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Raw Story links to a Story reported in the NewHouse News, by David Woods who reports that a recent   International poll shows world is turning against Americans, not just President Bush.  This sad news should not surprise us.  The longer the American people and Congress do not hold President Bush accountable for his Administration's international transgressions, the more we must collectively share responsibility for the consequences.  

In increasing numbers, people around the globe resent American power and wealth and reject specific actions like the occupation of Iraq and the campaign against democratically elected Palestinian leaders, in-depth international polling shows, (information-restricted) Newshouse News Service reports Wednesday. Excerpts:

...In the past, while Europeans, Asians and Arabs might have disliked American policies or specific U.S. leaders, they liked and admired Americans themselves. Polls now show an ominous turn.

Majorities around the world think Americans are greedy, violent and rude, and fewer than half in countries like Poland, Spain, Canada, China and Russia think Americans are honest.

American People Seen As Greedy, Violent, and Rude

David Wood, of NewHouse News Service, who writes, World opinion of U.S. sinking: Dislike of everything American on the rise.

WASHINGTON -- The United States has often irritated the rest of the world, but lately it's gotten worse -- and more dangerous.

"We found a rising antipathy toward Americans," said Bruce Stokes of the Pew Global Attitudes Project, which interviewed 93,000 people in 50 countries over a four-year span.

The dislike is accelerating among youths, Stokes said. For instance, 20 percent of Britons under age 30 have an unfavorable opinion of Americans, double the percentage of 2002.

American Foreign Policy Loses Credibility

And the dislike for Americans is not based just on misperceptions or minor cultural misunderstandings.  But rather reflects well informed antipathy to our foreign policy and actions around the world.  

Keeping the peace, winning the war on terrorism and other critical goals are achievable "only if people like you and trust you," said Andrew Kohut, director of the Pew Research Center. Instead, Kohut and his associates find American credibility eroding, even among NATO allies.

Almost half of those polled in Britain, France and Germany dispute the whole concept of a global war on terrorism, and a majority of Europeans believe the invasion of Iraq was a mistake. More than two-thirds of Germans, French and Turks believe American leaders lied about the reasons for war and believe the United States is less trustworthy than it once was.

"There is great resentment at American power," Kohut said. "But being liked is important," he added, because public support goes either "to us or to the bad guys."

That support seems in flux. While allied governments generally support the United States, their citizens increasingly do not.

Even among the United States' newest friends, such as India, where President Bush in March signed an agreement on nuclear cooperation, there is "uneasiness about whether we have come too close to America and surrendered independence of judgment to the sole superpower," said Ambassador Salman Haidar, former Indian foreign secretary and head of its diplomatic corps.

Donald Rumsfeld Bemoans Lack Of Success Despite Spending Over $1 Billion A Year On Advertising And Payoffs To Foreign Journalists

Ever clueless Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld complains that we only get a "D" on our efforts despite spending more than $1 Billion a year in advertising and payoffs to foreign journalists.  Apparently, oblivious to the insult to the intelligence of the many people around the world that have learned to read, and take offense that we should believe that they are incapable of forming their opinions of us based on our real foreign policies and true reports.  The Pentagon's "investments" in paying off foreign journalists have no doubt hurt or image in the eyes of the people of the world more than help it.

And advertisements of American's singing Kumbaya around a camp fire do not change the perceptions that our foreign policy with regard to the people of Palestine are duplicitous and fall far short of our representations that we are an honest and fair broker.

Among others, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has bemoaned the state of America's image and the efforts to improve it.

The United States spends about $1 billion a year on international broadcasting and the public relations campaign it calls "public diplomacy," run out of the State Department by former top Bush campaign operative Karen Hughes. Separately, the Pentagon directs its own "information operations" and psychological operations programs that have included paying journalists in Iraq to write favorable newspaper articles.

"We probably deserve a D or D-plus as a country as how well we're doing in the battle of ideas," Rumsfeld said March 27 at the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, Pa. "We're going to have to find better ways to do it and thus far we haven't."

There have been 30 reports in recent years on the need to improve public diplomacy, including one in May by the Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress. The GAO found that 15 percent of the critical public diplomacy positions around the world were vacant. Among those diplomats on the job, one in three lacked the foreign language skills to communicate effectively, the GAO said.

Few analysts expect more than marginal improvements in global public opinion, short of another 9/11.

"In my judgment, you're going to see a lot of this hostility disappear only when various countries really feel they need friendly relations with the United States, probably for their own security," said Solomon. "It will probably take some major event for that to take place."

Why should we expect world public opinion towards us to change if we do not change our behavior?  And let's not kid ourselves.  We cannot blame this entirely on President Bush, although, I will admit he has probably damaged America's image around the world more than any other 10 Presidents combined.  

Some of America's problems go much deeper.  And world opinion is not  based on misperceptions.  I remember from decades back from some work I once did on one of the global simulation models of world population, resource consumption, pollution, and economic growth that although we constitute 5% of the worlds population we still consume almost 25% of the worlds non-renewable resources and generate similar disproportionate percentages of pollution.

Yet, we have defied the 140 other nations that have attempted to enact the Kyoto Treaty, the most comprehensive international treaties to address global environmental issues.  Our notorious UN representative John Bolton has focused on undermining virtually every UN measure aimed at remedying injustices of the past, and the Millennium Goals focusing on helping underdeveloped countries eliminate poverty, hunger, diseases such as diarrhea,  HIV, and improve health care.

People around the world are shocked that a country and a people that thinks as highly of ourselves as we do, appears callous to the plight of hundreds of millions of the worlds children around the world dying of diseases such as diarrhea, wasting disease, or lack of clean water that sometimes can be remedied by pennies a day per child in salt tablets.  While the people of many more developed countries in Europe and South East Asia show similar levels of disinterest and lack of compassion as Americans for children dying in third world countries, the United States is unique in having an ambassador such as John Bolton, who gives speeches showing pride in his efforts to actively disrupt the few paltry programs the world has put together to aid these children.

Can Al Gore Help?

I am sad to say there are days I am ashamed to be an American.  The only encouraging news I can report on this topic is that Al Gore has courageously stood up to call more attention to this shame and the urgent need for major changes in the choices all Americans and people of the world will need to make to survive in the emerging future we all will face.

With the upcoming release of his movie on Global Warming issues called An Inconvenient Truth, some of these issues will be receiving more attention than they have in a long time.  But will this make a difference? My concern is that once the excitement of having a politician speaking passionately about real principles wears off, too many, even Democrats, are not going to be willing to make the required changes rapidly enough.

The deeper question you can ask yourself as a harbinger of wider opinion.  "How much would you be willing to voluntarily reduce your consumption of non-renewable resources, and generation of policy such as carbon dioxide for the benefit of other people of the world or future generations? Probably not enough.  

And the worse news these sad polls about world opinion towards Americans indicate that many throughout the world are not optimistic that we have the right stuff to become more responsible citizens of the world.  And they may be right.  

This doesn't mean you will get to refuse to change, merely that we collectively will probably give up or highest leverage most convenient options we could initiate voluntarily and will wait until the rest of the system forces less desirable truths on us.

An "inconvenient truth indeed."  But a truth none-the-less.  Fasten your seatbelts.  Turbulence ahead.  

And I see very few people anywhere recognizing that all of the many global issues are connected as part of one bigger world system. Leaving me to expect that we will all continue to follow in the steps of Donald Rumsfeld and President George Bush and try to solve these problems with increasing military expenditures.  Without realizing that it is exactly this tendency which most drives world opinion against us.


I no longer have all the facts at my fingertips but to make the point let me suggest that it is my belief that for fraction of the over $ trillion dollar full life cycle cost of the failed war in Iraq we could have eliminated most of the deaths of children around the world from diarrhea, and had plenty left over to do many other valuable and constructive things that would create real good will and credibility around the world.

The fact that we no not, damages our reputation more than most realize.  And is a direct causal factor in the minds of the millions of Arab poor youths who each year face the decision of how to best serve the interests of their own people, their families and themselves.   We are losing the battle of perceived relative legitimacy.  The "battle" for the hearts and minds of the people.  Not because we have failed to spend enough money on advertising programs that insult the intelligence of the viewers or because we have yet to find more effective ways to buy off or intimidate foreign journalists.   But because or foreign policies are stupid, destructive, callous, blatantly damaging to other people of the world.  

And with very few exception, such as Al Gore, not even Democrat leaders are saying anything that would give hope that we will soon change.

But the old adage, "power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely" come with a package of other insights American will not like to hear.  But will soon learn.  "If we do not set our own limits, someone else will set them for us."  One does not need fancy computer simulation models to predict that unless we voluntarily change course soon, the rest of the system will take care of this problem for us.  And it does not appear the other 95% of the world's population is going to be in much of a sympathetic mood when they do it.  

Originally posted to HoundDog on Thu May 18, 2006 at 01:54 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

    •  If we don't watch out (19+ / 0-)

      we will be in a full out world war.  But this time, we will be the Axis and the rest of the world will be the Allies.

      where do you expect us to go when the bombs fall?...S.O.A.D.

      by kharma on Thu May 18, 2006 at 02:02:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  'You're either with us... (10+ / 0-)

        "...or against us," the rest of the world was warned.
        The Bush administration set these ground rules and was re-elected (or not defeated,anyway)by the American electorate,75% of whom thought the Iraq invasion was just fine as long as it was just Iraqis being killed...

      •  If you read the details of Osama Bin Laden, he (11+ / 0-)

        he has been making this argument from the very beginning.  Right after the 9/11 attack he compared his rationale to he same one we used when we bombed Hiroshima.

