I think some of the reaction is due to the flavour of this particular board. Every board/site has its own feel. This one is very Eurocentric, and every now and then, depending on the topic, comes across as Anti-American. There's nothing wrong with that. But it *does* have that air on occasion.
Some people can't handle that.
As far as your logic in #4, I'm afraid I have to disagree with you:
'When someone says "americans exhibit behaviour A", that doesn't include ALL americans, just enough to signify that as a group'.
That's the very definition of a stereotype. If I were to make a statement like "blacks are lazy anad ignorant" it's a stereotype; I could not backpeddle using logic like yours. People would be rightfully offended. Just because YOU don't think you're making an offensive statement doesn't mean you're not.
Regarding #5, I would be MUCH happier if the U.S. reigned in its global influence (or "meddling" if you prefer). I say this not from a ideological standpoint (left vs. right, Dem. vs. Repub.), but from a pragmatic one -- we're stretched too thin. The infrastructure here at home is eroding while we spend billions abroad. While I would not go so far as to advocate isolationism, we cannot be everywhere. It's a double-edged sword though. If we start getting more selective as to when and where we aid or intervene, there will always be those detractors that say "you need to get involved!" or "you spent $XXX there, why not here?". Also, we need to stop being the world's police. Certain countries need to learn to police and defend themselves, instead of us doing it and then having to absorb all the costs of doing so. The problem with that approach though, is that in many cases, if we don't do it, no one does. Some countries just expect the U.S. to take care of things (rightfully or wrongfully, that's another debate). I would much rather those dollars be spent on tightening our borders; the influx of illegal aliens is staggering. It creates an even heavier burden on an already taxed support system; the situation snowballs.
It's often been asserted that the U.S. policy is too unilateral; we should work with the U.N., place our troops under the auspices of U.N. control, etc. The only problem is that the U.N. has proven itself to be completely and utterly ineffective in actually following through on anything when it comes to intervention. Without consequences, posturing is moot. When dealing with terrorism or dictators, the U.S. comes across as "Stop or we'll shoot!" whereas the U.N.'s mantra is "Stop or we'll use more harsh language!" I think the U.S. approach has been too aggressive, but the U.N. is far too meek; they're at opposite ends of the spectrum and the answer lies somewhere in the middle. But as long as someone aggressive is in the White House and the the U.N. has no capable leadership, we'll continue with the staus quo...
Bottom line: There are no easy answers.
Anyway, back to the original topic: I've seen a myriad of "Americans are dumb", "Americans are idiots for voting for George Bush", etc. comments on this board. You don't notice them because you are not part of the group being slammed.
Note: This isn't a complaint. People have every right to post their opinions on controversial subjects; that's what makes things interesting. Just keep in mind that the seeming idiocy exhibited here is coming from both sides of the pond. :)
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