Following are over 6000 words about America and the Special Relationship it has with the rest of the world. I recommend that you sit down for this one. This article was made possible by my Patreon, where you can pledge to give me a small sum of money every time I write for the internet. You can also buy me a book.
If you as a non-American begin to interact with Americans, you will learn a great many things about them.
The first thing you will learn is that the anti-Americanism that exists in your own culture is completely useless. That in fact, it makes any critical analysis of the American state and what it does impossible. America is not in fact a nation full of people who are “crazy”, obsessed with guns and also the only racists who exists in the world. This form of anti-Americanism is nothing more than the general misanthropy that “non-political” people have, which renders them completely incapable of analysing the forces that affect them in their life.
The second thing you will learn is that there is at least one hidden America. The official abolishment of chattel slavery for the descendants of abducted African peoples did not magically absorb them into American society as free spirits. Black America is a different country, which is best understood as being under occupation by White America. Many of the things that you and I as non-Americans perceive as “the good parts” of American culture were appropriated from the artistic expression — the only ‘safe’ (it is still not safe) expression — of a literally still captive black nation. This includes such things as actually “rock n roll”, which we received at the time as this uniquely (white) American form of music. Even where we understood the music to be black in origin, such as jazz, blues or rap, we completely fail to comprehend that the culture that exists for white Americans is mostly completely stagnant if not for the continuous uncompensated ‘borrowing’ of this and other occupied cultures in their continent.
The third thing you will learn is that no matter what you believe about how poor living standards are there, Americans exist in and accept a reality that is far worse. Healthcare is not merely expensive to them, as it is now becoming for us by direct influence of American economic ideas, but an insurmountable expense. Americans generally obtain health insurance packages through their employer, who (instead of the government) actually negotiates such things with the insurance provider. In addition, the insurance cartel has had a decades-long headstart in developing what we are now seeing in our own countries, with “deals” being made with individual hospitals. Where here this may mean that you need to make an expensive trip to a hospital on the other end of the country, Americans may be completely locked out from getting the care they need. They exist in a coast-to coast stretch of an entire continent, across which capital has free movement, but people do not. Travelling is INCREDIBLY expensive for Americans. The infrastructure you might reasonably expect to exist simply does not. Many of the things that you just assume HAVE to exist do not.
In addition to this, having insurance only means that the costs of healthcare are reduced from literally impossible figures into the 5 or 6 digits to still unconscionable sums of money. A person with a chronic illness in America is doomed to poverty, even if they initially started out in the upper regions of the ‘middle class’. There is only the most barebones social safety net in place, and because of the mystifying construction of the American federation, individual states within it may refuse to operate parts of it.
You eventually will hear the story told, shared in passing by an American as if it is a normal part of life, that instead of medical information cards, some poor citizens carry a note that says “if I am found, do not call an ambulance. I cannot afford it”. Simple medical misfortunes such as a broken bone or infection may completely destroy any prospects an American ever had of advancing in life.
You will learn about their incomprehensible voting system, which seems to exist entirely to disenfranchise people. Depending on where you — non-American reader — live, voter registration may or may not exist. After all, the government already knows where you are, and is perfectly capable of sending you a piece of paper which you can show to a voting booth attendant in conjunction with a suitable piece of identification, which all people possess. Needing to actually apply to vote is in itself a kind of disenfranchisement, but it is usually quite simple to do so.
For Americans none of this is true. The rules are deliberately merciless, and take advantage of the material conditions in which undesired voters live — historically, this is primarily black people in the southern states. There used to be a federal law preventing them from doing this to the full degree, but those are gone now — to exclude them from being eligible to vote. Recently, one state which implemented such a law closed every single government office where you could obtain the proper documents within range of black communities. This would also be a good time to remind you that if you do not have a car in America and do not live in increasingly expensive coastal urban areas, you are basically trapped.
There is a thing called gerrymandering, which exists in all liberal democracies which do not actively work to prevent it. While this can only affect national elections in a FPTP system, local elections in which votes are counted proportionally can be affected by merging municipalities until all voters for a desired party are unified and form a plurality. But Americans have no such thing as a proportional voting system on any level, and what they have is far more bizarre than the already objectionable and undemocratic first past the post idea.