        The US position was yes, we volutarily and knowingly incinerated hundreds of thousands of civilian in our nuclear blasts but this was morally good as it ultimately saved untold numbers of casualties of American soldiers if we continued to battle the Japenese army to the end in a conventional war.

        We need to "know thine enemy."  

        Helping to bring justice back to the White House, one indictment at a time.

        by HoundDog on Thu May 18, 2006 at 02:35:00 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

          •  asdf (3+ / 0-)

            "Often it does seem a pity that Noah and his party did not miss the boat."  Mark Twain

            "Sacred cows make the best hamburger." Mark Twain

            by dkmich on Thu May 18, 2006 at 06:43:05 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  The problem goes back to FDR versus Churchill (11+ / 0-)

              Umm, if you people wouldn’t mind, I’d like to get back to a discussion of policies, rather than “my tourist is a better tourist than your tourist.”

              One of the characteristics of American Extremist Conservatives (I refuse to use “-ight-wing” anymore) is that hate Franklin Roosevelt (almost rabidly, I might add, especially the New Deal) but they venerate Winston Churchill. What has this got to do with policies? Bear with me a little, but the preceding is an observation that bears making here, believe me.

              In FDR’s and Churchill’s face to face, the “Atlantic Conference” on board the U.S. cruiser Augusta in August, 1941, it immediately became apparent that the post-war war plans of the United States and Britain were in complete conflict. Amazingly, this conflict is glossed over or even ignored by most American historians, even though the conflict over post-war plans had global ramifications that we still live with today. The following lengthy excerpt is take from Elliott Roosevelt’s 1946 book, As He Saw It. Elliott accompanied his father to all the major conferences with Churchill, and later, Stalin.

              Please, take the time to read. I believe the issues raised will be crucial to formulating successful post-Bush policies dealing with the rest of the world.

              Last night, Churchill had talked without interruption, except for questions. Tonight, there were other men's thoughts being tossed into the kettle, and the kettle correspondingly began to bubble up and-once or twice--nearly over. You sensed that two men accustomed to leadership had sparred, had felt each other out, and were now readying themselves for outright challenge, each of the other. It must be remembered that at this time Churchill was the war leader. Father only the president of a state which had indicated its sympathies in a tangible fashion. Thus, Churchill still arrogated the conversational lead, still dominated the after-dinner hours. But the difference was beginning to be felt.

              And it was evidenced first, sharply, over Empire.

              Father started it.

              "Of course," he remarked, with a sly sort of assurance, “of course, after the war, one of the preconditions of any lasting peace will have to be the greatest possible freedom of trade."

              He paused. The P.M.'s head was lowered; he was watching Father steadily, from under one eyebrow.

              "No artificial barriers," Father pursued. "As few favored economic agreements as possible. Opportunities for expansion. Markets open for healthy competition." His eye wandered innocently around the room.

              Churchill shifted in his armchair. "The British Empire trade agreements," he began heavily, "are...“

              Father broke in. "Yes. Those Empire trade agreements are a case in point. It's because of them that the people of India and Africa, of all the colonial Near East and Far East, are still as backward as they are."

              Churchill's neck reddened and he crouched forward. "Mr. President, England does not propose for a moment to lose its favored position among the British Dominions. The trade that has made England great shall continue, and under conditions prescribed by England's ministers."

              "You see," said Father slowly, "it is along in here somewhere that there is likely to be some disagreement between you, Winston, and me. I am firmly of the belief that if we are to arrive at a
              stable peace it must involve the development of backward countries. Backward peoples. How can this be done? It can't be done, obviously, by eighteenth-century methods. Now-"

              "Who's talking eighteenth-century methods?"

              "Whichever of your ministers recommends a policy which takes wealth in raw materials out of a colonial country, but which returns nothing to the people of that country in consideration. Twentieth-century methods involve bringing industry to these colonies. Twentieth-century methods include increasing the wealth of a people by increasing their standard of living, by educating them, by bringing them sanitation-by making sure that they get a return for the raw wealth of their community."

              Around the room, all of us were leaning forward attentively. Hopkins was grinning. Commander Thompson, Churchill's aide, was looking glum and alarmed. The P.M. himself was beginning to look apoplectic.

              "You mentioned India," he growled.

              "Yes. I can't believe that we can fight a war against fascist slavery, and at the same time not work to free people all over the world from a backward colonial policy.

              "What about the Philippines?"

              "I'm glad you mentioned them. They get their independence, you know, in 1946. And they've gotten modem sanitation, modem education; their rate of illiteracy has gone steadily down. . . ."

              "There can be no tampering with the Empire's economic agreements."

              "They're artificial. . . ."

              "They're the foundation of our greatness."

              "The peace," said Father firmly, "cannot include any continued despotism. The structure of the peace demands and will get equality of peoples. Equality of peoples involves the utmost freedom of competitive trade. Will anyone suggest that Germany's attempt to dominate trade in central Europe was not a major contributing factor to war?"

              It was an argument that could have no resolution between these two men. The words went on, but the P.M. began again to get a tighter grip on the conversation. He no longer spoke sentences, he spoke paragraphs, and Commander Thompson's worried, glum look began to clear. The P.M. gathered confidence as his voice continued to fill the room, but there was a question un answered here, and it would remain unanswered through the next conference these men would join in, and the next after that. India, Burma-these were reproaches. Father, having once mentioned them aloud, would keep reminding his British hearers of them, sticking his strong finger into sore consciences, prodding, needling. And it was not from perversity, either; it was from conviction.
              Churchill knew that; that was what worried him most.

              Smoothly he changed the course of the conversation, smoothly he involved Harry Hopkins, my brother, me-- anyone to keep the subject away from Father and his mention of the colonial question and his nagging insistence on the inequalities of the Empire's favored trade

              It was after two in the morning when finally the British party said their good nights. I helped Father into his cabin, and sat down to smoke a last cigarette with him.

              Father grunted. "A real old Tory, isn't he? A real old Tory, of the old school.'

              "I thought for a minute he was going to bust. Pop."

              "Oh," he smiled, "I'll be able to work with him. Don't worry about that. We'll get along famously."

              "So long as you keep off the subject of India."

              "Mmm, I don't know. I think we'll even talk some more about India, before we're through. And Burma. And Java. And Indo-China. And Indonesia. And all the African colonies. And Egypt and Palestine. We'll talk about 'em all. Don't forget one thing. Winnie has one supreme mission in life, but only one. He's a perfect wartime prime minister. His one big job is to see that Britain
              survives this war."

              "I must say he sure gives the impression he's going to do Just that."

              "Yes. But you notice the way he changes the subject away from anything postwar?"

              "It's embarrassing, the things you were talking about. Embarrassing to him."

              "There's another reason. It's because his mind is perfect for that of a war leader. But Winston Churchill lead England after the war? It'd never work."

              As it turned out, the British people agreed with Pop on that one.

              --Elliott Roosevelt, As He Saw It, 1946, pages 35-39.

              Unfortunately, FDR did not survive the war, and U.S. foreign policies were radically altered from FDR’s vision, with a proto-colonialist tilt that was firmly set in place in Indochina, with a series of disastrous results that continue to this day. There have been a few major interruptions of this devolution of U.S. foreign policy, such as the Berlin Airlift, the Korean War, the Suez Crisis,  and John Kennedy’s Peace Corps, but a major fact we will have to face, and remedy, is that the United States essentially stepped into the shoes of the British Empire. Since the 1973 Arab-Israeli War and the oil shock, the U.S. role has transmogrified into being the water boy for the multi-national corporatists, as described by John Perkins in his very revealing November 2004 book, Confessions of an Economic Hit Man.

              We have a lot of work to do.

              And don’t forget, American Extremist Conservatives glorify Churchill, who represented the refusal of a dying British Empire to accept death gracefully.

              If you're tired of being screwed by them, in November is your chance to tell Republicans to go screw themselves.

              by NBBooks on Thu May 18, 2006 at 07:11:47 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  This is why (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                the U.S. has been on a war footing since WWII.  Thanks for the insight.

                She was only a moonshiner's daughter, but she always made me liquer - Rev. Billy C. Wirtz

                by gatorcog on Thu May 18, 2006 at 08:09:59 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Fascinating conversation between Churchhill (0+ / 0-)

                  and FDR NBBooks, thanks.  I had not read this before.

                  Imperialism is a temptation of superior military power.  If a nation or thinker does not have sufficient wisdom to guide that power, a slide into corruptive influences will lead it into a downward spiral.

                  Thanks for sharing this with us.  

                  Helping to bring justice back to the White House, one indictment at a time.

                  by HoundDog on Fri May 19, 2006 at 09:22:23 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

        •  Not quite right... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mimi, Moli, FrankFrink

          "The US position was yes, we volutarily (sp) and knowingly incinerated hundreds of thousands of civilian(s) in our nuclear blasts but this was morally good as it ultimately saved untold numbers of casualties of American soldiers if we continued to battle the Japanese army to the end in a conventional war."

          The thing is, the invasion of Japan in 1945 would not have been a "battle (with) the Japanese army to the end in a conventional war.".

          How "conventional" would it have been to have 100 million men, women, and children swear to "die together" and then defend their empire with every weapon at their disposal, including bamboo spears as a last resort?  Consider the suicides on Okinawa and Guam when even Japanese civilians jumped off cliffs into the sea rather than surrender? I think that these incidents prove that self-imolation would have been preferable to surrender for a huge majority of Japanese, and we would have suffered huge casualties in such an invasion.

