Not that the "Fuck You Boys" will give a damn--hell, they'll probably get a kick out of this--but these stories don't bode well for the United States.
Short versions: Steve M. of No More Mister Nice Blog reports on a new hit song in Belgium called Down With America. And a DailyKos diarist relates the experience of a friend who was verbally and physically assaulted in Finland because of his United States nationality.
Big deal, you might say--who the fuck are Belgium and Finland? Puny little punk-assed countries that, if Michael Ledeen had his way, we might choose to "throw against the wall." Surely we're just too goddamned big to worry about the likes of them.
Actually--yes and no: Belgium and Finland ARE small countries that, by themselves, won't make or break us. However, if Iraq has taught the dodderhead pro-invasionists ANYTHING (and let's hope that group has actually learned the lesson), it's that bullying alone, regardless of how bad-assed your weapons might be, matters little when you can't garner a measure of support. This is even MORE important when it's a matter of civilization, and, to be more explicit, BUSINESS.
Like it or not, this country has, for a lot longer than most people realize, been tied into an extensive global economy. As such, we alienate the globe at our peril. It's not a question of who needs the other side more, because that's not how the global game works. But the US isn't the only game in town anymore.
Then there's the other aspect of these stories. For as long as I can remember, people around the world have generally drawn a distinction between citizens of the United States and the government of the United States. If that distinction is lost, then the average US traveler might have more to worry about than little Roma kids picking their pockets in Paris.
Like I said, the Fuck You Boys would probably get a kick out of these stories (that is, if they're able to read them). Of course, they aren't exactly the traveling kind, nor do they have much understanding of how the global economy works, even if they manage to scrape together enough cash to buy an Asian-made flat screen TV. But as people around the world tire of temper tantrums from the likes of George W. Bush (or his acolytes), they might find out an unpleasant fact: not a whole lot of stuff is actually made in America anymore--and the folks who DO make the stuff might just decide to sell it elsewhere.