Gerrymandering in the United States is aided tremendously by the fact that there are only two parties. While they, especially now, do not really differ in terms of the policies they actually implement in the long term; they have surface distinctions that leads one to vote one over the other. The Democratic and Republican parties have no set ideology, and have evolved past a range of completely contradictory positions. Both of them have now arrived at a place where they court specific groups of voters with policies that are completely disassociated from each other. Occasionally, a party may break into a new demographic. This can be seen in the “Southern Strategy” used by Republican Richard Nixon. While traditionally the pro-slavery Democratic party dominated white southern voting preference, Nixon used racism to make them vote for a party against which they had nothing but animosity before. To many of us the idea that the Democratic Party used to be the bad one is very hard to understand, but a quick review of history shows that it was indeed once the Republican Party which positioned itself, whatever level of sincerity that may have actually had, on the side of black people. Even the colours associated with the parties used to alternate between them in each election, before becoming permanent associations in the Bush years. Republicans are red, Democrats are blue.
When a party holds power, it may be able to redraw the borders of the voting districts under its control. Remember, each district is “won” by the party that has more votes than the other. The votes of anyone who did not choose this party are discarded, and they have been disenfranchised. I would like to remind you that Dutch political party D66 has long considered it a primary objective to move the Netherlands to such a voting system, but are accepted as a valid member of the active political process rather than anti-democracy terrorists.
Anyway, how gerrymandering proceeds then in the United States is that the ruling party looks at the districts that exist, and redraws them so that the same amount of votes add up to a different majority. In 2004, a majority Republican Texan state legislature split up a solid Democratic voting district, mixing it with areas that lean Republican. The way this looks on a map is completely ridiculous:
There is a worse example though. In Illinois’ 4th congressional district, gerrymandering took place to merge areas of Chicago with majority Hispanic voters to prevent them from influencing other districts. It looks like this:
The only thing connecting these two areas is a single highway, which is itself part of the district, but the area through which it runs is not. There is a famous Washington Post article highlighting these and other incredible gerrymandered districts.
When you have actually succeeded in voting in the Big Election, which determines their head of state (they also elect parts of their lower and upper federal legislature at the same time; the Senate having a ludicrous form of distribution which results in California, the most populous state, having as many senators as the square ones where no one lives), the already undemocratic FPTP result ACTUALLY elects the Electoral College. This is not an electoral college in the way that the democratically elected provincial governments of the Netherlands vote to elect the Dutch senate along party affiliation, but a group of 538 people who are not in any way obligated to vote for the party the popular vote has expressed a preference for. Americans, when asked how the Electoral College works and why it exists, laugh and shrug.
As you can tell from this, none of these things are secrets to Americans. They know, better than you ever will, how unconscionably fucked it is to live in this country. You might ask yourself how they cope. This is the last and most sinister thing you will discover.
When Americans discuss their inhumane living conditions, it is defanged with the hyper-irony we are familiar with from their internet presence. But they do not do this out of detached amusement that their fellow citizens live in a meatgrinder, but for their own mental health.
Americans are very clever people. Though capitalism often keeps them from being able to get anything of value produced without outside aid (consider the sorry state of their car industry, and that one of the only times they designed an engine that represented a genuine leap in technology, they were completely unable to perceive it as having any value, and sold it to Rover. They in turn made out of it the Rover V8, one of the greatest car engines of the 20th century), their ability to analyse their conditions, when they wish to, is impressive. But except for the most radical among them; when they survey the realities of life, they are filled with a crushing despair.
America is simply too big. The government is simply too good at crushing effective dissent or redirecting it into something that reinforces and inducts people into the status quo. The political process is such that any popular novel about an authoritarian hellscape would fall short of describing the farcical nature of actually existing American ‘democracy’. Americans have thought about every possible way they could possibly escape, including literally (they cannot, because as mentioned before, freedom of movement is a privilege afforded by wealth), and found it impossible.
When you hear Americans discuss social issues, they adopt a form of dialectic that seems to have been invented by Mirror Universe Socrates, where instead of at aporia one arrives at an all-encompassing despair that necessitates dropping the conversation and carrying on to preserve their sanity. When this moment approaches, the conversation switches gear to making excuses for the situation. There is a reason it is this way. There has to be. It could not possibly be that we suffer for nothing.
