Monday, October 11, 2010

America and the World - Russia

The article is from an online Russian newspaper, and is about the US military, and the affect it has on other countries. Although this article is posted on a Russian website, the main topic is America’s relationship with Iran, so the article should be “neutral” (Although after reading the article it is obvious that the writer is strongly against America)

“Because the US is unable to take on a well-armed, well-organized nation like Iran on its own, it needs all the foreign support it can lay its hands on. Even so, as long as a US commander is in charge of overall operations, you can be sure these will end in miserable failure.”

This paragraph taken from the article shows the view that the writer has on the US military, going as far to say that US commanders are failures, meaning that even if the US had an overwhelming advantage in a military situation their commanders would find some way of messing it up. This goes against the strong American view that they are a strong and successful military power.

“Since few US 'allies' in its senseless wars against Iraq and Afghanistan remain impervious to the eroding effects upon their internal political stability, even the most modest contributor will sooner or later come to regret its decision to help the US. In Germany, participation in the ill-fated Afghan adventure has caused deep rifts in parliament. Even loyal Britain is feeling the harmful fall out of getting itself into the Afghan roach motel (where roaches check in, but do not check out). So much for the benefits and rewards of the 'special relationship' with Washington.”

This paragraph is interesting as it suggests that the US is to blame for problems in its allied countries. The writer suggests that the US military is so disorganized and weak, that any country which joins them in a military campaign such as Afghanistan will suffer problems later on as America has no chance of being successful, and therefore their allies will suffer as a result.

Not only do US policies erode the stability of their loyal clients ('allies' in US diplomatic parlance), they leave a trail of destruction across the face of the globe. Just ask the Afghans, Iraqis, Pakistanis, Vietnamese, Koreans, Somalis, Colombians, Nicaraguans, Cubans and Serbs”
“What is wrong with the US? Why is it so hard for people over there to accept that not everyone in the world wants to be like them? Why is it so hard for them to understand that the meager trappings of the US style of life can hardly be attractive to people who are used to decent food, decent music and decent cinema?”

In this extract the focus moves from America causing chaos in many countries to an attack on “Americanisation”. The writer’s view is that it is the American way to get involved with everything happening in the world and that when they do join in they cause disaster. The second quote contains a view that many people across the world agree with. That Americanisation has gone too far, and is now ruining the cultures of certain countries, who would rather keep their own customs than adopt the American way of life.

To conclude, this article, despite being in a Russian newspaper, does not mention at all Russia’s relationship with the US but instead focuses on the affect America has on other countries. However, as the article is extremely “anti-American” it could be argued that the problems between America and Russia in the past are coming across in the text, and that the strong opinions in the article are a result of the conflicts between the two. Despite the article containing some valid points, the lack of evidence or a contrasting argument means that the article does have to be treated with some scepticism.

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