Given that I am South African, I have never much loved America. In the Iraq war, some of the kids at my school went with their parents to Iraq to be human shields, along with government ministers. I did not, I am not an idiot. Besides, I was slightly worried about those "nuclear bombs" The Star or some paper warned of. I also did not believe Iraq was worth anyone's interest defending... Though I may have refused lunch in honour of those whose lives America was ending. It was fascinating to watch the war!
Unmentioned the many Christian casualties still being killed in a genocide, perhaps the reason the pope had warned America not to invade Iraq.
And I remember a conversation when I and another wondered at the audacity of an American tourist to wear a t-shirt or shirt with their flag on. They must have been brave, we thought!
South Africa is allied strongly with China, with Sudan, and many other nations. We have often counter-acted America on the global stage. Zimbabwe is just one case, from a country (our country) which is alleged to sell arms (military radar equipment) to North Korea.
As a liberal South African (conservative by American standards, and less left than our government- here liberal is the right wing), I often find myself defending the west. As a white South African, I am it's face.
Truly I did oppose, and still believe as evil: America's deceptive and illegal invasion into Iraq, even as I oppose their military assistance to Yemen and other nations. I believe America to have no jurisdiction in Africa, no right to tell our people to run our own democracies- no right to interfere in Africa's civil wars. Perhaps the UN has such right, but I do not believe America has any such right to endanger the world, nor any right to impose it's views on us by a new sort of imperialism.
They cannot be judge and jury. Assassination is just that!
Yet more than America do I fear China, fear Russia, fear North Korea, and Iran (as strategic to Russia as Israel is to America).
I guess, my view is this: America has much good and bad, but it does not rule the world, and far be it from the world to hear it's words as anything but opinion.
I look to America as the hope of changing the world back- from what its media, and military games have made it. I look to its people without the apathy we in South Africa have. I look to it's perseverance and it's people, some of them extremely foolish, but some wise, very wise.
Like others I fear the American influence on the continent! I outright reject the value system forced on us. I despise their materialism, and lack of self control. The American arrogance which costs lives here in Africa: be it aid which collapses local economies, or efforts to fight AIDS which ignore human psychology and only spread it.
Though the way George Bush fought AIDS in Africa was admirable, and I prefer the inward looking Republicans, to the imperial Democrats.
In essence, in their natural habitat I love America and Americans. But I am also South African,
And as such I also believe in limits to American power.
I believe our own peoples should be allowed the chance to solve our own problems, before troops or sanctions come.
I think that while I am prepared to believe the existence of America and the freedom of its people - are good things, that America should equally trust our own peoples to control ourselves, or else really try to do good, rather than enforcing their own view of their own good. Yemen could have enjoyed help years ago- perhaps a political spotlight onto a nation now fighting two wars on it's own people.
I love America- it represents hope! But with the love of an illicit lover, I hope it will become more! I hope it will choose to play as an equal and listen to us others. I pray it will act for its own interest, or else police the world: but not juggle both and condemn so many minorities and weak peoples.
If America were to ban cheap Chinese goods, others would, but America has chosen trade with one of the greatest human rights abusers in the modern world. Any critical wording we know is just that. And if America really wanted Iran to give up any nuclear ambitions, all know it is Russia they should really speak to. Could they ever expect nations like South Africa to change allegiance to the west, without themselves being allied to the west, to the ideal of human rights, the good of all?
As it is we do military exercises with America and Britain, yet answer often to our allies China, Cuba et al. We unlike America, denied the Dalai Lama entrance into our country.
And America selectively imposes sanctions or attacks nations, then expects us to treat them as having any moral high ground?
So, as a South African, I view America as both a possibly dangerous, possibly good nation. It holds both, and its contrast is what keeps it open, a hope for democracies in a world where democracies are declining, where terror, terrorism, dictatorship and special interests rule, much of our lands, as with the death fire of war. Yet a danger to them, as its presidents are so concerned with promoting their own ideology, beyond the good of the world!
America holds good. Even some American art and publication. America holds wisdom, holds love, holds hate. Holds a diversity which shames us elsewhere.
Yet, it is a nation like any other. It is not the centre, it is not God. It can do good, or its people have. Yet, given its power, it also has and can do such harm, even by trying to help. This is what makes me cry.
I am glad South Africa has to clutch at every diplomatic straw! It forces our people to think. We are very far from perfect, violence breaks out somewhere in the country almost daily, and we are answerable for Zimbabwe, perhaps Sudan and much else. Yet our government does not pretend to aid any but our own government. We are only another powerful nation.
I truly hope America becomes greater than what South Africa, Russia, China, India, Britain are. Perhaps with their power they could stop the global slide into war and harm, where disease is so powerful, and trade trumps human and child rights! But we shall see. It is exiting to see!