This is the part of the article where I would like Americans to really start paying attention. After all, up to now all it has been is an outside voice repeating back a small subset of the horrors you face every day.
Anyone who has examined American society and the way Americans submit to it from the outside would feel a gaping hole in their bowels. Depending on where they live, they recognize this behaviour as those of a colonized people who lack the means to resist effectively (although such brave heroes as the Black Panther Party would remind them of those who nevertheless did resist), or of life under nazi occupation. They would wonder how Americans are unable to make the comparison between these experiences and their own.
This is the final and most frightening truth about Americans.
They believe that they are the only real people in the world
Americans live completely isolated from the rest of the world. They are told about it, but they perceive it as if through a haze. The realities of other countries are Fun Facts, things you might have to know for a game show, or to entertain friends and family at a dinner table. All narratives are grounded in American exceptionalism, where America is Special and not subject to the same standards as everyone else. If a thing is done in America, it is the best way that thing has ever been done. If critique from beyond its borders SOMEHOW reaches the ears of Americans, they explain it away by saying that those judgements simply make no sense when applied to America.
This behavior is rooted in the founding of the country. As I said before, America’s founding myth supposes that it, a colonial venture of the British Empire, could actually be counted among the VICTIMS of the British Empire. As work progressed to detach the birth of America from history, an image emerged where America was the unspoiled and refined child of Europe. That all of the things which were best in these societies had been incorporated forever in the framework of the American state. That the sons of the Enlightenment had taken up home in the New World, free from the dark reactionary forces which plague Europe. This provides you with the strength to continue where merely dismissing or joking about how horrible your country is cannot.
And this is unacceptable.
Americans often say very strange things about these mythical founding fathers. Thomas Jefferson is considered the physical incarnation of Enlightenment Thought. Rarely do Americans debate the merits of this man with people who’s conception of the champion of Actually Relevant Liberalism is someone like Montesequi or Thorbecke. If they did this, their assertions about the superiority of Jefferson would be laughed out of the room. In reality, he is an extremely tiny fish who splashed into a putrid swamp where nothing bigger than him could ever live. Any examination of his thought in comparison to the people from which he drew would reveal this.
But it doesn’t matter what we think, because we are not Real People. It does not matter that Americans who are aware of their ultimate descent in the Old World practice obnoxious generalizations of these cultures and speak of them with supreme authority, because the places they are actually from do not exist in their mental world as places where real living breathing human beings are. Within the borders of the United States, people are complex, have good and bad parts, are acknowledged to have aspirations and values that are utterly different from other Americans. The way they experience oppression is allowed a complex interrelation, vital for any good person to examine their place in. But beyond the border of the United States, things go grayscale and fuzzy. The things which go on there at most have a vague resemblance to the things Americans are familiar with.
An example I use often is the repeated insistence of Americans that Polish people are white. Before I continue this at all we must correctly understand what “whiteness” is. Whiteness is a name given to the quality of people who are the default and ultimate beneficiaries of European-American institutionalized racism. Without having such a name, these people could not at all be modelled as participating in this system. In that case, the cosmology of racism would consist of disassociated groups of people who are harmed by a faceless group of Racists. This is indeed the conception most politically unaware white people have of the whole thing, and they take the accusation that they play a part in this as a great insult.
Anyway, I have no idea in what way Polish-Americans interact with whiteness as it exists in their society. Regardless, a few Americans have insisted that whiteness is universally open to the Polish people, everywhere. Here the mindset I have described becomes apparent: Poland is not a Real Country, the people that live there do not have a Real History (unless they immigrate to America), and they do not have any Real complex relations to the states and peoples surrounding them. Furthermore, the moment you cross the American border; Americans seem to forget the previously mentioned facts about whiteness, and ignore that the way in which each of the white European states have constructed what whiteness means cannot be extrapolated from what Americans have defined whiteness as. Simplified for the distant outside world populated by vampire demons, whiteness becomes a monolithic Thing that applies across the board. I have even seen it said that the ethnicities of Europe are basically just subsets of White People, which is a view shared in Europe only by white supremacists. It does not matter to Americans that these ethnicities have complex power relations that are in many cases over four or five times as old as the United States, because they are not Real People.
