New Zealand's anti-Americanism?

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New Zealand's anti-Americanism?

Postby Haggis@wk » Tue Oct 09, 2007 5:56 pm

WHOA! I was stunned to read this post so I figured I'd let Dai weigh in with some comments.

Yet Only 29% of New Zealanders had a positive view of the United States in 2004. That puts it on par with Pakistan at 30% and below Russia (43%) and China (42%). So much for the idea that shared cultural ties can bind people together.

In 2005, an American working as a high school teacher in rural New Zealand filed a lawsuit in the country's Human Rights Commission after being verbally abused by his students because of his nationality. Another American, Douglas Sparks, brought his family to the country to oversee the Anglican Church's Wellington Cathedral. Two years later he left vowing never to return after being the target of anti-US graffiti and his children were taunted in school by classmates telling them they hoped American soldiers would be killed in Iraq.

That same year outgoing US ambassador Charles Swindells in his final speech slammed New Zealanders for indulging in "empty, inaccurate criticism of US ideals or actions that offers no constructive alternatives and gives no credit where credit is due."


Given my mostly favorable opinion (and I assume many other Americans as well) of New Zealand and New Zealanders this, if true, comes as quite a shock.

Dai?
The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.” Alexis De Tocqueville 1835
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Re: New Zealand's anti-Americanism?

Postby piqaboo » Wed Oct 10, 2007 8:46 am

an American working as a high school teacher in rural New Zealand filed a lawsuit in the country's Human Rights Commission after being verbally abused by his students because of his nationality.

NZ aside, that's pathetic. He was the teacher for pete's sake. Controlling the kids is his job! He shouldn't allow students to verbally abuse anyone, for any reason, and especially not himself. I suspect the only things those kids learned that year was their power. Clearly an eyedeetentee problem.
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Re: New Zealand's anti-Americanism?

Postby Shapley » Wed Oct 10, 2007 9:23 am

It's not entirely undeserved. I was in the Navy, and I recall how arrogant many of the sailors could be. I visited Australia a couple of times, never New Zealand, and I remember well how many sailors seemed to be of the opinion that we were 'owed' something by our Southern Hemisphere friends, apparently due to World War II. They seemed blissfully unaware that, even then, the majority of citizens living there had not been alive during that war.

To be sure, the older generation there, those who lived through WWII, were exceptionally kind to American sailors, as were the majority of those younger. The 'enlightened' among the younger generation, who had not lived through the war, seemed to feel no obligation to a bunch of arrogant young Americans who hadn't fought in one. Just as the 'enlightened' younger generation here opposes war and those who seem to support it, there is a growing resentment to 'imperialist' policies which are percieved to originate in America (following, presumably, our British heritage). It is not surprising to me that Academia seems to be the hotbed of this attitude abroad, just as it is here.

I suspect that New Zealand's anti-nuclear movement spurred the growing distaste further. Americans seemed to feel they had been slapped in the face by New Zealand's refusal to harbour vessels that would not declare themselves 'nuclear free' (a declaration that would violate Naval policy). When we refused to make the declaration, and simply chose to abandon visits to New Zealand ports, we were rather vocal about it, berating New Zealanders for their ignorance of world affairs. There was still a Cold War and a Soviet Union at the time, leaving many Americans with the feeling that New Zealand was striking a blow against the policies of Ronaldus Maximus just at the moment that those policies were on the verge of defeating the Soviet Union and ending nearly 40 years of cold war.

Keep in mind that the bashing of American policies is in vogue right now. The barbarian Bush is bringing the world to ruin, just as the barbarian Reagan brought us to edge of nuclear destruction, or so the perception is wrought. I think New Zealands' anti-Americanism is no more or less pronounced than that of Europe, Asia, or South America. This President, whether right or wrong, values security over diplomacy, and is willing to suffer the slings and arrows of those who see capitulation as preferable to confrontation.

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Re: New Zealand's anti-Americanism?