          Using the atomic bomb may be, in retrospect, one of the worst decisions ever made by man, but at the time, when I was 15 years old, it seemed to be the only way to stop the war and prevent the loss of not only 100,000 American lives, but of 10 times as many Japanese.    

          You can't spell "Worst President Ever" unless you begin with W.

          by tomathawl on Thu May 18, 2006 at 05:36:59 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm Sure (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            April Follies, mariva, Yellow Canary

            You were a really clever fifteen year old, but Eisenhower (at the time) thought it was a horrible decision. I think I'll stick with Ike, if you don't mind.

            And sorry, the invasion of Japan would not have involved six year old Japanese kids with bamboo spears (Jesus, did you watch too many propaganda films or something). It would have involved a naval blockade, which might have worked pretty well, since, you know, Japan didn't have a navy any longer and is, you know, an island nation.

            Then there's the fact that there were already back-channel surrender negotiations going on with the Japanese government. But hey, that sure was pretty cloud we made and it got the Russians attention.

            •  I've had 60 years to think about it. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Moli, HoundDog

              Although I'm no longer 15, I still read.  In fact, I'm in the process of reading "The Rising Sun", Vols 1 and 2 by John Toland for the second time, and have read "The Making of the Atomic Bomb" by Richard Rhodes, several times.  Both agree that, not only Eisenhower, but most of the scientists involved with the Manhattan Project and many high ranking military officers on the Allied side were against using the bomb.  Others preferred a "demonstration" explosion to influence the Japanese to give up.  Sec of State Jimmy Byrnes, on the other hand, recommended using the bomb to force surrender.  As far as back-channel negotiations were concerned, FDR and Churchill probably killed the possibility of diplomacy to end the war by the statement regarding "unconditional surrender" made by Roosevelt at the Casablanca conference in 1943.

              As to the Russians, they knew all about the bomb.  After all, their man Klaus Fuchs worked on it.  I'm sure you know that when Truman told Stalin about the bomb at the Potsdam Conference, the Russian dictator was unimpressed, saying only that he hoped we would "put it to good use against the Japanese".  The fact that he already knew about it might explain why Russia was so well prepared to invade Japanese held Manchuria so quickly after the Hiroshima bomb.    

              I don't know where you were in 1945, or if you were even alive at the time.  But like they say, "You had to be there."  

              You can't spell "Worst President Ever" unless you begin with W.

              by tomathawl on Thu May 18, 2006 at 08:34:05 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Thanks for the extra information and perspective (0+ / 0-)

                tomathawl.  I appreciate your addition here.  

                But you can be sure that Osama Bin Laden use of the Hiroshima reference leaves out any such footnotes that may present the US decision in a more sympathetic light.

                In a world were decisions are made on perceptions not reality, my point was just to note how OBL was scoring propaganda points and making the same point as the original commenter.  

                In their frame of mind, they are the morally superior party and we are the war criminals.

                An awkward situation. And President Bush's "you're either with us or against us" sadly IMO plays into this gambit. If we then refuse to objectively engage any discussion from within the frames of other perceivers who do not buy into the US versus Them frame, we take ourselves out of the game.

                And also loose credibility in the eyes of many of these key "decision makers" such as Arab Youth that we could and should be making a much stronger and effective impact on.

                I beleive we can and should "win" (or at least not loose - sometimes verbal languages are ackward like this) the "war" perceived relative legitimacy (heart and minds.)

                I put in all these quoatations because, one strategy we should move towards is to transcend the "war" metaphors for winning the peace.

                To be successful in achieving a more peaceful coexistence with diverse other stakeholders is not to require their "subjucation" or "loss" in our defintions of success.

                So thanks for offering your deep and personal perspective on the Hiroshima bombing.

                But, now you have me curious.  What is your ultimate take on the bombing issue?  Regardless of what the rationale was at the time, what would you have done if you could go back and replay that segment of history?

                Do you think we may have been able to achieve our goals with fewer civilian deaths?  Like by vaporizing Mt Fuji or some other "demonstration" strike?

                Helping to bring justice back to the White House, one indictment at a time.

                by HoundDog on Fri May 19, 2006 at 09:38:50 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  You make good points. (0+ / 0-)

                  Because of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the US will always be known as the first country to use the bomb, and to our shame, against members of the "brown" race.  We'll never live it down, so we might as well face up to it.  It happened.  There were perhaps two alternatives that seemed somewhat viable at the time... (1) stage a demonstration hoping to frighten the Japanese into surrender or (2) use our superior naval forces to blockade the Japanese island nation thereby forcing surrender.

                  The problem with a demonstration was that there were only two bombs in existence; Little Boy, the "gun" type used at Hiroshima, and Fat Man, the "implosion" type used at Nagasaki.  Had a demonstration turned out to be a dud, there was nowhere for us to go.  Another demo, when there was only one more bomb?  Or an actual attack, which might also fail?  The more practical of the scientists and military men decided that an actual use of the bombs we had was the only sure way to end the war.

                  As to the blockade, while it is true that our Navy and Naval Air was superior, the Japanese Army still held Manchuria, Korea, Taiwan, IndoChina, Malaysia, Borneo, Burma, Thailand, most of New Guinea and the Philippines and a host of Pacific islands we had skipped over in order to get our B-29's close enough to Japan to attack the mother country.  With that kind of opposition remaining, it would have been impossible to "bring our troops home" for many years after most countries would have surrendered.  

                  Japan was a special kind of enemy, as illustrated by the suicides on Guam, Okinawa and other islands, the kamikaze attacks on our ships, and the refusal of japanese officers and men to surrender in spite of cruel conditions of obvious defeat.  Their surrender changed all that, and created a democracy from a monarchy, a modern nation from one still operating under the rules of the Samurai.

                  I wished at the time, and still do, that it had not been necessary to use "the bomb".  But I thought then, and still do, that it was the only reasonable alternative we had.  

                  You can't spell "Worst President Ever" unless you begin with W.

                  by tomathawl on Fri May 19, 2006 at 07:27:18 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

          •  I think it was done... (3+ / 0-)

            mainly to scare the living bejeezuz out of the Russians...(and everybody else on the planet as well).
            "You're either with us or against us."
            Now get into line.
            Same old,same old....

      •  Can't wait for liberation.... (0+ / 0-)

        ...Let it please be a Franco-Hawaiian coalition.

        "I am my brother's keeper. I am a Democrat." -- That's your slogan, Democrats.

        by Bensdad on Thu May 18, 2006 at 08:19:04 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Well, one thing I've noticed (40+ / 0-)

      you can sure tell American tourists from a distance, even before you hear that they're speaking English, and hear their accents.

      They're loud.  And invariably, they're the ones who think of Amsterdam as "hookers 'n' hash" and hardly realize that - wow - we have museums here!  Really cool ones with stuff by that guy called "Rembrandt".  It's also a really beautiful city.

      So I guess that Americans kind of tarnish their own image, sometimes.  Stereotyping the Dutch as stoners who, when they are not stoned, are off in the red light district, doesn't really help their image.

      The American tourists are the stoners who are getting laid in the red light district ;-)

      We got computers, we're tapping phone lines
      I know that ain't allowed...

      by Page van der Linden on Thu May 18, 2006 at 02:07:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Loud tourists (12+ / 0-)

        When I was living in Edinburgh in the 90's, the loudest tourists (in order of amplitude) were:

        1. The Australians
        1. The Spanish (a shocker there, let me tell you)
        1. The Americans

        Maybe it has something to do with the kind of tourists who make it out of London, I don't know. But while I'm not disputing that our image has been tarnished, and that we probably deserve it, I just want to say that we're not the absolute loudest tourists out there.

      •  I'm SO jealous of you... (4+ / 0-)

        you get to go to the Van Gogh museum any time!! AND...while I'm no stoner...I wouldn't mind having the ability to go for a walk and buy a joint every great now and then.

        When I travelled Europe...I found myself trying to check my monstrous backpack whenever I could...I'm sure I still looked like a tourist though:)

      •  Trust me (21+ / 0-)

        American tourists are really no worse than Dutch tourists, or German tourists, or British tourists, or Spanish tourists - depending on where in the world you are. It just so happens that you are more embarassed by American tourists, just as I'm more embarassed by Dutch and German tourists.

        Damn George Bush! Damn everyone that won't damn George Bush! Damn every one that won't put lights in his window and sit up all night damning George Bush!

        by brainwave on Thu May 18, 2006 at 02:33:46 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Are you Dutch Plutonium Page? I love Holland and (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kharma, trashablanca

        have even visited some of your museums.  But I have to admit I love the flowers and windmills most of all.  LOL  But spent most of my time inside the world headquarters of your multinational oil companies.  

        Helping to bring justice back to the White House, one indictment at a time.

        by HoundDog on Thu May 18, 2006 at 02:38:08 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Are you Dutch Plutonium Page? I love Holland and (0+ / 0-)

        have even visited some of your museums.  But I have to admit I love the flowers and windmills most of all.  LOL  But spent most of my time inside the world headquarters of your multinational oil companies.  

        Helping to bring justice back to the White House, one indictment at a time.

        by HoundDog on Thu May 18, 2006 at 02:39:14 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Not Dutch (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kharma, Caldonia, trashablanca

          I married a Dutch guy, though.

          We got computers, we're tapping phone lines
          I know that ain't allowed...

          by Page van der Linden on Thu May 18, 2006 at 02:45:04 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  that reminds me (5+ / 0-)

            I was in Amsterdam in 2004 and eating breakfast at a small hotel (across from the Reichs Museum (sp)).  I had read a funny book on Dutch culture prior to making the trip (called The Undutchables).

