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Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Feb. 27, 2007 / 9 Adar, 5767

Provoking dislike throughout the world is part of being an empire

By Niall Ferguson


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Being hated is no fun. And few people hate being hated more than Americans. I wish I had a dollar for every time I've been asked, "Why do they hate us?" — and another for each of the different answers I've heard. It's because of our foreign policy. It's because of their extremism. It's because of our arrogance. It's because of their inferiority complex. Americans really hate not knowing why they're hated.


The best explanation is the simplest. Being hated is what happens to dominant empires. George Orwell knew the feeling. As a young man he served as an assistant police superintendent in British-run Burma, an experience he memorably described in his essay, "Shooting an Elephant." Called upon to kill a pachyderm that had run amok, Orwell was suddenly aware "of the watchful yellow faces behind" him: "The sole thought in my mind was that if anything went wrong those two thousand Burmans would see me pursued, caught, trampled on and reduced to a grinning corpse like that Indian up the hill. And if that happened it was quite probable that some of them would laugh."


Eric Blair — as Orwell was known then — could scarcely have been better prepared for his role as a colonial official. Born in Bengal, the son of a colonial civil servant, he had been educated at Eton, where boys learn not to worry about being hated. Yet even he found the resentment of the natives hard to bear: "In the end the sneering … faces of young men that met me everywhere, the insults hooted after me when I was at a safe distance, got badly on my nerves….[It] was perplexing and upsetting."


That's a feeling American soldiers in Baghdad must know pretty well.


But who hates Americans the most? You might assume that it's people in countries that the United States has recently attacked or threatened to attack. Americans themselves are clear about who their principal enemies are. Asked by Gallup to name the "greatest enemy" of the U.S. today, 26% of those recently polled named Iran, 21% named Iraq and 18% named North Korea.


Are those feelings reciprocated? Up to a point. The Gallup Center for Muslim Studies' latest poll found 52% of Iranians view the U.S. unfavorably. But that is down from 63% in 2001. And it's significantly lower than the antipathy felt in Jordan, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. Two-thirds of Jordanians and Pakistanis have a negative view of the U.S., as do a staggering 79% of Saudis.


These figures suggest a paradox in the Muslim world. It's not the United States' enemies that hate it most. It's people in countries that are supposed to be friendly, if not allies.


The paradox of unfriendly allies is not confined to the Middle East. Last week was not a good week for Americanophiles in Europe. Tony Blair announced British troop withdrawals from Iraq, an unfortunate signal on the eve of the U.S. "surge." In Rome, his counterpart Romano Prodi had to resign because his coalition partners would not agree to keep Italian troops in Afghanistan or to enlarge a U.S. military base in Italy. Anti-Americanism is nothing new in European politics, but there is something new going on here, which extends to traditionally pro-American constituencies.


Back in 1999, 83% of British people surveyed by the U.S. State Department's Office of Research said they had a favorable opinion of the U.S. But by 2006, according to the Pew Global Attitudes Project, only 56% did. British respondents to the Pew surveys now give higher ratings to Germany (75%) and Japan (69%) than to the U.S. — a remarkable transformation in attitudes, given the notorious British tendency to look back nostalgically and unforgivingly to World War II. Britons recently polled by Pew regard the U.S. presence in Iraq as a bigger threat to world peace than Iran or North Korea.


Nor is Britain the only disillusioned ally. Only 38% of Germans and 19% of Canadians believe that U.S. foreign policy considers the interests of others. The poignant fact is that when Americans are asked to rate foreign countries, their most favorable views are of none other than Britain, Germany and Canada.


In the 1990s, Madeleine Albright pompously called the United States "the indispensable nation." Today it seems to have become the indefensible nation, even in the eyes of its supposed friends.


Orwell would have understood. Just as it was the educated beneficiaries of British rule in Asia who were the most strident anti-imperialists in Orwell's day, so the British empire's most natural allies — France and the United States — were anything but Anglophile. For it turns out that power not only corrupts. It also tends to isolate.


There is, after all, a reason why they say it's lonely at the top.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.


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Niall Ferguson is a professor of history at Harvard University. He is the author of "Empire" (Basic Books, 2003) and "Colossus" (Penguin, 2004). Comment by clicking here.


02/21/07: Obama's muddled stance on foreign intervention
02/06/07: Britain's American revolution
01/30/07: Independence isn't always beautiful
01/09/07: The new world order looks terribly familiar
12/16/06: The new world order looks terribly familiar
12/13/06: Baker-Hamilton's fine print: Stay in Iraq
12/05/06: The surrealism of Iraq
11/29/06: Some civil wars never end
11/20/06: Will GOP get last laugh?
10/25/06: America's brittle empire
10/17/06: Failing to stop North Korea from going nuclear may have been the last straw for the onetime guardian of world order
10/03/06: Why Churchill opposed torture
09/27/06: Insanity on a Global Scale
09/19/06: The GOP will hang on
09/13/06: Long Live Royal Bloodlines!
09/05/06: Red-state Republicans and blue-faced liberals are starting to agree: Green is the way
08/29/06: What if the London Bombers Succeeded?
08/15/06: Testing the Limits of the U.N.: Who seriously expects Kofi Annan to stop Al Qaeda terror attacks?
08/08/06: The coming tsunami of trash
07/18/06: Forget the '60s and ‘Make Love, Not War.’ Today's world is facing a Summer of Rage
07/11/06: When will China pull the plug on North Korea?
06/20/06: Hedge funds vs. central bankers: Will inflation, deflation or recession win in the coming months?
06/13/06: Britain's economy is just like America's — minus the entrepreneurs and growth
06/06/06: The X-Men have taken over Washington
05/30/06: Quit protesting, profs!
05/23/06: World markets' wild ride: Economic volatility is back with a vengeance
05/16/06: The Cold Wars are coming
05/09/06: Many commentators are missing dangerous political shift
05/02/06: Put some sugar in your tank
04/25/06: Hu and the dog that didn't bark
04/18/06: Should Americans be less optimistic?
04/11/06: Globalization's second death?
04/04/06: So many ‘special’ friends
03/28/06: Let's get it right about what has gone wrong
03/21/06: Congress is trying to give the world a globotomy
03/14/06: Lame ducks can still bite back
03/07/06: A 19th Century critique of a 21st Century president
02/28/06: The crash of civilizations
02/21/06: Not the president, but close
02/14/06: Want historic trouble? Look south
02/07/06: Greenspan advising Britain? It's housing bubbles, deficits and potential meltdowns all over again
01/31/06: Missing the Cold War
01/24/06: It's a sick, Thick World
01/17/06: Tomorrow's world war today
01/03/06: Scotland, it's over, but keep the accents
12/20/05: History, democracy and Iraq
12/20/05: History, democracy and Iraq
11/22/05: Ghost of Napoleon haunts Tony Blair
11/22/05: Can it happen in Britain too?
11/15/05: Red plus blue equals purple
11/10/05: The fires of disintegration
11/01/05: Triumph of an über-wonk

© 2006, Los Angeles Times Distributed by Los Angeles Times Syndicate

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