Patriotism has gone way too far

Chelsea Snyder and Chelsea Snyder

I am all for patriotism in the war against Saddam Hussein and the restoration of Iraq, as much as the next American college student (which, I know, is an oxymoron within itself), but this may be taking things a step too far.

According to a recent article on, a recent Canadian bidder on E-Bay was denied his winning bid by CompAtlanta, an American computer vendor.

Upon winning the online auction, the bidder received a notice from the company stating, “At the present time, we do not ship to, or accept bids from, Canada, Mexico, France, Germany or any other country that does not support the United States in our efforts to rid the world of Saddam Hussein. If you are not with us, you are against us.”

I didn’t realize Canada posed such a huge threat to the United States and our front against the Hussein regime.

I suppose South Park had a point — “blame Canada.”

On a related note, during a recent political discussion with a friend, I was told, “I’m not voting for John Kerry because he’s French.” And I guess maybe the logic in all of this is lost on me. I understand the need patriotism, especially with the world situation as it currently stands.

And there’s nothing wrong whatsoever with national pride, and we’re American after all, so the arrogance is even relatively understandable.

What I don’t understand, however, is the growing popularity of the idea that if a country is not with us, or does not necessarily support our motives for the Iraq invasion, they are an enemy.

Maybe I’m too much of an idealist. Anti-French sentiment is the most popular, but it seems like the “Who’s Who of Anti-American Countries” is becoming a growing list — heck, even poor little Canada’s getting the brunt.

In a halfhearted attempt at diplomacy, the U.S. is beginning to break up with some of its key allies, particularly in Europe — i.e., France, Germany, and Russia, and carry on with a war much of the world does not support.

Tension is mounting across the Atlantic, and now, with our neighbors to the north. However, our Leader-in-Chief made it no secret that America wasn’t going to be a team player in all of this during his State of the Union address, declaring, “the course of this nation does not depend on the decisions of others.”

So we don’t depend on the decisions of other nations.

Great. But you know something? The troops in Iraq as we speak are not entirely American.

How can we as a nation expect international support in the future if we are alienating potential allies?

It’s not typical that I compare international relations with my junior high social clique, but at 13, I learned that when you go about pointing fingers and accusing innocent people, nobody’s going to sit by you at the lunch table.

It’s inevitable that someday in the probably not-too-distant future (probably even sooner with Dubya in office, but that’s neither here nor there), the good old U.S. of A is going to find itself in another conflict.

If we continue this estrangement, we will lack international support even more than we did upon initially entering Iraq. And you never know, someday we may desperately need international support.

Although I can’t possibly imagine why we’d possibly land ourselves in another conflict — the U.S. is so darn good at making international friends and keeping them.

Mob theory states that a large group of people is only as intelligent as the stupidest member, and unfortunately, termination of the ignorant isn’t yet legal.

The finger pointing is becoming ludicrous. We are a country that once welcomed the poor and huddled masses from all countries, yet now we are quickly alienating practically the entire international community.

The United States will prevail in Iraq. However, without international support, the victory will be halfhearted at best.

Without world opinion behind us, the US will no longer be viewed as “big brother to the world,” but rather, an out-of-control, power-hungry Goliath that must be stopped.

The price is too high, and America can’t afford to risk losing the support of the international community.

When the Canadian bidder received the denial notice from CompAtlanta, he said, “I’ve made a winning bid. To discriminate against me because I’m a Canadian is ridiculous.”

Ridiculous is an understatement.