OPINION

Commentary

Back in previous decades when the Soviet Union came under fire, even from personalities and parties belonging to the European left, over the policies it exercised outside its national borders, Moscow would usually accuse its critics of anti-communism. The claim implied that their criticism was deprived of all objectivity and that it was a product of bad faith and ill will toward everything that took place inside the socialist camp. In the present era, which is marked by the USA’s unparalleled global predominance, this sort of response to criticism is denounced in the West with the much-cited term anti-Americanism. Anyone who questions the spirit and the practices of the US administration, anyone who raises rational questions over the way in which the sole superpower is using its power, is immediately scorned by American elites and various advocates of American policies in other countries as anti-American. This reaction is, of course, typical of those who wish to marginalize all critical thinking amid the present environment of so-called globalization and the new morality imposed by the process of globalization on the field of international relations. It is also typical of those who display a servile stance toward the sole superpower for reasons that only they are aware of. Particularly after the terrorist assault of September 11 in New York, there have been attempts to stifle criticism of the way that the USA has responded to the terrorist strike, that is, with a relentless bombardment of Afghanistan and the death of civilians, when the political goal remains unclear. Fortunately, for the time being, the argument of anti-Americanism is getting weaker by the day as, both in the USA and Europe, criticism over the policies of the American administration is mounting and often comes from conservative political and media circles. This, of course, does not guarantee a positive outcome in global developments after September 11. But it does show that those who try to link critical thinking with anti-Americanism are indeed faced with a daunting task.