            Anyway, as we sat there eating, we couldn't help but overhear a Canadian talking about a bus tour she had taken.  

            My wife asked about it.  The Canadian said "oh, it shows you everything there is to know about Holland: windmills, tulips, wooden shoes and cheese!" I bit my tounge as I had read that this perception is a pet peeve of the Dutch.

            Sure enough, a Dutchman overheard the conversation and started to shake his head; he said something in english (polite, but he objected).

            My wife and I breathed a huge sigh of relief that it was a Canadian (and not an American) who had said that!

            When liberals saw 9-11, we wondered how we could make the country safe. When conservatives saw 9-11, they saw an investment opportunity.

            by onanyes on Thu May 18, 2006 at 02:53:37 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  No, it probably WAS an American (6+ / 0-)

              who's learned the trick of SAYING she's Canadian when traveling abroad, to avoid the opprobrium she'd otherwise get, being from the U.S.


              As nightfall does not come all at once, neither does oppression. - Justice William O. Douglas

              by occams hatchet on Thu May 18, 2006 at 04:17:28 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  nope (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                April Follies, mariva, occams hatchet

                she was Canadian all right; used the "word" "eh" several times in a most natural manner. :-)

                When liberals saw 9-11, we wondered how we could make the country safe. When conservatives saw 9-11, they saw an investment opportunity.

                by onanyes on Thu May 18, 2006 at 06:34:42 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  May I take this opportunity to apologize for... (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Canadian Reader, mariva, FrankFrink

                my ill-mannered, ignorant compatriot.

                I must say that most Canadians love the Dutch. Since WWII, Canada was a major part of liberating the Netherlands from the NAZI's. As a matter of fact I knew several war heros ( infantry, RCAF pilots) that where part of that campaign and were treated and still are treated with much affection by the  Dutch people.

                In Ottawa  actually  very soon they have a festival of tulips...bulbs donated by Holland everyyear to commemorate the liberation and to show  their gratitude.  Ottawa  never looked so  beautiful.

                Dank u

                •  It's partly (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Canadian Reader

                  the Canadian military's lead role in the liberation of the Netherlands and partly that Canada had given asylum to the Dutch Royal family during WWII. IIRC one of the sisters of the current Dutch Queen was born in Ottawa during the war.

                  You can lock up a mouse or a man but you can't lock up an idea - Tommy Douglas

                  by FrankFrink on Thu May 18, 2006 at 07:52:37 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  thats true... (0+ / 0-)

                    I forgot that nice historical tidbit.

                    I remember working for a veteran (the RCAF pilot) he had part of a messerschmits tail section (swastika included) in his garage. And a framed newspaper frontpage with him and the mayor of a Dutch town.

                    The classy-est gent I ever met.

                    •  Realize this is off topic (0+ / 0-)

                      so I'll keep it short and we can get back to regular programmimg...

                      But, are you currently in Brazil as your user name suggests?

                      The police/gang situation's been in mind the past couple days. My friend's wife and her sister, who are both Brazilian, are back there in Rio right now visiting afmily. I had a couple cocktails with him last night and he's sitting on pins and needles about it.

                      Just wondering how it actually is compared to what little we see and hear in the North American media.

                      You can lock up a mouse or a man but you can't lock up an idea - Tommy Douglas

                      by FrankFrink on Thu May 18, 2006 at 08:03:53 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  The Sao Paulo situation is hell. (0+ / 0-)

                        But it seem to be  back in control. Cop way under paid & way too corruptable.

                        After a gang leader got indicted. He order an all out attack on his cell-phone( in jail given him by a crooked cop).

                        But you say he is in Rio. Being in Rio myself I can say it is ok (relatively speaking). The crime is not beyond normal.

                        Oh yeah,cops raided yesterday and  killed 33 suspects (IMHO GOOD RIDDANCE!). what do you expect  when GangBangers  kill around 30 Cops in one night?

                        As a Canadian you can imagine for me this is completely nuts. I would order a marshal law and send the army in every favela in the country  and  order wide summary executions. But hey, I am against capital punishment or I think I was?

                •  ottawa (0+ / 0-)

                  Actually, I've been to Ottawa during the tulip festival for the National Capital footraces (I did the 10K and then the half marathon).

                  I loved it!  I took in many of the local sights.

                  But, what I was struck by is how the Canadians viewed the War of 1812 as the war of agression by the United States.

                  When liberals saw 9-11, we wondered how we could make the country safe. When conservatives saw 9-11, they saw an investment opportunity.

                  by onanyes on Fri May 19, 2006 at 06:21:44 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  Is Canada not part of North America? (0+ / 0-)

              Another problem we "Americans" have.

          •  Great-grandfather immigrated from Nunspeet (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            In Louisiana, the name Vos was an oddity.  All my life, my name is ... Vos, V as in victor, o . s.  Then I heard, "just one s."  "One s."  So, I got Vos. - with a period following the s.

            So I married a Klopfenstein ... just kidding.

            We worked on our genealogy as found that 2 Vos brothers from Nunspeet immigrated to Iowa and married sisters, in the 1880s.  Once we got to the Netherlands' records, we went back to the 1500s very quickly.  And we learned that the name Vos was like Jones in America!  Great records and great that women didn't lose their last name when they married.

            One of our Nunspeet cousins traveled to the US.  The family got together and had a great time!  Wonderful people, wonderful sense of humor!  

      •  Blue jeans, sneakers and shorts (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kharma, Caldonia, bloomer 101

        Even when they're not being loud, American tourists stand out with their clothes. Not saying those fashions are good or bad, just that Europeans rarely wear them around town.

        •  Clothing and hair (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          rppa, kharma, mariva, trashablanca

          When I was working as a flight attendant in the late 1970's through the '80's, it was my job, as often the only designated German-speaker on board, to stand at the front door of the DC-10 and try to anticipate whether to greet boarding passengers in German or English. Haircuts and clothing were usually my only clues, and one could almost always call it right.  There having been much less deviation from the fashion norms back then than now, imho.

          Last month we went to Europe and found that people didn't care one way or the other who we were.  I did not feel judged by friends or strangers, somewhat to my surprise.  And now, except for small differences, everyone looks the same no matter where you go.  Very global village, very nice.

          •  A little game I play (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Cedwyn, kharma, Erik the Red, gatorcog

            We like Air France. My French is pretty limited, so this is kind of 50/50. But I try to respond to the flight attendants in French the first time they interact with me, and then see if they'll continue using French (I win) or switch to English (I lose).

            Same thing in restaurants. I can never figure out why sometimes we get the English-language menus before we open our mouths. We really aren't wearing shorts and hawaiian shirts. But I always count it a "win" if we get handed the non-tourist menu.

            •  They always switch to English with me (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Cedwyn, kharma, catleigh, urbannie

              I learned French from two nuns.  One was from Brooklyn and the other was from Denmark.  No one can understand anything I say.  

              "Republicans are poor losers and worse winners." - My grandmother, sometime in the early 1960s

              by escapee on Thu May 18, 2006 at 04:25:18 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Dominique (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                nique nique s'en allait allégrement....


                Sorry. the door was wide opened on that one!

                I'm french Canadian born in the early 70's and my grade school still had a couple nuns, remnants of the old Catholic system. I hated their "go in the corner and pray Jesus to forgive you bit" But I must say I have one of the nicest handwritting (for a guy). they taught the three r's very well.

                Today I am a recovering Catholic... Religion free since '03.

                •  You were lucky. (0+ / 0-)

                  I'm French Canadian born in the 50's. The school system was very much Catholic. Taught almost exclusively by priests and nuns.

                  The one positive I took out of it all though was a healthy respect for Jesuit teachers. They really teach you to think.

                  Although lapsed since the 60's, I still have enough residual Catholicism that I'll cheer for any team from a school with the words Notre Dame, Loyola, Xavier, Ignatius in their name.

                  You can lock up a mouse or a man but you can't lock up an idea - Tommy Douglas

                  by FrankFrink on Thu May 18, 2006 at 08:15:21 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

        •  What do Europeans wear? (0+ / 0-)

          Mariva's Guide: Stuff for the mind, for passing time, for sharing, for yourself, for fun.

          by mariva on Thu May 18, 2006 at 08:06:50 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I'm not like that at all! (0+ / 0-)

        The times that I have traveled, I studied about the culture and people there and tried to learn some of the language.  I did not hang out at the resorts but stayed where the locals stayed and shopped and ate where they did.

        I'm a very intelligent, kind and generous person.

        The Christian Right is neither Witness Every Day

        by TXsharon on Thu May 18, 2006 at 04:15:44 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Damn (6+ / 0-)

        You mean Amsterdam isn't all about hookers and hash?  Next your gonna tell me there is no Santa.

        where do you expect us to go when the bombs fall?...S.O.A.D.

        by kharma on Thu May 18, 2006 at 04:37:32 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Don't Germans still have a reputation... (0+ / 0-)

        of being loud and obnoxious to the Dutch?

        I was crossing the channel from Dover to Oostende a few years ago and sitting near a group of huge German men (as in tall) blathering on so domineeringly that I felt almost threatened in their presence, and I'm over six feet tall myself!  I think these four or five guys must have been at least 6'6" and very muscular.

        So, are Americans now the equivalent of the Germans, in the Dutch mind?

  •  This is another reason we must oust Bush. (18+ / 0-)

    He and the Republican'ts are tarnishing our good name.