Postby Catmando » Wed Oct 10, 2007 11:36 am

Shapley wrote:I think New Zealands' anti-Americanism is no more or less pronounced than that of Europe, Asia, or South America.
V/R
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You can also include us, the neighbors up North, in that group. :) I'm sure it's more than New Zealand's 29% positive outview of America, but nonetheless, many Canadians don't have a positive view of America (right or wrong).
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Re: New Zealand's anti-Americanism?

Postby barfle » Wed Oct 10, 2007 11:38 am

All that good will after 9/11, right down the drain.

He did promise to lead, he just didn't say where.
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Re: New Zealand's anti-Americanism?

Postby Shapley » Wed Oct 10, 2007 12:19 pm

All that good will after 9/11, right down the drain.


All that good will and $1 will get a Coke at the 7-11. The good will lasted until we started acting against those that acted against us and against those that support terror worldwide. Call it good will or call it sympathy, if it requires inaction and captulation to maintain, I won't mourn its' loss.

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Re: New Zealand's anti-Americanism?

Postby barfle » Wed Oct 10, 2007 4:16 pm

Shapley wrote:All that good will and $1 will get a Coke at the 7-11.

And military bases, and trade agreements, and help when we need it.

I don't recall anyone but the Taliban getting upset over our going after bin laden. Now that we've opened up Iraq to terrorist activity, it seems as though we've simply given them an easier target with our name on it.
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Re: New Zealand's anti-Americanism?

Postby Haggis@wk » Wed Oct 10, 2007 4:19 pm

barfle wrote:All that good will after 9/11, right down the drain.

He did promise to lead, he just didn't say where.


C’mon Barf, you've never been that two dimensional, what "good will"? The Palestinians dancing in the street? The Muslims in London praising Allah? The Liberal Left intelligentsia of Europe quietly congratulating themselves for their sophistication that kept them from being victims? Not that that self-congratulation gave them much more breathing space.

Jeebus! When will people realized that they.have.never.loved.us.ever? They began wishing for our destruction as early as the Civil War. Think it was just altruism that led the English and French to help arm the South?

What the hell can we do with goodwill? Give me an example please of goodwill doing any country any good, ever? Ya can’t eat it, ya can’t wear it, it has no resale value and it is worthless.



GAAAK! I'll just settle for the status quo; fear, envy and an overwhelming desire to immigrate to the U.S.

Yeah, I know, just because they hate us they still list the U.S. as the place they'd like to immigrate to; go figure.
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Re: New Zealand's anti-Americanism?

Postby Haggis@wk » Wed Oct 10, 2007 4:21 pm

barfle wrote:
Shapley wrote:All that good will and $1 will get a Coke at the 7-11.

And military bases, and trade agreements, and help when we need it.

[quote]

Oh bullhockey, Barf. No good will has ever gotten us a trade deal or a base. The only thing that got us bases was money or occupation. Trade? Puh-lese, that comes from vested self interest.
The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.” Alexis De Tocqueville 1835
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Re: New Zealand's anti-Americanism?

Postby Shapley » Wed Oct 10, 2007 4:29 pm

And military bases, and trade agreements, and help when we need it.


Most of our military bases outside the U.S. are there are a result of war - Korea, Germany, the Philippines (now lost in the name of good will), Japan, Cuba. War doesn't usually leave good will in its' wake, but it does leave military bases.

Turkey may be the exception, but it is the Democrats, not the Bush administration, that is trying to P*** them off right now.

We have trade agreements based on mutual desire for goods and services, not good will. Right now most of our trade goods come from China, who has never been much for good will with us.

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Re: New Zealand's anti-Americanism?

Postby Shapley » Wed Oct 10, 2007 4:57 pm

You can also include us, the neighbors up North, in that group. I'm sure it's more than New Zealand's 29% positive outview of America, but nonetheless, many Canadians don't have a positive view of America (right or wrong).


Cat,

That's probably true, but I don't recall that it is noticably worse than it was twenty years ago. During the Vietnam years Canada was harbouring our draft dodgers, which generated ill-will between us. During the term of Ronaldus Maximus I recall there being friction, although I don't recall exactly what the cause was (probably nuclear proliferation, star wars, the military buildup, or some such...). President Bush I worked on NAFTA during his term, which was signed and ratified during the administration of his successor. That generated levels of good and bad will, but I don't have a feel for the overall effect.

