In this topic I'm more with Lewis and with Schoenorama than with anybody else.
Schoenorama wrote very prudently "patriotism". Yes: this is what most non-Americans have mainly problem with. But I'm quite more graphic and call this "patriotism" things like "blind-stupid-self-sufficiency-center-of-the-world's-best-superior-American-pride" or whatever comes to my mind when I type an opinion.
In any case, I find Schoenorama's opinion very logical about foreign culture knowledge.
And, finally, what bothers more is not the patriotism itself (which is nothing less but logical to everybody loving his/her country) but the way to express it. In another topic, I wrote something about this "selfishness" and arrogancy, and a user called rwy04LGA (by the way, disappeared from the forums) sent me an e-mail, where among other things he wrote
Every country in the world complains about the US but come running to them for help when they get into trouble. If I were president of the US I would stop ALL foreign aid to every country. I would stop ALL immigration to the US from EVERY country. If the US is so bad, why are so many people trying to come here?
Yes...the Americans are arrogant and self-righteous. They have EVERY reason to be!!
Of course, my answer couldn't be any other but
I have different opinions on why US entered WW2, and has to do with Japs devastating Pearl Harbour. I don't know what did US look for in Europe, because they stopped a fascist in Germany, but afterwards they largely and widely supported another one in Spain. Also why US had such a great interest in Kuwait: they do not give a $h*t about it or its people, but there's two main reasons:
1.-the deep hatred (common with the whole world) against Saddam Hussein
2.-the huge amounts of petroleum existing there
Why don't the States show the same interest in the Israelian-Palestinian subject? Or in the Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia? The immediate neighbour is another traditional US "supporter": Greece (the government, not the citizens...). But what? there's no economic interest... Why did they NOT stop the turks in its Cyprus invasion in 1974? Why do they allow the turkish army to remaining there? What about the rights of the Cypriots? it is easy: Turkey buys dozens of Boeings and bilions or trillions in military equipment, so US does not give a $h*t for a f*ck*ng island lost in a small pond between Europe and Africa, because it has only 400,000 population and returns zero revenue to the Empire of the Eagle. The White House has made itself the police of the world, but only where there's economic interest.
About the "arrogancy" and the "self-rightness", NO PAL!! Nobody has the right to be so.
You may love your country. You may be in love with it so much that you don't mind loosing your life in its defence. You can even be proud of your country. But the lines between pride and self-sufficiency, between altiveness and arrogancy, between rightness and self-rightness are very thin, and many members of the forum do not know too well were to stop. Humbleness is a better quality than the ones you claim, and feel superior because your passport wears a large eagle and writes "United States of America" is a proof of mind emptyness and lack of common sense.
Finally, if you were the president of US, you would stop nothing. Immigration is an economic power, and, if controlled, represents a work force that every evolutioned and growing country needs. You stick on how many foreigners go and try to get a work in USA. Do you know how many come into the EU? Can you imagine how many yanks do I personally know, only me? We have a much worse problem here: all what you get is a bunch of Cubans and Mexicans. Rio Bravo is a line where these wet-backs are freely shot at even by american civilians. Yesterday only, 1,000 africans, mainly from Morocco, Guinea and Niger, tried to cross the Gibraltar Strait and get illegaly into Spain. Many others from Algeria and Tunis try to do the same into Italy, and Turks, Bulgarians and specially Albanians into Greece. And all Europe is sorrounded by ex-comunist countries with unemployment rates above 30% and inflations from 250% in Hungary until 2,100% in Turkey. Despite of all this, I could tell you about the colony of 15,000 yanks registered in the US Consulate in Barcelona and maybe another 10,000 estimated by the City Hall, not registered, along with, for example 27,000 brazilians, 30,000 Moroccans, 35,000 Chinese, 10,000 Argentinian and Chilean, etc, etc. All of these ones have come with their families, and live and work legally. Then, there are about 100,000 illegal people who work in the undeclared occupation, or live in the street washing windscreens, selling napkins, or... robbing. And I am talking only about the city of Barcelona, which has 1,500,000 population, almost 3,000,000 in the whole metropolitan area, a half circle, cut by the seashore, of 50 kms (30 miles) diameter.
So, open your eyes, become a little less selfish, a little more humble and tolerant, and learn abour other (worse) problems before you complain about your own ones, sometimes unfoundedly.
The first part of my replay could also apply to Alpha 1, as I made reference to the balkans and Kuwait.
In Kuwait US started a war on its own interest, but in the Balkans they do nothing else than put the quote of their soldiers agreed by NATO. Do not forget that the people there make humanitarian tasks more than other things, and that they are NOT only AMERICANS: they are BLUE HELMETS. American, AND German, AND French, AND Italian, AND Spanish, AND British, AND Greeks, AND Turks, AND AND AND AND.
Usa_Boeing's justification on why should Americans (or himself) know or care about other countries very poor and sad. Do you know what does "General Culture" mean? For sure knowing some things is not going to save you, but as we say in Spanish "el saber no ocupa lugar" (knowledge takes no room), and, see it on the egoistic side, the more you exercise your brain, the better, faster and brighter it gets.
Finally, I wonder about the average intellectual level of this kind of "patriots": many of these people DO NOT KNOW HOW TO WRITE ENGLISH THE CORRECT WAY!!!
C'mon!!! I have seen sentences like "They're American" written "There American" or "Their American"
"Your" instead of "you're" and "were" (OK, this one maybe typographic) or "where" instead of "we're", mistakes between "her" and "here" and even "hier" (?), all from AMERICAN people. IT IS A SHAME!!! It's your mother tongue!!! I learnt it after my 18th birthday. For sure I have some distortions in the sentence constructions, influenced my my own language, and also French, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish and Greek due to the old age I studied the foreign ones. But such ashaming spelling mistakes...
This is what, in my humble opinion, is expressed in so many "hatred to the USA" posts (by the way, "hatred" is the correct word, the substantive that refers to the feeling; "hate" is THE VERB). We do not hate USA or its citizens themselves, but just do not like this selfishness I wrote before, nor the arrogancy used by many people, and the attitudes of all the consecutive US Governements.
Hope this helps