    •  tarnishing our good name? (36+ / 0-)

      that must be the understatement of the century. He's destroyed America's moral standing in the world for the next five generations.

      we're shocked by a naked nipple, but not by naked aggression

      by Lepanto on Thu May 18, 2006 at 01:56:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  He's had help . . . (7+ / 0-)

        b/c, after all, he got elected in 04 (barely, and probably crookedly, but it shouldn't even have been close after his first 4 years of fiascos and lies).  I think the rest of the world cut us a little break for his first term, because it was obvious that a majority of voters wanted Gore.  So it was Bush that people hated, not Americans.  

        But a majority of American voters went out in Nov 04 and voted for this guy, thus giving the American peoples' stamp of approval to his policies.  I think that changed the way a lot of non-Americans think of Americans.  I know that it forever changed the way I think of the country of my birth--I planned on emigrating b/c I was so dismayed and discouraged.  But after I got done grieving for the America I thought I knew and loved, I decided it was better to stay and fight to turn this suddenly foreign land into the place I once thought it was.  But, anyway, we can't blame it all on Bush--we the people had a part in it, too.

        "Going to church does not make us Christians any more than stepping into our garage makes us a car." --Rev R. Neville

        by catleigh on Thu May 18, 2006 at 06:08:56 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Not me! (0+ / 0-)

          ...we the people had a part in it, too.

          I didn't! I worked so hard to get Bush out of office. I (and others, I'm sure) really hate having to be punished because of what the majority of Americans did.

          I hope that most people around the world are smart and informed enough to separate the good Americans from the vast majority of dumb ones. If they aren't, then, well, doesn't that make them almost as dumb as most Americans?

          Mariva's Guide: Stuff for the mind, for passing time, for sharing, for yourself, for fun.

          by mariva on Thu May 18, 2006 at 08:12:43 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Parisians as Allies (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        April Follies, mariva

        I was knocking around Paris in late September '02, as Bush amassed tens of thousands of troops at the Iraqi border while pursuing his faux "diplomatic" solution.  A nicely dressed elderly couple stopped me at a street corner after hearing me speak and, after smiling and exchanging pleasantries, the old woman asked me what I thought of President Bush.  I indicated, somewhat ashamed, that I was not a supporter.  She then shook her finger in my face and told me to tell President Bush "No War!"  We managed to part company as kindred spirits.  

        The very next day, a young couple, students from Lille, sat next to me in a cafe by the Eiffel Tower.  Too soon, I heard, "Are you American?"  Then the inevitable question:  what did I think of our President?  I said, again embarassed, that I was not a supporter.  I then asked what they thought of him.  Boris replied,  "I think he thinks he is the Superman of the world."  

        God, he was prescient.  BTW, a little humility goes a long way abroad.  

        Impeach. Convict. Remove.

        by DC Scott on Thu May 18, 2006 at 06:57:23 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Any time I meet a French person in my home town (0+ / 0-)

          (which is San Francisco), I go out of my way to tell them how much I love the French. They're usually very kind and even grateful for my saying so.

          Mariva's Guide: Stuff for the mind, for passing time, for sharing, for yourself, for fun.

          by mariva on Thu May 18, 2006 at 08:15:29 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  I agree it has gotten (11+ / 0-)

      MUCH worse but our reputation wasn't sterling everywhere.

      A group of actors from Central America were in the states during 9/11. My sister was doing some work with them and they hung out a lot.
      She was surprised by their mixed reaction to the event. It wasn't that they were happy about it, it was more that now we knew what it was like, maybe now our government would have more understanding and compassion before they came in and wreaked havoc on another country.

      Would that it have turned out that way! I even had a vague hope that it might especially with all the support we got from around the world. Instead we have become monsters.

      It was the first my sister heard much about what we did in Central America and other places. (I still can't believe Cheney brought up El Salvador as a parallel for the current predicament in Afghanistan and how wonderfully that turned out. Even more I couldn't believe news media and public weren't appalled by that as well)

      But we as a people weren't hated for those sins. I suspect the turning point came when bush was apparently re-elected in 2004 and that we have no massive protests against his policies, that congress cooperate and the people keep accepting it.

      When my son travels in Europe I'd urge him to wear a Canadian cap and say eh a lot. Luckily he is taken as a native for whatever country he is in, he looks European. But it's a shame my biggest worry is that people will know where he is from and react to that.

      How do we extend our regrets to the world? They hate us? Imagine how we feel about what we have become.

      •  I would advise against it. (4+ / 0-)

        Most Americans can't carry off a Canadian accent and will be "detected".

        The fact that you put forward the "living of a lie" and are thereby prepared to try to decieve all you meet certainly does not sit well with me (part of the ROTW).  That you would consider or advocate it does not speak well of American honesty and I would like you to consider that that is part of the problem.

        Best Wishes, Demena

        by Demena on Thu May 18, 2006 at 05:08:15 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I second that (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mariva, gatorcog, BalkanID

          It bugs the shit out of me when Americans pretend to be Canadians or when Canadians play up their Canadian citizenship.  When you're out there in the world, just be decent and honest.  People will judge you for who you are, and if they like you, you've done your little diplomatic bit in repairing our image.

        •  Oh my son (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Terri, mariva

          doesn't listen. I also urge him to take up knitting rather than cycling. Just a mom thing to say.  If he obeyed me I'd be more cautious in what I say but he just laughs at my mom talk.

          He travels as himself and now with his bride. He speaks clumsy German, Spanish and Italian as needed but doesn't pretned to be anything. He's never had a problem. I have the problem.

          Since he is the one who travels there isn't any lie, he goes as a not ugly American and makes friends everywhere.

        •  Further, SOMEONE needs to be a good example (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mariva, FrankFrink, Demena

          Remember that, if you are polite and intelligent and don't fit their stereotype of Americans, you can accomplish a great deal of good BEING an American.

          Some of us need to set the example of what Americans can be -- pretending we're not American doesn't do it.

          America will never again be the land of the free... Unless she first becomes the home of the brave.

          by Ducktape on Thu May 18, 2006 at 08:17:43 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  We did have massive protests, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        especially at the beginning of the invasion into Iraq. But the MSM (and American public) largely dismissed us.

        I actually think the main point of those protests was to get photos, footage and reports out to the rest of the world, so that at least they'd know that not all Americans were in support of this horrible decision.

        Mariva's Guide: Stuff for the mind, for passing time, for sharing, for yourself, for fun.

        by mariva on Thu May 18, 2006 at 08:19:56 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You're right and it's odd (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          how little coverage some of our very large protests have gotten here.

          We are shown protests going on overseas, they even showed a lot of the protests regarding immigration. The protests against the war or that were anti-bush in any way were down played or barely covered.

          I hope you are right that other countries showed them, but it was disconcerting that the press here made so little of them.

          I was thinking of protests like in the Ukraine that lasted and lasted until something was done. There is just so much corruption here it must seem odd that we don't rise up.

  •  Recommend. n/t (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TexDem, irate

    "How am I not myself?" -- I (Heart) Huckabees

    by Joelarama on Thu May 18, 2006 at 01:51:04 PM PDT

  •  We used to be (6+ / 0-)

    the light of the world.  

    "... Just so long as I'm the dictator." - GWB, 12/18/00

    by Bob Love on Thu May 18, 2006 at 01:51:16 PM PDT

    •  Yes, and it makes my eyes tear up (13+ / 0-)

      when I think how thoroughly that has been reversed.  

      I have a commemorative medal of unknown provenance.  I don't think it's old or valuable, but I still value it.  

      On one side it says

      On the other side it says:

      UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, 1941-1945.

      Liberal revisionist claptrap?  Maybe so.  But it's GOOD revisionist claptrap.  Let's go with it.  

      The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function -- Edward Teller.

      by lgmcp on Thu May 18, 2006 at 02:31:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  We have a copy (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lgmcp, trashablanca, greenearth

        of Norman Rockwell's poster "Freedom from Fear" framed and hanging on our wall because my lovely S.O. was so struck by how very differently a great American president saw the world than the fear and hate-mongering BushCo.

        That 'claptrap' you quote is from an FDR speech, the inspiration for four of Rockwell's works, in which he names four freedoms we experience in a proper democracy.

        American values indeed.

        War is NOT a preventative measure.

        by demandcaring on Thu May 18, 2006 at 04:55:42 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Wow, thanks (0+ / 0-)

          I learned just recently from a terrific diary here, about Norman Rockwell's painting representing that speech, and also about the speech itself. It's all coming together ...

          I gave one of those medals to an uncle who is an old-time liberal. I gave it to him because I knew the sentiments would appeal to him. But he's a big FDR fan as well and probably knew the context imediately.  

          The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function -- Edward Teller.

          by lgmcp on Fri May 19, 2006 at 07:39:25 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Glad we Passed back from Japan in 2001 (9+ / 0-)

    while people still kinda liked us. Every time I left the base, I would have had to wear a T-shirt that said "I didn't vote for Bush,. I think he's an idiot too."  Of course, if I wore it ON base, security would have hassled me. My husband got hassled for having sticker that said "One nuclear bomb can ruin your whole day" until he convinced the not-terribly bright-guard that it was a statement inf avor of nuclear deterrence.

    The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

    by irishwitch on Thu May 18, 2006 at 01:51:40 PM PDT

  •  Yes, exactly... (8+ / 0-)

    That's one reason the next President will have a huge uphill battle, no matter what party they call theirs.

    Of course, we have to get the current people CAUSING this effect out, so we can work on repairing the damage, both foreign and domestic.

