Korea at night from space. By now everyone who is in this forum knows I am very pro-america, but as of yet I have simply been responding to other people's opinions. I now wish to lay out my own. I recently realized a flaw in my opinion. It was my belief that the fear of and hatred for the US was simply a matter of jealousy. While this explains the hatred, it doesn't explain the fear. The fear comes from something far deeper and far more complicated. The world (most of it) fears the US because humans as a species have a flaw. Above all else they fear being wrong. Admitting that the US isn't the evil empire people want it to be would require an examination and admission of the failure of EVERY other system in the world. People are afraid to admit failure. The peace, prospertiy, and freedom that exists in the western world is entirely the creation of the US and a few willing allies (namely England). After WWI, Woodrow Wilson proposed the radical idea that instead of punishing Germany for the war we rebuild them and embrace them to bring them back into the world community, then create an organization to be the manifestation of that world community. The world (including the US) was not ready for that. Instead we punished Germany. Result: WWII. After WWII, the US and her close allies realized the need to put Wilson's ideas into practice. With the Marshall Plan the US did the most extrordinarily benevolent things any country has ever done. She rebuilt not just her friends, but her enemies. Along with this rebuilding, the US gave these countries stable governments and economies built in her own image. And of course, the US created the UN. But of course the most extrordinarily, bizzarely (if thats not a word, it should be) benevolent thing we did was after putting all that effort and money and blood into rebuilding the western world, we walked away. We gave those countries back to their citizens. The result is a level of peace, prospertiy, and freedom in the western world never seen before in the history of mankind. The rest of the world (with a few exceptions) is afraid to admit the spectacular failure of all other governmental/economic systems. An admission of a failure of that magnitude makes anything these countries have done irrelevant. Its just too painful of a thing to do. Communism/socialism is the easiest example here because there are places where communism/socialism exists side by side with american democracy/capitalism. Berlin is a great example. Walk down certain streets and look at both sides of the street and the magnitude of the difference is astounding. But east Berlin is recovering as is the rest of eastern Europe. These people never really believed in communism anyway. They waited 50 years for their eventual rescue by the US and now (not surprisingly) are our strongest supporters. The second great example is the link I posted at the top of the page. South Korea is illuminated under the light of American freedom and prosperity while North Korea exists in the darkness of failed communism. Throw religion into the mix and things only get worse. The muslim extremist nations of the middle east have an additional reason to fear admitting failure. Their religion is so ingrained in their lifestyle that to admit their lifestyle is a failure would mean admitting their religion (and their eternal souls) were failures as well. Thats a tough pill to swallow. I certainly don't blame them for being too weak to do it. I can assure you however that once the Iraqi people taste freedom, there is no going back. Also in that picture is Japan. No country ever to oppose the US has had such a different view of everything than Japan. But look at the picture: once the US gave them, peace, prosperity, and freedom, there was no going back. Please note: I do not believe and will not ever claim the US or her citizens are perfect. The US contains roughly 290 million humans - all of whom are imperfect beings. Her leaders certainly are no less imperfect. Bad decisions have been made and bad actions taken. I know I'm going to get people posting laundry lists of bad things the US has done. Yeah, I know. See above. I know the US is imperfect. All of those other threads focus on the negatives anyway - people rarely consider the positives (too painful). But in any case, the system of government and economics we have created is the best in the world. To be more blunt it is the ONLY one that works. Furthermore, the US and her system is unique in that it has the built-in ability to CHANGE when the world changes. Our actions in the aftermath of WWII in contrast to WWI are a clear example of that. Is this arrogance? No. Arrogance is exclusionary. I want EVERYONE to experience the beauty of the American way of life. So, opinions? Childish namecalling and flaming will not be responded to - those statements are self-defeating and require no rebuttal. Nevertheless, despite the inherrent hypocrisy of flames, I know i'll get some.