If there is a single statement that summarizes the quality of ongoing debates over the nature and causes of anti-Americanism as an international or local phenomenon, this would have to be that such debates are more productive of confusion and fallacy, than of clarity and comprehension. One of the primary factors that compromises understanding of the issues involved is the frequent deployment of the language of emotion where one would expect factual and dispassionate analysis: ‘Americans ache to be loved in foreign places and now the world denies us’, laments Fouad Ajami, professor of Middle Eastern Studies at Johns Hopkins and advocate of the anti-anti-American argument (2003a). Equally unprofi table is the general tendency to personalize and subjectivize the matter, which appears to typify much of the discourse of America’s critics: ‘I can no longer stomach America’s insidious meddlings across the face of the world … wherever I go I fi nd myself more and more repelled by the apparently insatiable American urge to interfere in other people’s business’ (Morris quoted in Hollander 1995: 389).