    President Washington, President Lincoln, President Wilson, President Roosevelt have all authorized electronic surveillance on a far broader scale. -AG

    by Stymnus on Thu May 18, 2006 at 01:52:18 PM PDT

  •  I don't know (11+ / 0-)

    I haven't met anyone here who has voiced dislike for Americans.  There's a lot of serious dislike of George Bush and his policies, but not Americans themselves.

    We got computers, we're tapping phone lines
    I know that ain't allowed...

    by Page van der Linden on Thu May 18, 2006 at 01:56:55 PM PDT

    •  So far that has been my experience too (4+ / 0-)

      I hope to return to Europe this summer and do some more traveling and see some new sights, and return to some old ones (Hello Saint-Emilion) and I hope I really hope that people are as friendly as I have always found them to be.  Remember, be polite, learn how to say good day and how to ask if anyone speaks english in the native tongue and all will be well.  I have been in a shop in the south of france talking to a salesperson, in english, when another american came busting in demanding to know whether anyone spoke english and could help her.  Nope, I don't think anyone could help her.  She left and we continued our conversation.

      "I said, 'wait a minute, Chester, you know I'm a peaceful man.'" Robbie Robertson -8.13, -4.56

      by NearlyNormal on Thu May 18, 2006 at 02:37:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Not in my experience, either. (8+ / 0-)

      I live in northern Spain, and although it's perfectly clear that there is much distain and contempt (and great puzzlement) over our government in general and Bush in particular, I have never been treated dismissively or rudely or harassed for being American. I'm not saying that it doesn't happen, but I can easily imagine that people stating a dislike for Americans generally without treating individual Americans badly. (Heck, even I do that sometimes!)

      •  Exactly (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        No matter where I have travelled or lived, if I have been friendly and polite, I have gotten the same back.  I've never tried being an jerk, but I can guess where it would take me.
        It's worth remembering that if you are kind to someone and they dislike you or treat you badly simply because you're american, they are the asshole and the one acting on prejudice.

    •  There's a difference... (3+ / 0-)

      There are two types of Americans - those who venture offshore to explore the rest of the world, and those who do not. The venturers can also be divided into two groups - those who willingly open themselves up to new experiences while overseas, and those who expect to be catered for in the same way as they would at home.

      It's easy for us in the rest of the world (I'm a Kiwi) to lump stay-at-home Americans into one amorphous blob - "all of whom" are arrogant, complacent, uneducated, ignorant of the rest of the world and all its fascinating diversity - and all of whom of course voted for GWB not once, but twice - and are therefore all responsible for the disasters of the past 5 years. Not an accurate assessment, but one which it is easy to make.

      Of those Americans whom we meet in our own countries, it is clear that the open-minded ones give a much better impression than those who are demanding, difficult, or expect everyone to speak English in countries where English is not the first language. When you visit another country, you are an ambassador for your own country, and your behaviour reflects the values of your homeland.

      Just as the English (my former country) can be horribly embarrasing as tourists, so can those Americans who do not take the time to explore the world on the world's terms, or who simply do not show respect to the cultures in which they find themselves.

      For evil to triumph it is necessary only for good people to do nothing - Edmund Burke

      by webweaver on Thu May 18, 2006 at 07:46:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  America will be back, though (32+ / 0-)

    I know many Europeans, as my father is the only American in his family (the rest stayed in Europe after the war, or went to Australia to leave the ruins of the war behind) and I talk to Australians and Europeans on a regular basis:

    They WANT to like us. If you think Bush fucked up the aftermath of September 11th here, you haven't talked to somebody from Europe. Sheesh. After September 11th, EVERYBODY was a virtual American. Until Bush fucked it all up with his idiocy and his arrogance and his condescention.

    Most of the great rightwing legends of constant hateful America-bashing is a polltested and focus group generated collections of myths.... because the right benefits from Anti-Americanism. If everybody 'hates' us, then we need the right to 'protect' us. And it is all such a tragedy that they don't care about the effects of their actions on our friends overseas. Ordinary Italians, Irish, French, Germans, Norwegians, and English. The lot of 'em. There are no more eager audiences for America worship if the President isn't an ass. These nations who consume American pop culture like cool water after a long hot walk in the sun think this land is the epitome of cool.

    You have to work at getting people to hate the US in many of the great nations of Europe.  

    That is the shame of the Bush administration, and the policies of the hard right in general. Bill Clinton was beloved in Europe, and his travel there was that of a visiting rockstar, rather than a US President.

    I know this sounds hard to believe, but if the next President of the US is not an idiot like the current one, he or she can repair these relationships in six months... by being decent human beings and decent citizens of the global community. All you have to do is not continue the Bush administration's policies and, most of all, their eltist condescention towards foreigners.

    I know this sounds hard to believe because of the damage Bush has done, but a decent President will undo a lot of Bush's damage far quicker than we might dare to imagine right now.

    "Email is the drive-by shooting of the common man." -Richard "Civility" Cohen

    by LeftHandedMan on Thu May 18, 2006 at 02:02:34 PM PDT

  •  Report from the world (17+ / 0-)

    I've heard from a few people who've been in Europe recently, most recently a college student just back from a semester abroad in Italy.

    The typical exchange goes something like this:

    European Person: You're American?
    American Person: Yes.
    (Long, tense silence.)
    AP: I don't like Bush.
    EP: (relaxes) Oh, OK.

    And then politics doesn't come up anymore.

    Some people have taken to displaying Canadian flags on their luggage to avoid the instinctive dislike of Americans. That's sad.

    One thing that has always been true still is: If you are speaking their language, even badly, they'll never guess your nationality. They'll start with English, then Australian, then start guessing every European country but their own. Never American.

    •  The loser's way out (12+ / 0-)

      Being a fake Canadian turns you into a total hoser.

      Plus, most people in other countries have a lot of misconceptions about America.  For example, it isn't clear to them that a large fraction of the electorate votes based on the price of gas and whether or not gay people---who would never visit a trailer park---are having sex.  

      If we all pretent to be from Canada, there's nobody left to explain this kind of thing.

      If you think you're that far ahead, then get the chips in the middle of the table!

      by theran on Thu May 18, 2006 at 02:29:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Very true--agree completely (19+ / 0-)

        A British guest on the Daily Show not too long ago said that, to overcome the anti-American sentiment as travelers, "the best advertisements that Americans can present to the world is themselves."

        So travel as an American, and set an example of BEING a good American. If you're traveling to a non-English-speaking country, learn a bit of the language. Be polite, friendly, considerate interested in the international culture you're visiting.

        In other words, be a good liberal. :)

        •  So long as I can wear sneakers and jeans (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          boofdah, mariva

          or shorts in public (refenced above as a U.S fashion faux pas), then I'll do it.

          My apologies to students who took my U.S. Government class in the 90s: evidently the Constitution doesn't limit Presidential power after all. Who knew?

          by Major Danby on Thu May 18, 2006 at 07:10:36 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Plus,having irate Canadians (9+ / 0-)

        rip the Maple Leaf off your backpack as I witnessed in Hoog Katherijn,Central Station Utrecht back in 2004.

        •  I'm guessing, but were the Canucks (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          politely irate?

          You know, as in a really good Rick Mercer rant kind of way?

          You can lock up a mouse or a man but you can't lock up an idea - Tommy Douglas

          by FrankFrink on Thu May 18, 2006 at 04:04:25 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The worst seat mate I ever had on a plane (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mariva, FrankFrink

            was a Canadian contractor returning from Cuba at the same time as me.  He was obnoxiously loud and all he could talk about was the overpriced whores in Havana.  
            If he wasn't trying to press the information on me, he was yelling over the seats.

            We all have our share of jerks.

            •  Maybe he was an American (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              webweaver, mariva

              trying to pass himself off as Canadian,in order to disguise the fact(in case of eavesdropping Airline secret police)that he had visited forbidden territory?
              (Semi-snark,because I don't disagree with you at all)

              Sites like The DailyKos are invaluable in presenting opinions representative of tens of millions of Americans and reassures those of us who do not live in the US that there are still plenty of reasonable outward looking citizens who see the bigger picture.
              Outside of the blogs and the Today Show most Americans' opinions are projected from your MSM.

              You think the liberal voice is muffled within your borders? It's even more faint from the outside.

              •  oh yeah! (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                April Follies, mariva, FrankFrink

                Is it ever muffled! If I didn't practically live at DKos, I wouldn't know a fraction of what you all are doing to try and get your country back on track. I wouldn't have a clue.

                Our media is not known for its pro-American bias - in fact I have seen a good number of news reports here in New Zealand which are fairly clear in their condemnation of the latest US fuck-up, but we do also get news reports screened on our national news which have obviously come straight from ABC, or CNN or elsewhere, and which clearly show the story from a right-wing American point of view.

                The frustration for me is that even here, with our democratic government and open, relatively unbiased media, some of these stories are screened with absolutely no comment or correct from our newsreaders - even when I know it's only half the story.

                For evil to triumph it is necessary only for good people to do nothing - Edmund Burke

                by webweaver on Thu May 18, 2006 at 07:56:54 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  You don't agree? (0+ / 0-)

                I'm confused.  I offered a factual descriptive incident showing that boorishness is not a uniquely American ocurrance; and your response is you don't agree.  That makes no sense. I am left not knowing which of the following you mean.

                Are you saying the incident didn't ocurr?

                Do you find the behavior exhibited by this Canadian contractor to be acceptable?

                Is the behavior acceptable in your view because it was exhibited by someone from a country other than the USA?

                In your view, are citizens of the USA the only people capable of boorishness?

        •  Did the Canadians use the word ``hoser''? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mariva, FrankFrink

          Or did they just call the fake Canadians mental?