In reality, Polish people do not partake of white privilege in Europe. They were one of the peoples targeted for complete destruction by the nazis, while also facing Russian nationalist invasions from the Soviet Union (hostilities between the two long predate the formation of that state) . After being an eastern bloc state, Poland’s economy was destroyed and forcibly integrated into the pan-European capitalist economy. Having few options to work and so survive open to them, they are free as citizens of the European Union to move about and find it elsewhere. But here is the trick: because they are not citizens of the other European states, their labor protection laws do not apply to them. They can be paid far less than minimum wage. There are companies which scam immigrant workers such as them, take their passports and put them in indentured servitude. The attitude of the citizens of these richer nations is formed by a media narrative that Americans will find very similar to the one they hear about Mexicans. They come here, to take our jobs. And how dare they do this. How dare they. Why are they employed? No idea, probably sinister reasons. Certainly not the fact that they are cannot genuinely unionise or seek shelter in laws designed to protect workers from the abuses that make their employment more profitable.
But this is too complex an examination of the conditions of people who lack the Special American Souls. Any examination of others is ultimately an exercise in finding the one damning thing about them that validates the decision to never think of them again. Including them in an analysis of an American’s place in the world makes everything far too complicated and exhausting. That mental energy is best left to think about Real People.
And this is unacceptable.
An understandable argument Americans may raise in response to this is that this behavior is common chauvinism. The rest of you do it too! Indeed, didn’t I mention at the beginning of the article that the conception of America that exists in our societies in no way accurately describes it?
But that chauvinism is a relic of an era where people were unconnected. When Other Countries were a thing you read about briefly in a book or newspaper. When you might be reasonably expected to never set a foot outside your country (or even the general area where you live) in your entire life. The world has changed since then, and these behaviors are an echo of what they once were, kept alive by the desire to return to that simpler world. A world where indeed, Your Country was the Greatest Country, and the things it did are the very best things. The wars it fought were the most glorious wars. And the people that make up this country are all like you, and all truly great people. But they are never able to, because they are constantly confronted with those pesky Other People. Treating them as Americans treat the rest of the world results in swift retaliation through the media and the internet. Have you heard what the Dutch believe about us now? Fools. Their Prime Minister ought to clear this up, if they want our fruitful economic partnership to continue.
But our relationship to America is different. The two-dimensional America we are shown that distort our understanding is not of our own making. It is yours. To your media, we are a Market. A passive audience for who it does not really matter whether they know some valuable context without which what they are shown about your country becomes incomprehensible. All that matters is that wealth flows back to you as a result. It has never actually mattered what we think of all this, because we are not Real People. And we had best sign your ridiculous free trade agreement, which allows your incompetent businesses to sue our governments if they have the gall to diminish their profit in any way.
And this is unacceptable.
For Americans the desire for old-fashioned chauvinism is realized. Despite being the godhead of global media, having the internet, a global tourism industry, and a military presence so staggering that there is no simple answer as to how many countries you have bases in, or how many there are in total; America still lives in that simpler world. But because of all those things, we get to hear you talk about living in it.
Consider even your neighbour Canada. In many ways it is similar to you. It also is a British colonial venture. It also committed genocide against the people to who the land actually belongs, and continued doing so far longer than is generally accepted (the Residential Schools, a government program to extinguish the culture of first nation peoples, continued well into the 20th century. The last of these was closed in 1996). The restitution paid to the still very much alive First Nations peoples of Canada? A Sorry.
But Americans have a Canada Myth, that it is the promised land where all of the ills that plague America do not exist. This myth gained prominence during second term of the Bush Jr. regime. In a cruel irony, while Americans were praising Canada; it was (but has since the writing of this article ceased being) under the control of the vile demon Stephen Harper, who’s personal project appears to be to turn Canada into America.
Consider how it actually feels for Canadians to hear you talk like this. “Oh, Canada. Its great there! They have… healthcare”, while a man is working tirelessly to break down every single thing that made them different from you in the first place. This is beyond insulting. And it is like this every time you have a friendly conversation with the ghostly people who exist beyond your borders.
