Clark, Media all have been well compensated for their efforts by these lobbies.

    So yes, we the Americans can do anything but we have traitors in our midst well compensated by our enemies who have penetrated our government at the highest levels and continue to do so every day. Till this is rectified US will keep going downhill with muddled policies were the only goal is to act for the benefit of these two lobbies, not American interests.

  • MVJ

    Interesting, but incomplete analysis. It’s very arogant to think that in 4 months one could understand and summarize a nation as large and as diverse as the US (and I’m a first generation Serb-American). Although most points made in this analysis are not incorrect, they are not well balanced. My take is that if America is so “bad” why is everyone trying to move here. Anyone who does not like it here is free to leave (and the rest of us won’t mind).

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