I have detected two broad attitudes toward America among American liberals, the first (and hopefully largest) contingent believes the United States to be a flawed, but fixable country, which is only occasionally responsible for problems abroad. They know that not all evil is caused by the policies of our government or the economic interests of our corporations. Many of them believe that the U.S. can often be a force for good, offsetting its occasional misdeeds and counteracting the crimes of various tyrants and would-be despots. Those who agitate for action in Darfur are examples of such liberals.
These folks means well and do not define their worldview by a hatred of their native land.
There are others who attempt to tie all world evil back to the policies of the United States government and its (in their view) subsidiary corporations. Michael Moore comes to mind as an example of this kind of letie.
Two weeks ago, there was an Asia Society screening of a UN documentary about the trial of Comrade Duch, who ran one of the Khmer Rouge’s most infamous political prisons. Two women became upset during the Q&A session (about 37:00 into the linked video) that all this talk about torture and killing fields and retribution and memories of the dead had not been presented “in context.” You can guess what they meant, can’t you? That’s right: Big, Bad America had been an enabler for Pol Pot and his fellow-travelers, and apparently that was what we should have been getting worked up about.
What is it about such people that they always have to blame the United States? They have easily earned an epithet often offered to gay conservatives: self-hating.
Yet, in their case, the epithet is not a smear with no basis in reality, but a real description of their own attitudes toward the nation that protects their freedom to criticize it.