And this is unacceptable.
It appears that you do not understand that you are doing this. When you engage in conversation with us, we brace for the inevitable moment where you, apparently unaware you are doing this, raise your voice in response to a statement to claim that either America has something even greater than that, or that it is all far too horrible for us to understand, and unfixable. The latter is said with the insinuation that if Americans are terrible; everyone else is also, secretly, terrible in exactly the same way. Really, we just ought to see the humor of it all, as you do! It’s really extremely funny that you cannot help but commit atrocities every single time you interact with the outside world. But hey, hasn’t everyone?
Americans believe that this ironic acknowledgement of their identity as the empire that shits on our planet absolves them. In this act, Americans have done as much as they could reasonably be expected to do for people who are not solid and real in the way that they are.
And this is unacceptable.
It is a matter of public record in the United States that its government pursues the policy of being the only superpower in the world. Americans interpret this with the same detached irony as everything else. Haha, rascally Uncle Sam! No matter who we vote in, he’ll do this! Oh well, anyone would if they had the chance! But they never actually think about how you go about sustaining the situation where you are the only superpower.
What it actually means is that every single nation that is not you has had a cap on its development ever since the post-War era. That if we are to do anything great at all, it had better be for you. Being on friendly terms with America means that you are a subject nation of it, with only limited autonomy. This is very hard for Americans to comprehend, because they are of the few states in the world which has not had this experience. They BELIEVE they were once ‘occupied’ by the British Empire, but as we have established, this is nonsense.
Let’s talk about that War, which I’ve mentioned several times now. The American World War 2 narrative is the most offensive thing, and the way in which you blurt it at us with a smile on your face is one of most cruel things you do.
World War 2 is to you a setting. A place in time where incomprehensible evils appeared in the world for you to fight. Nazis are the video game enemies who are not demons or zombies, but who are nonetheless non-human enough in a non-racist way for you to feel ok about shooting them. The way you view this most traumatic period in recent history is no different than British imperial fiction where daring gentlemen took to Darkest India and went on great adventures.
Your relation to this place in history begins when nazi ally, Imperial Japan, for INCONCEIVABLE REASONS bombs a military target. That you even consider Pearl Harbor a thing to be mourned as much as you do the September 11th attacks is preposterous. In reality, you had been engaging in a turf war over the prize of the Pacific for some time before. In this context, attacking a major naval base is a perfectly rational act of war. But in the narrative, this context does not exist. 1941 is the year where you magically flip your alliance from one of active support for European fascism — what’s that thing on the tail of the Hindenburg again? Who was it that Henry Ford and Walt Disney expressed open adoration for and had private communications with? Some German guy, the name escapes me — to one of hostility towards the military alliance of which it was a member. The dream, that European fascism might destroy or at least weaken the existential threat to America coming from the east, was dead; and you were reluctantly forced to enter the war to enforce your terms.
But those facts, even when you know them, do not exist in relation to World War 2. They are free-floating truths, which Americans never attach to the wider event.
Another place where America’s status as the Only Real Country weakens the bonds of causality between what happened to you and what happened to us as a result is the direct cause of World War 2.
In the 1930s, as Americans are perfectly aware, the Great Depression happened. They often fail to understand, even if they have watched the Ken Burns documentary or read the several Great American Novels that explicitly draw the connection between the two events, that the Dust Bowl also happened around this time. I have had to tell many extremely intelligent Americans that the Dust Bowl was not an inexplicable natural disaster, but the result of Americans deciding they were too good to acknowledge the last 5000 years in agricultural knowledge. Having destroyed the vegetation that rooted the earth in place with crude farming methods, a drought (not an inconceivable thing, really) turned the interplay of soil and wind into a cataclysm inhospitable to human life. Following the obliteration of the economies of the agricultural states, many fled to the urban coast; only to find that those areas had been devastated by your insistence that the rules of economics did not apply to you either.
Americans have a general understanding of what happened next, but treat this chain of causality as mysterious and completely unexpected: the economies of those nations associating with yours crashed as well. In Europe, this had a particularly heavy impact on Weimar Germany, which had been the latest victim of the European game of collective punishment for having the temerity to lose one of those wars no one who actually participated in them wanted to fight.
