That is to say, I'm beginning to hate the Dutch much more than all the other Europeans combined. A more venomous bunch of thieves, rapscallions, and blinkered hypocrites is hard to find. No other group, not even the Pakistanis, is as adept at overlooking their own frightful past, and seeing naught but our flaws.
The Dutch were major players in the transatlantic slave trade, murderous colonialists, brutal capitalists, and collaborators and war-profiteers.
Their slave colony Suriname was a byword for the sanctioned murder of blacks and natives, scarce improved when indentured labourers from Asia replaced the chained chattel. What the Dutch did in Indonesia for nearly four centuries can truly be called frightful - among other things, exterminating the population of one island (Banda, 1621), repeatedly decimating parts of Java (most recently during the construction of the great post road, during which millions were killed), scorched earth invasions of Atjeh and Bali, and the hardcore sadistic brutality of their first and second police actions after World War 2 (in 1947 and 1949).
In South Africa they and their descendants invented apartheid and created a society so dysfunctional and brutalized that the statistics for child-rape, sexual violence, and casual murder are truly horrifying, and in New Amsterdam they introduced the American Indians to the concepts of scalping, syphilis, prostitution, and alcoholism. Their rule in Ceylon was so much more brutal than the Portuguese that the natives welcomed the British as liberators. Dutch warships off the Malabar coast, during the hey-day of their hegemony, made the depredations of the Vikings look like flirtation.
This nation, with so few natural resources of her own (syphilis is NOT a resource), grew so rich from its exploitation of coloured people that even the Germans were astounded at the amount of art that could be stolen during their brief occupation of the Netherlands.
And yet these self-righteous pustules criticize all the countries of the world. But mostly, they criticize the United States. The Dutch hate America, they hate the American people, and they loathe and despise everything American - except for whatever they have borrowed or learned from us (for which, most of the time, we will not get the credit).
In the past I enjoyed visiting the Netherlands, having lived there for a while in my younger years. But after two weeks I would wish that the Dutch would just shut up with the anti-Americanism. By the final week, I would concentrate on stocking up on books and cigars to mail back to San Francisco, and otherwise quietly stick to myself, all conversations with the Dutch having by that time acquired a dreadful sameness - expressing the sincere conviction that the Netherlands was the acme of civilization, and that America was barbaric, her people inbred and stupid, everything good in the United States stolen from someone else.
Given the dreary repetition of those themes by so many Netherlanders, it is ironic that the Dutch believe that there is nothing original or imaginative in American culture. It must be the educational system in Holland - it produces little drones. When it isn't producing juvenile delinquents and soccer hooligans. Rotten rote arrogance in any case.
I no longer visit the Netherlands. I have no need to go to a place where I will be hated just because I'm an American.
At some point in the future I may visit Belgium again - the Belgians are too busy hating each other to bother much with us. But probably not the Netherlands.
I should mention that the times that we went to the Netherlands several years ago, Savage Kitten always enjoyed the place. This is probably because she has an advantage - she does not look American by Dutch standards. Many Dutch cannot grasp that a person can be of Chinese ancestry but also as American as Apple Pie (yet another thing that, according to most Dutch, we simply stole from someone else). Consequently they have always treated her as heir to a civilization, albeit one that doesn't quite come up to their high standards.............
I, on the other hand, am white. No Brownie Points for being a descendant of seventeenth century settlers in Nieuw Amsterdam, as obviously we went native, something a true Nederlander WOULD NEVER DO.
Let us conveniently forget that the Dutch sold the colony and all of its inhabitants to the English in 1674, then never concerned themselves with the place again.
An additional disadvantage is that I am fluent in Dutch. Surely this must mean that I think like them, and must also be a safe listener for them to express their loathing of America and Americans to? When it turns out otherwise, they do not hide their disappointment. A proper person would understand their point of view, instead of being so repulsively unapologetic.