I guess I could Google the historic poll numbers and see how our 'good will' has held up with our northern neighber over the decades, but it's time to go home. Maybe later....

:D

V/R

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Re: New Zealand's anti-Americanism?

Postby dai bread » Wed Oct 10, 2007 7:43 pm

Well, where to start?

I read the posts Haggis referred to, and agree totally that the girl's behaviour in Tanzania was disgraceful. I hope the Wife was able to put her in her place.

IMO, anti-Americanism, here as elsewhere, is primarily fuelled by jealousy. As Haggis points out, the hated U.S. is the place with the immigration problem. But so is the Europe he & others revile, particularly Britain.
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Re: New Zealand's anti-Americanism?

Postby dai bread » Wed Oct 10, 2007 7:44 pm

Our Prime Minister, Helen Clark, cut her political teeth in the University of Auckland's common-room at the time of the Vietnam affair. That makes her anti-American by definition, since she's vaguely left-wing. American foreign policy left a lot to be desired then, as indeed it had for years before, and since. You have been in bed with some unsavoury regimes in Africa & Asia just because they were anti-communist. South Vietnam & South Korea come to mind, as does Saddam's Iraq. Those regimes have changed since, of course, but only one through American intervention. And whatever happened to the Iraqi Marsh Arabs who were encouraged to rise against Saddam and were then hung out to dry?
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Re: New Zealand's anti-Americanism?

Postby dai bread » Wed Oct 10, 2007 7:45 pm

I'm consistently told Americans on their home turf are the kindest, most generous people you could ever wish to meet. Unfortunately that attitude can get left behind when they leave the U.S. Paul Buchanan, for instance, who is mentioned in the posts Haggis referred to, fired off a brutal e-mail to an Arab student. Maybe she was incompetent in his subject, and her English wasn't up to scratch, but what he wrote was cruel. If he felt he needed to say it, he should have had the courage to say it to her face. The NZ Herald published his e-mail, and her original e-mail to him that triggered the vitriolic response.
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Re: New Zealand's anti-Americanism?

Postby dai bread » Wed Oct 10, 2007 7:46 pm

The nuclear ships embargo was very unfortunate. The legislation was passed to shut up the left wing of the Labour Govt. while the right wing shafted us by selling State assets to privateers at knock-down prices. The U.S. administration of the time (and since) reacted badly, in a way that looked very much like bullying, and could only be described as petulant if I was feeling kind. The only worse instance was the French attitude after we'd caught a couple of their agents after they sank the Greenpeace ship "Rainbow Warrior" in Auckland Harbour. The French turned the screws on our trade with French Polynesia. (French Polynesia is considered a Department of France, and is not independent).
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Re: New Zealand's anti-Americanism?

Postby dai bread » Wed Oct 10, 2007 7:48 pm

I am surprised at the findings of anti-Americanism in the young. Our Polynesian brethren take their lead from Black Americans as seen on TV., and so do many of their Pakeha colleagues. I'd like to know what questions were asked, where, when and of whom.

My sister in Montana keeps her NZ passport, and uses it. Americans are not popular, she says.

Then there are the "free" trade agreements. I've read of complaints from Canadians about NAFTA, though the Australians aren't saying much about their agreement, and neither are the Mexicans. Not that I've read, anyway. When the Australian agreement was signed, it was widely panned as giving a lot to the U.S. and little to Australia. As far a NZ is concerned, any free trade agreement that excludes agriculture and its derivatives (timber, meat, dairy for instance) is a waste of ink. There is no prospect of getting agriculture included in a free trade agreement with the U.S. (or the E.U.).
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Re: New Zealand's anti-Americanism?