          If you think you're that far ahead, then get the chips in the middle of the table!

          by theran on Thu May 18, 2006 at 04:30:20 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Oh, I think the voter shallowness (9+ / 0-)
        is a lot more visible than you'd like it to be.

        Thing is, voters in Canada, France, and Australia may be just as selfish and provincially-minded at times... but nobody is watching them. What they decide, for the most part, affects only the people of their own country.

        The whole world knows that what American voters do is guaranteed to have a huge direct effect upon them. So everyone is watching -- and in this age of the internet, they can see every last wart, mole, and SUV. Rev. Dobson gets the President to break his vacation to prevent a brain-dead woman from finding peace -- and people all around the planet become frightened at narrow religious fanatics having such power over them.

        By comparison, I'd say Islamic fanaticism is not in the same league for "scary".

        So... well... people pay close attention.

        Folly is fractal: the closer you look at it, the more of it there is. - TNH

        by Canadian Reader on Thu May 18, 2006 at 05:08:18 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Oh, yes, Islamic fanaticism is VERY scary... (0+ / 0-)

          Mariva's Guide: Stuff for the mind, for passing time, for sharing, for yourself, for fun.

          by mariva on Thu May 18, 2006 at 08:32:57 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Different dimensions of scary. (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            theran, FrankFrink, terafnord
            Islamic fanaticism is bad for its own people. No argument from me there. But in terms of destructive capacity for the rest of the world... even when they turn to terrorism (most don't) they're relatively powerless. In your worst nightmares, they can't cause more than sporadic damage.

            The US has killed many orders of magnitude more people than Islamic fanatics even counting just the few years so far of this century, and looks set to ruin the planet for the whole human race out of sheer greed and self-indulgence. Plus now it seems they are contemplating using their huge nuclear arsenal on Iran, for no good reasons -- only rotten ones, like, it might let the Republicans win the 2006 midterms.

            Enormous, mind-boggling power. No sense of responsibility. You want scary? That's scary.

            Folly is fractal: the closer you look at it, the more of it there is. - TNH

            by Canadian Reader on Thu May 18, 2006 at 09:37:58 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I have no argument about the problems of the U.S. (0+ / 0-)

              But Islamic fanaticism is absolutely horrible, and it's spread to many regions of the world, on many continents. If they had their way, it'd keep spreading. If they had a little more power, they'd be as bad as the U.S. Perhaps even worse.

              Mariva's Guide: Stuff for the mind, for passing time, for sharing, for yourself, for fun.

              by mariva on Fri May 19, 2006 at 11:26:50 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  Nice comment. I see what you mean about (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wonkydonkey, 4jkb4ia

      people first guessing other nationalities as the percentage of Americans who speak more than one languange is (depending on the exact region of the US you're from) laughable in comparison to most European countries.

      That said, an American accent when someone speaks German, for example (or a more general "English speakers accent" if the German is fluent) is usually not too hard for people to spot.

      lim (testosterone -> infinity) Man(testosterone) = War

      by Crowdog on Thu May 18, 2006 at 02:34:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I've heard it many times (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I haven't experienced it first hand, as when I've been overseas for whatever reason nobody has ever gone through this guessing process with me. They ask, I tell them. I do always try to speak the language of the country. Right now I'm trying to get a smattering of German together for a trip in a few weeks to Bavaria.

        Perhaps it's because we have an aversion to crowds of tourists and obvious tourist locations, so we tend to go to out of the way places or small shops in popular destinations. Whatever the reason, my wife and I have found that we frequently have to rely on the native language (or French) with the people we deal with. English just isn't an option.

        When I was in Italy, one guy did guess right off the bat I was American. I asked him if it was my accent and he told me it was.

        In Italy, even in some surprising places (like the information counter at the Milan Centrale rail station), people didn't know English. My wife can't quite get her head around Italian, so she was delighted to discover that practically every person we met in Italy spoke French (and as a result she was taken for a French tourist). Had we not had the Italian and the French between us, I can't imagine how we would have gotten through that trip. There were just too many situations where we needed one or the other, or both.

    •  Better than bogus Canadian flags (10+ / 0-)
      is to clip your old "Dean for America" button to the strap of your bag.  It speaks volumes.

      Keep smiling. Drives 'em bats.

      by Crashing Vor on Thu May 18, 2006 at 02:43:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  rppa, although I disagree with one of your points (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Canadian Reader, TexDem, 4jkb4ia

      ...(see below), you've made an excellent point here:

      One thing that has always been true still is: If you are speaking their language, even badly, they'll never guess your nationality. They'll start with English, then Australian, then start guessing every European country but their own. Never American.

      I've traveled internationally seven times in my teen and adult life; and even when I was a teen traveling to Mexico with my family, my parents taught my sister and I to be courteous and to learn even how to say "hello," "goodbye," "thank you," "please," etc. in Spanish.

      My parents' lessons stuck with me when I was in my 20s and traveled to Eastern Europe. In the months prior to my trip, I checked out Berlitz language cassette tapes in German, Czech, and Polish; and drove to and from work listening to and practicing along with these tapes. I had so perfected my accent that many people whom I met didn't even mistaken me from being out of Eastern Europe. One lady even thought I was from Yugoslavia lol...

      One Swiss guy I met on the Eurail commented that he was surprised to learn I was an American (after I couldn't go further in speaking my broken German with him). I'll never forget when he told me that, "You're not like all the other Americans I've met who've traveled here; they're all assholes who think we should speak English all the time."

      I've traveled to Europe, Mexico, and Central America since the Iraq War was under way; and even as recently as this past March, when I was in Belize and Mexico with my husband, we were always treated with friendliness. Just being a considerate, kind, and polite traveler goes a long way; and I'm glad my parents taught my sister and I well in that way. :)

      (To be fair, I had an easier time of it probably because I'm a second-generation European-American, so I probably still have a lot of "Euro" features about me. I'm also very understated; I'm not a "flashy" person at all, so that might help with people not picking up on my Americanism right away. <g>)

      •  One thing I will always remember (5+ / 0-)

        from my trip to europe...

        I am american, I speak english, and high school level spanish.  I was traveling europe with a girl I had been in a long relationship with who was fluent in french.  We were on a train in Italy with an Italian man and a German couple.  None of the three spoke english beyond a couple words.  But we were all able to carry on a conversation together.

        My girlfriend could understand the Italian fellow (but he couldn't understand her), The Italian could understand my Spanish, and the Italian could speak German.  We spoke for a couple of hours about the american education system, and what Illinois was like...

        They knew we were american's all along, and they seemed very interested in speaking with us (of course, this was back in '99).

        "That blood was already on the flag; we just made it visible." - Clare Grady

        by tamman2000 on Thu May 18, 2006 at 03:28:04 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  LOL (0+ / 0-)

          i was in cuzco peru and was hanging out with a local street vendor.  his english was about as poor as my spanish, but it was all good.  anyhoo, his friend shows up and he speaks a little german.  so he and i were able to communicate in german better than anybody could in english/spanish.  lol

          weather forecast

          The palaces of kings are built upon the ruins of the bowers of paradise. - Paine

          by Cedwyn on Thu May 18, 2006 at 06:56:38 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I missed something (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        What was the thing you disagreed with me on?

    •  American 'R' is a giveaway... (0+ / 0-)

      If you can get that out of your accent, they might guess you to be English. But the American accent is distinctive, and the R (without the Irish phonemes) is the giveaway.

      America will never again be the land of the free... Unless she first becomes the home of the brave.

      by Ducktape on Thu May 18, 2006 at 08:33:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This is disturbing (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kestrel, Elise, mariva, greenearth

    Relatively recently, I've spoken to plenty of Europeans and they've all gone out of their way to say that while they hate George W. Bush, they have nothing against Americans. I guess that's changing.

  •  No one currently in DC will solve the problem (9+ / 0-)

    That includes Gore. That includes Feingold. That especially includes Hillary, Kerry and the rest of the dems. This has been a problem that has been coming for a long time.

    It really has a lot to do with the way we view our place in the world versus the rest of the world. In a way, we're going through now what the Europeans and the advanced Asian nations went through over the last 400 years. We in this nation had more natural resources and open spaces than any society in at least the last 1000 years. If you didn't like where you were, move. We were largely able to miss the religious wars, then the imperial wars that others faced. If we had learned from their history, we would be ok.

    I think it is really going to take a major shift away from the power structure we have now to make much of a difference. That means someone who is willing to confront the beast, not only in the White House, but in Congress, the media, the boardrooms and even the corporate churches. Simultaneously, he will have to work with other countries to try to rebuild our image abroad. None of this is easy, and I don't see anyone in power right now who is willing to address all of this.

    Do Pavlov's dogs chase Schroedinger's cat?

    by corwin on Thu May 18, 2006 at 02:15:31 PM PDT

    •  I wish someone would diary this (4+ / 0-)

      This is the root cause of our problems. George Bush isn't just a wrong turn; he's the natural end result of a long, long journey in the wrong direction. America has had a radical restructuring, top to bottom--but it doesn't know it.

      In movies, songs and speeches, Americans still boast we are the world's greatest democracy--but don't bat an eye when their president tracks their phone calls, overrides laws like a king and imprisons citizen without trial.

      We still pride ourselves on equality, while the elite of the elite now control virtually all the wealth and all the income.

      We still talk about our free press, but allow five of the world's richest men, all in bed with the current government, to own it.

      We know "free enterprise" built the nation, but allow its banner to be taken up by crony capitalists who prop up their weak, sclerotic corporations with government largesse while squashing independent innovation.

      America used to be the nation most of its citizens mistakenly think it still is. I see no one on the scene who's even willing to let them in on the secret.