The collapse of the postbellum order in Germany lead to the horrible events that would see a fascist seize ultimate power. But he and his order were very different from the fascism that inspired him, that of Italy. The ideology of eugenics came together not in Germany, but in America. If you click one link in this article, let it be this one; and do not dare continue reading here until you have understood what is said there.
Again. nazis are just irrational monsters to Americans. They are zombies in completely impractical and grotesque high fashion uniforms. This view has resulted in you having no understanding of fascism whatsoever. Like it not being racism unless it is said by a man burning a cross and wearing a pillowcase over his head, it is not fascism unless Literally Hitler appears and begins hollering about the Lebensraum. This leads to the horrifying situation where the American commetariat is unable to interpret the rise of Donald Trump as anything but the Republican Party’s strategy blowing up in their faces. This is GREAT NEWS, FOR THE DEMOCRATS!!!
You do fear the possibility of him actually being elected president, but mostly because of the embarrassment it would bring to your country. This buffoon, in charge! Washington, grand and pure soul, he would weep at this! At least though, he can’t do any of those things he promised. They’re impossible. Surely he couldn’t ACTUALLY deport millions of people, or build a wall stretching the southern border of the United States.
But the rest of the world watches in anxiety. It recognizes Trump where you do not. It does not consider calling him a fascist hyperbole, because it has experienced fascism. And it fears the day America will again drown the world in that hell.
For the benefit of Americans, I would like to share some facts that are inseparable from my existence as a Dutch person, a 3rd generation survivor of the bloodbath we went through because you kept your head in the clouds.
Americans often talk big about what would happen if they were invaded. Oh, then they would have done it, these invaders. They would have stirred the sleeping giant and they would rue this day! But here is the account of an actual invasion by nazis of the Netherlands:
The Netherlands was neutral in WW1. This had been very good for us, because it allowed us to continue the project of converting our colonial wealth into national infrastructure undisturbed. WW2 would be no different than this, of course. These Germans, obviously they could be gentlemen about this.
The nazis were not gentlemen about this, because the nazis were monsters. But not the irrational brute force Americans imagine. How they set about invading the tiny country to their west was so:
They marched across the border, being met with only the conscript forces of the Dutch army, still equipped as they would have been had they actually entered the Great War. My grandfather was among these people. Despite this obvious advantage, they did something else to assure victory.
They started up a few bombers at airbases near the border. They flew them over to the most densely populated area of the country, which does not take very long because the Netherlands is very, very tiny; and leveled the entire centuries-old city center of Rotterdam, killing nearly a thousand people. They insinuated that they could perform this trick as many times as they needed to, until an understanding could be reached with the Dutch government that was beneficial to them.
I want you to understand that in the analogy where America is subject to invasion, the story goes like this: having encountered the Brave American Resistance, the invading forces respond by obliterating the urban center of New York City; and stated that unless this silly Wolverines nonsense cease IMMEDIATELY, this would happen again somewhere else.
The capitulation of the Netherlands was followed by the retreat of its armed forces to the United Kingdom, and the parking of our monarch in Canada. The nazis moved in and proceeded to do the things you do when you occupy a country, and are nazis about it.
Over the course of the war, the Netherlands would descend into famine. The Hunger Winter is a horror Americans cannot imagine, and which I doubt they could have survived. The Dutch took to constructing simple rocket stoves, to use what little fuel they had for cooking to prepare what little edible matter they had for dinner. My grandmother has always corrected me when I spoke of “hunger”, because that is a thing which I will — providing you do not again set the world on fire in your ignorance — never in my life experience. She was a civilian medic in nazi-occupied Nijmegen, the city I was born in. This city is 2000 years old, having been initially settled as a Roman military and trading camp. It was not bombed by the nazis.
It was bombed by Americans.
In 1944 you had begun to push the western front closer to Germany. After all, you had to hurry. IMAGINE if the COMMUNISTS got there first. That would be horrible. You had begun bombing raids on actual Germany. Soon this hell would end. Soon.