Postby dai bread » Wed Oct 10, 2007 7:49 pm

On a local level, U.S. businesses can leave something to be desired. My Kodak camera flash doesn't work, so I took it into a Kodak shop for repair. I was told that it would be sent out, not to a commercial repairer rather than Kodak; not to another repairer in, say, Wellington, but right out of the country to AUSTRALIA! This in a region of a million people! No wonder we buy Japanese. Just BTW, the Kodak is a good camera. It's been superseded as everything is these days the minute you take it out the shop door, but I like it all the same.

The U.S. had a lot of goodwill and sympathy after 9/11; obviously not in the instances cited, but in more reasonable places like here. Had the Bush Administration kept itself to Afghanistan, it would have enjoyed considerable support. We have troops in Afghanistan, as I have mentioned. We do not have troops in Iraq.

This is a bit of a ramble. Sorry. And I'm going to have to split it. The BBB won't handle long posts.
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Re: New Zealand's anti-Americanism?

Postby dai bread » Wed Oct 10, 2007 8:11 pm

"That same year outgoing US ambassador Charles Swindells in his final speech slammed New Zealanders for indulging in "empty, inaccurate criticism of US ideals or actions that offers no constructive alternatives and gives no credit where credit is due."

I should add that the leaders Charles Swindells would have associated with here are of an age with Helen Clark and went through the same political mill.

I should probably also add that I, being one who was born before WW2, refuse to rubbish Americans just because I don't like their Administrations' foreign policies.
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Re: New Zealand's anti-Americanism?

Postby Shapley » Thu Oct 11, 2007 9:37 am

Then there are the "free" trade agreements. I've read of complaints from Canadians about NAFTA, though the Australians aren't saying much about their agreement, and neither are the Mexicans. Not that I've read, anyway. When the Australian agreement was signed, it was widely panned as giving a lot to the U.S. and little to Australia. As far a NZ is concerned, any free trade agreement that excludes agriculture and its derivatives (timber, meat, dairy for instance) is a waste of ink. There is no prospect of getting agriculture included in a free trade agreement with the U.S. (or the E.U.).


Agreements are just that, agreements. Both sides sit down and hammer out a compromise on trade policy that they believe will be mutually beneficial. The legislatures vote on whether or not to approve them, and only then are they put into place. Granted, one side (in this case the U.S.) generally negotiates from a position of greater strength (i.e., they have more to offer than the other side), but if the agreement is beneficial, or perceived as beneficial, it will not be accepted.

They are always a compromise, so neither side is going to be completely happy.

Free trade, in my view, is free. It doesn't need governmental agreements or tariff restrictions or quotas. It also doesn't exist. Governments use the term 'free trade agreement' to describe agreements that are anything but. When Republicans are in power here, they tend to be closer to free trade than when Democrats are in power, although there is no guarantee that this will be the case. In any case, by the time the agreement is signed, it will be hundreds or thousands of pages long, with varying restrictions on everything traded between the two. Meanwhile, trading partners will have already begun the process of decided how to adjust their marketing proceedures to obtain the best deal in the face of the new restrictions.

Sometimes these restrictions backfire, and they help the people their supposed to hurt and hurt the people their supposed to help. Always, it seems, there is someone who has already read the fine print and figured out a way to turn the changes to his advantage.

A number of years back, we decided to punish the evil government of South Africa by restricting imports from that nation. However, that nation was the primary exporter of Chromium, which was necessary for us to make stainless steel, among other things. Naturally, we began buying more Chromium from other exporting nations, buying it in levels far beyond their production capabilities. No one seemed to question this, or question the fact that South African Chromium production seemed not to be dropping. We were being noble, paying a premium for our Chromium, enriching lots of people between us and South Africa, where the Chromium was ultimately coming from. It was a sham, but it made some people feel good knowing that we were ripping off our own consumers and enriching foreign traders, all for a good cause.

Such is life.

V/R
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Re: New Zealand's anti-Americanism?

Postby barfle » Thu Oct 11, 2007 10:48 am

I'm sure neither Shap nor Haggis will be happy until the United States is the enemy of every other country on earth, and our entire budget is dedicated to defense.

If you are as pleased as you seem to be about upsetting a country as benign as New Zealand, what's next? California?
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