from hollywood to Kathmandu, blame US

Author: Faris Nejad

    THE PRESIDENT of Venezuela meets his Iranian counterpart at the 7th session of the Assembly of the African Union. And the subject of the meeting is, well... it is not about Central America. Nor is it about the Middle East. Is it about Asia? No! Then, it must be about Africa. Wrong again.

    The meeting was about Anti-Americanism. This is the new common ground. For every America bashing, you get so many points and if you get enough points, you get to meet the other leaders, the really really big anti-Americans, the ones who got the popular votes and whose national agendas go from public path reconstruction to rubbish disposal and from forestry preservation to combating poverty.

    Public health, education, workers rights and water supply to remote areas, all these are overshadowed by one concept: Good old Anti-Americanism. The trouble is, you can't really build a bridge, improve your health service or turn salt water to drinking water based on the sentiment.

    But for all the members of the club, on the political front at least, it is truly an easy ride from now on. Anything that goes wrong, just blame it on the Americans. And the best advantage of this obsessive disorder is that it is fed regularly by the political and administrative mistakes of the United States, reported regularly in newspapers, TV stations, web sites, radio and the topic of family chats over dinner all around the world.

    The truth is that the world has actually been contaminated by an American disease known and recognised for decades by political scientists. It is called single issue politics. This simply means, as the name suggests, to be obsessed with one issue. It means you make your mind up on political issues based on one topic. So, in other words, if you are anti-abortion, you vote for the person who shares your beliefs on abortion and what he does with economic policies or war is of no concern to you.

    This reminds me of a US presidential candidate who, before giving a speech, pushed or kicked a dog off a platform (kicked or pushed - the truth will come out in 50 years). Apparently, he lost thousands of pet owners' support and he had to immediately adopt a dog who accompanied him for the rest of his campaign and was present in all the posters. Yes, in the US one may vote for a president just because he loves dogs. Political scientists call it single doggy policy.

    What is striking is that the modern anti-yankis share similar symptoms of the disease. There are no grey areas, there are no good Americans, there is no difference between anti-war lobbies in the US and the society for the preservation of rural foxes. There is no difference between the Democrats and the Republicans, there is no difference between American militarism and, say, medical researchers in cancer.

    Whatever comes from America is bad and the thousands of demonstrators who for years have been filling the streets of major US cities in protest of their homeland's policies are just on a day out. They think like a Hollywood movie, where there are good guys and bad guys, black or white and nothing in between.

    Such narrow mindedness. Is this America's fault too? The easy answer is, yes, of course. And club membership is free. Just join, and by the time Venezuela finishes its talks with Iran, we will have plenty more for which to blame America.