On February 22, 1944; the dapper and talented heroes of the 446th Bombardment Group left on their mission to bomb German military targets. Having become confused about their location, they failed to do extremely basic things to regain their orientation, such as navigating by the SEVERAL RIVERS in the area of Europe they were situated over. Having aimlessly drifted through the sky they left Germany altogether, and noticed some points of interest that might be worth bombing. It turned out those were the Dutch cities of Enschede, Arnhem, Deventer and Nijmegen. The latter was the most heavily hit, killing ~750 people and destroying the ancient city center. In the middle of a famine, you did this to us. And you did it completely by mistake.
The nazis quickly moved to take advantage of the situation. These Americans, they said, did this ON PURPOSE. They cultivated misinformation to confuse any actual account of what happened, hoping to teach the Dutch that the American were irrational monsters.
We did not believe them.
I need to be very clear with you about why we did not believe them. It was not because we knew you were so very good. It was because we knew this is exactly the kind of fuckup you would make.
The nazi propaganda machine failed to convince the citizens of Nijmegen that Americans bombed us on purpose because we KNEW that when it comes down to it, you had the abilities and impulsivity of a five year old.
The English-language Wikipedia article on Nijmegen is very brief about the bombing. The article on the band of yokels that made this mistake does not mention it at all. After all, this was not an event that happened to Real People. Not like Pearl Harbor.
There is one event though, which despite taking place in the Netherlands; is considered part of your history. You even made a movie about this thing! Operation Market Garden, an airborne operation of a scale never seen before in the history of the world, failed. It failed because you and your British allies did not trust the Dutch Resistance. Clearly these people were compromised. No intelligence they offered ought to be trusted! We know better. We’ll do this thing, liberate your tiny country and march on Berlin as heroes!
Your arrogance would kill several civilians and resistance members, and leave the British forces in a doomed position on a bridge at Arnhem.
The Netherlands would not be liberated that day. Instead, long months of darkness later, the First Canadian Army would pick up the task. You were there too! My grandmother remembers your soldiers passing out big boxes of cigarettes. She took to using them as a currency for more valuable goods.
All this, and you actually have the nerve to ask that you, who only entered a war that occurred as a direct result of you failing at civilization on selfish grounds, be counted as heroes. One insignificant beach storming — half of its participants British soldiers who mysteriously vanish in your movie account of this event — and you believe you can stand on the same level as the USSR and China, who each sacrificed millions of lives and lost tens of millions of civilians actually fighting the Axis Powers.
To you, World War 2 is a rollercoaster. Quite exciting and sometimes frightening, but ultimately a very good experience.
And this is unacceptable.
Your behavior is unacceptable. No matter how much empathy one shows for the American people, no matter how much special care one takes to unearth the horrors of this continent-wide federation of despot states because it is Actual Real Human Beings just like us who have to undergo it; they will never ever return the favor. The world beyond their borders does not consist of Real People. It is a source of pretty pictures, funny stories to tell your children. No, YOU are the Protagonist of Reality. You are the three-dimensional people with real feelings and real histories and genuine pain. Everyone else is a bit player, the scenes where they interact with you written as a procession of stereotypes and jokes.
And this is unacceptable.
Should you continue your self-imposed existential isolation, you will probably descend into a civil war that might take us to the brink of annihilation as a species. You know that’s coming. You are clever people. You have reasoned out all alternatives. Fight? The Pentagon has been preparing for societal breakdown for decades. Leave? The cost is insurmountable, and even if you were to actually organize a collective effort to repatriate yourselves to the nations your ancestors called home, your government would surely sabotage it.
But there is an alternative.
If you decided to drop the act. To accept that you are not the Special Freedom Child who’s coming was foretold in the scriptures of Enlightenment in the way that Christians believe Jesus, who is the Christ, is the perfect fulfilment of all Jewish prophecy. Should you do this, there would no longer be 300 million hopeless people against impossible odds. You would find that there are over 6 billion other red-blooded human beings just like you. Just like you, they abhor what happens to you. You would even find that some of them have been helping you for some time now, but you have never considered them Real enough to notice.
Together with them, you could stop the cycle of suffering and death.
All it requires is that you treat us as Real People. Finally.