America has changed over the last few months. George W Bush had a sobering effect on the American people, subduing the arrogance of many who once strutted their stuff like prize cockerels around the world’s farmyard. Eight years of neocon rule, as well as running the country into the ground economically and politically, caused many of them to retire into their feathers and lie low.
Now, it seems, they’re out again.
It’s most obvious in the mood of the media. Fake broadcasters like Limbaugh kept up their vile rhetoric throughout, of course, but others on the more ‘moderate’ channels acquired permanently furrowed brows and somewhat slumped shoulders from the strain of America’s dive into the social cesspool of world opinion.
The effort of buoying the nation throughout these long, dark, times was not easy for the likes of Brian Williams of NBC Nightly News, or his counterparts at ABC and CBS. The NBC “Making a Difference” segment usually involved only one citizen (out of three hundred million) doing someone else a good deed, so it could be stretched out to cover eight years without much trouble, but the truly nasty deeds being reported for the remaining twenty-five minutes of news coverage were hardly masked by it.
With Bush’s departure and the inauguration of Barack Obama, however, the mood in our newsrooms perceptibly altered. It took a while, but of late an air of arrogant optimism is once more noticeable to the discerning viewer.
One might have hoped a few lessons were learned. Could it, perhaps, have been realized from all the bad world opinion that there really was a planet out there to be taken note of, one sick to death of the arrogance and bully-boy tactics of Bush and his band of outlaws?
No, sorry, nothing’s changed. Already the theme of US dominance is once more humming around the airwaves, only this time the patronising benevolence is back. “American Power” is again symbolized as a Godhead, with all other nations bowing the knee in wondrous supplication at the glory that is the great, resurrected, United States.
Obama’s European tour has been seen in his home country as a vindication. Europeans have such short memories they’ve already forgotten the last eight years, or the ravishing of the world economy by Wall Street neocons. Obamamania has wiped it from their minds as surely as Beatlemania erased the horrors of the Cuban Missile Crisis from the polluted brains of the hippie generation in the sixties.
At least, that’s the sermon being preached by the US media. But, as usual, it’s wrong.
The era of George W Bush taught Europeans once and for all that America is no longer to be revered as the great leader of the world. No-one outside the US desires a return to the old style of United Nations dominance and third world exploitation that led directly to the terror attacks of 9/11/2001. No-one, that is, apart from a few outdated and corporate controlled European politicians.
Only this week, one US news commentator, reporting on the piracy incident in the Indian Ocean, concluded by remarking that “America would now be taking the lead in the fight against piracy”, despite a European flotilla of naval anti-piracy vessels having been in the area for some months, with no assistance from the US navy until finally a American ship was hijacked.
Suddenly, American ‘heroes’ abound, “American Power” is again in the ascendant, and once more all is right with the world.
Except, it undoubtedly isn’t.
Filed under: Cock-a-doodle-doo