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View Diary: As Others See Us (244 comments)

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  •  Fear and loathing (none)
    For those of you who haven't seen it, check out Christopher Allbritton, a non-embedded reporter who just recently fled Iraq because neither he nor anyone he knew could go out on the street without being kidnapped, posted a very interesting opinion:
    "This may be the year when we finally come face to face with ourselves; finally just lay back and say it -- that we are really just a nation of 220 million used car salesmen with all the money we need to buy guns, and no qualms at all about killing anybody else in the world who tries to make us uncomfortable."

    Hunter S. Thompson Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail
    November 1972

    This is the view from overseas. I'm in Beirut now, and I've had a couple of people -- Lebanese and British -- tell me that the American people have validated the last three years, years which are seen as universally disastrous. Before, there was a distinction drawn between the American government and the American people. A few nights ago, one cabbie told me that he thinks American people are very nice, but the American government is "very bad." Now, as one of my friends said, "The American people are the problem."

    This will translate into increased hostility against Americans, especially in the Middle East. (I'm in Beirut at the moment.) The American government is seen as hopelessly biased against Arabs and Palestinians, but now the American people are culpable as well. I long thought America's European allies would welcome her back into the family of nations if Kerry won. Instead, they will hold the American people in even greater contempt than they already do.

    After 9/11 I was damned scared of the future. Now I'm even more anxious about what lies before the world.

    I tend to agree with this assessment based on my recent travels to Spain and France over the last two years.

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