Global double standard unfair to Americans

By Nima Tabatabai

Worldwide anti-American sentiment has grown to epidemic proportions. I’m not speaking of the Taliban’s hatred or that of other extremists, but of the variable resentment we all hold for everything Yanks do.

Whenever America does something which affects those of us outside its borders, the whole world shakes its head and mutters, "they’re only doing it for their oil interests," "the Yanks just want to have a sphere of influence in South Asia," or, the all-time favourite, "America just wants to cause tension to sell more weapons."

Of course every move they make is in their own interest. Self-gain is the only factor in decision-making, be it for individuals or nations.

Just take a look at yourself. Everything you do is in your own self-interest. You pay through the nose for a degree which will hopefully get you ahead later in life. Or conversely, you skip a class or two and hang out with friends. That degree will benefit you, as will the good times you’ll have with your pals while earning it.

Having a pint with friends is for your own gain, as you benefit psychologically by relaxing and forgetting about your worries for a while. Even money donated to charity boils down to a need to subdue a subconscious guilt borne of your relative good fortune.

So why do we expect nations, America specifically, to behave any differently? A nation is an organism running on the psyche of its citizens and leaders. When the Canadian government chooses to contribute to foreign aid it is not out of sympathy for the starving.

On the contrary, they do it to improve their own chances of being re-elected, knowing Canadians will not look highly upon a government that tarnishes our benevolent image.

Every nation plays the game of international diplomacy for its own benefit, and America is no different. However, when America does it, everyone notices. Superpowers inherently have a finger in every pie and its decisions therefore affect and are noticed by everyone.

Britain, France, Japan and Russia all make international decisions that propel injustice and poverty. But no one notices-we’re all too busy keeping our eyes on Uncle Sam.

One of the biggest gripes people have with America is its pervasive role in the Israel-Palestine situation. America sees maintaining a strong Israeli state fighting with Palestinian terrorists as a means of ensuring Israel needs America for its survival. Ultimately this ensures another pawn in the grand game of Middle East chess. America’s support of Israel is not ethnically or religiously driven, but based on the fact that an Israeli state is a more valuable interest to them than a Palestinian state. America could have willed a Palestinian state over a decade ago if it so desired. To this day lives are lost over this endless conflict, but a government cannot place the lives of foreign individuals before the interests of its own people.

America was propelled from a nation of uncivil rebels to the sole global superpower in only a couple of centuries because of its keen, at times cutthroat, foreign policy.

Their recent abandonment of the Kyoto Protocol is a prime example of this. The treaty hindered their economic well-being so they boldly walked out of it. No other nation has the balls or the might to shatter an international treaty-precisely why America is considered the lone superpower.

They’ve never played Mr. Nice Guy before and they won’t start anytime soon. Every decision is made with the sole purpose of serving one’s own self-interest. Don’t hold a double standard-one for yourself, Canada and the rest of the world and one for America. It’s for your own good.

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