      •  yes! yes! yes! (3+ / 0-)

        And this is part of the reason why the rest of the world is so pissed off with "Americans" because every time someone in America goes on about how it's the "home of democracy" or "the greatest nation on earth" or "The land of the free, home of the brave" or whatever else, the rest of us just roll our eyes and go "oh yeah? You taken a close look at your nation recently?"

        For evil to triumph it is necessary only for good people to do nothing - Edmund Burke

        by webweaver on Thu May 18, 2006 at 08:06:27 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  How could they not blame Americans (14+ / 0-)

    This is a democracy or at least it appears that way. Anyone from any other country looks at us and is amazed that we elected him, twice.

  •  We citizens look complicit because there has (17+ / 0-)

    been no hew and cry by the majority of Americans until the last few weeks.

    No media dissent, no minority party dissent, no public dissent, no nothin'!  

    Lookslike we the the ASSHAT administration " doin' a heck of a job...!

    Nothing short of an aroused public can change things, nothing less than democracy is at stake- Bill Moyers

    by maggiemae on Thu May 18, 2006 at 02:18:26 PM PDT

  •  So sad (8+ / 0-)

    The best thing we can do to improve our standing in a hurry is to impeach that motherfucker.  It won't solve all the problems, but it's a start.  

    The more we do nothing, the more complicit we become.

    "Man's capacity for justice makes democracy possible; but man's inclination to injustice makes democracy necessary." - Reinhold Niebuhr

    by Mahanoy on Thu May 18, 2006 at 02:22:26 PM PDT

  •  watch this video on carbon dioxide.... (5+ / 0-)

    and you'll share the world's view of Americans.

    •  Are you Dutch Plutonium Page? I love Holland and (0+ / 0-)

      have even visited some of your museums.  But I have to admit I love the flowers and windmills most of all.  LOL  But spent most of my time inside the world headquarters of your multinational oil companies.  

      Helping to bring justice back to the White House, one indictment at a time.

      by HoundDog on Thu May 18, 2006 at 02:43:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Are you Dutch Plutonium Page? I love Holland and (0+ / 0-)

      have even visited some of your museums.  But I have to admit I love the flowers and windmills most of all.  LOL  

      But spent most of my time in Holland inside the world headquarters of one of your multinational oil companies teaching them how to use advanced mathematical comuputer models in conjunction with scenario planning to accomplish their global objectives.

      Maybe you want to retract you sympathetic comments.
      I was actually incredibly impressed with the quality and goodness of the people (In the oil company).  I expected I was going into the "belly of the beast" and would meet the devil himself as I was working as a consultant to the global director of strategy and met a lot of the global "cooridinators."  

      But we doing simple scenario simulations of global warming causing changes in the worlds willingness to emit CO2 gases dacades ago that are still more advanced than any thing I've seen published in public even today.

      But this one company, chose to make an incredible shift to emphasize and grow their natural gas production to get a lead on this global transition.  


      Helping to bring justice back to the White House, one indictment at a time.

      by HoundDog on Thu May 18, 2006 at 02:50:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  As I said yesterday, heck of a job, Shrubbie n/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
  •  Yesterday's Diary (8+ / 0-)

    Some good comments in yesterday's diary about this:

    I know I'm repeating myself, but this website and its accompanying book sums up my feelings:

  •  Recommended... (7+ / 0-)

    What a throw all of the good will of the world away...reminds me of that London paper after the election..."How can 59 million people be so stupid?"

    Unfortunately, while I'm typically the most idealistic and optimistic person in the world...I don't have a lot of hope for most Americans being willing to change. I don't see it happening. And eventually I'm sure there will come a time when it is simply easier for me to leave the US and go move somewhere else so I can live in peace and without fear.

    •  fear (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      go move somewhere else so I can live in peace and without fear.

      Well, there you go, you've just encapsulated the reason why America won't change... because Americans are scaredy cats who would rather run than fight for their government.

      All we have before us is violence, and our relentless pursuit of candy. --Jon Stewart

      by NYCO on Thu May 18, 2006 at 03:19:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You don't know me. Don't assume that you know (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        anonymousredvest18, mariva

        how willing I am to fight for my government.

        You can reread my initial post and see the word "EVENTUALLY". That isn't today...and from what I can see and hope for, it's a long while away.

        The fear I was referring to was the increase in the number of terror attacks that I'm sure will begin happening here as a result of the fact that it won't be long before the rest of the world hates us.

        If it comes down to it and Republicans continue to mismanage everything they touch, then I expect the American people will begin to pay for it on a daily basis. I don't want to be around for that.

        Nothing in my comment says that I'm unwilling to fight for my simply says that at some point there most likely won't be anything left to fight FOR.

    •  My sister had the paper framed and (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Elise, mariva

      put up in her bathroom. She had a party and someone swiped it. She thinks it was her Michael Savage loving son-in-law.

      "If standing up for the Constitution and rule of law is a "stunt," then I'll take it."

      by Jlukes on Thu May 18, 2006 at 06:05:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Not to be totally self-serving here, but... (5+ / 0-)

    ...I wonder if other countries' opinion of us as people is embettered a bit if we voted for Kerry in the last election (at least 57,000,000 of us did); and even more, are STILL doing what we can--in our own ways--to reverse the damage that this Administration has done.

  •  ya dance with the one what brung ya (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    theran, boofdah, mariva

    we had a choice: send george packing and regain some of our good standing, or re-select george and continue the downward spiral

    hey America, you choose poorly

    now enjoy the consequences

  •  Neocons don't care... (6+ / 0-)

    To them, there is no such thing as soft-power.  They are only concerned if we are perceived as strong and that we are feared.  To the hardcores, such as Perle, et. al., this is good news.  I'll bet if you posted this diary over at Freeperville or LGFB (good luck) - their response would be 'good - I hope those fuckers think twice before pulling any shit on us again!'

    "[A] 'Sharecropper's Society' [is] precisely where our trade policies, supported by Republicans and Democrats alike, are taking us." - Warren Buffet

    by RichM on Thu May 18, 2006 at 02:31:32 PM PDT

    •  New Stones album has song (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Canadian Reader, HoundDog

      Sweet Neo Con:

      It's getting very scary
      Yes, I'm frightened out of my wits
      There's bombers in my bedroom
      Yeah and it's giving me the shits

      We must have loads more bases
      To protect us from our foes
      Who needs these foolish friendships
      We're going it alone

      How come you're so wrong
      My sweet neo con
      Where's the money gone
      In the Pentagon


      Best Stones Album since Carter was President.

      "I said, 'wait a minute, Chester, you know I'm a peaceful man.'" Robbie Robertson -8.13, -4.56

      by NearlyNormal on Thu May 18, 2006 at 02:44:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I don't know how many catch your on target (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RichM, Cedwyn

      reference to Nye's theories of the "soft power" of influence and the persuasion of cooperation towards enlighted self interest.  Contrast this to the Neocons open advocacy of unilateral preemptive projection and assertion of American military power and we can get to the heart of much of our current difficulty right away.  

      Helping to bring justice back to the White House, one indictment at a time.

      by HoundDog on Thu May 18, 2006 at 02:58:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Antidotal account (13+ / 0-)

    I’ve been traveling internationally in the last few years.

    *Pre Bush - friendly casual talk discussions of  US issues

    *After Bush’s selection - curiosity about the US status.

    *After 9/11 - Supportive encouragement... everywhere I went.

    *After our response in Afghanistan - questions.

    *After Iran - probing of questions... with follow up... and challenges.

    *After reports of torture, human and civil rights violations - confusion.

    *After Bush’s second election - NOTHING... silence... they stopped asking questions.  The silence is deafening.

    I suppose I could elaborate more fully on each of these stages, but I’m short-on-time just now.  

    Bottom line:  I’ve, personally, seen radical shifts in international views of the US in the last few years.

  •  I returned from Bahrain yesterday (11+ / 0-)

    I was there for a conference and was one of a handful of "Americans" attending. Most people were from the Midddle East or Europe.

    My experience does not match the findings of the survey at all. In fact, I was surprised at how many people purposely differentiated between the president and the population. Most were aware of the latest polls (32% was thhown around often) and predicted lower numbers in the near future. This being the Arab world, it was clear that they do not like Bush. One business associate from Beirut went as far as saying he has to read Bush's transcripts because he can't stand to watch or listen to him (atta boy! I bought him a drink!)

    I have the same experience in Madrid, were I live now.

    This is NOT to say that I disagree with the polls or with anything you have written. Your diary is poignant and something to be fully aware of.  I just wanted to shae my very recent experience.

    •  Thanks for sharing these encouraging comments (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      4jkb4ia, anonymousredvest18, mariva, Truza

      Truza.  Your anecdotal reports are also informative and help give us a more balanced impression of what is going on, as do many others here.

      Perhaps, I was too negative in my diary today. I'm feeling a little down and probably overdid the "poignant" angel.  LOL  

      So I appreciate you more encouraging perspective.  I've travelled extensively around the world in my international consulting days.  And most folks were very friendly to Americans and distinquished between the people and our government.

      But I also believe these are good things for us to be aware of and be discussing and trying to respond to.

      This is an international forum for example.  Unless we are are willing to engage these kind of issues we leave only our government and media to create our reputations.

      At least if we show sensitivity as individuals and a willingness to listen and take responsibiliy for our collective actions, I think many will be more forgiving.  Many in the world want us to better succeed as a rising tide lifts all boats.  Thanks.

      Helping to bring justice back to the White House, one indictment at a time.

      by HoundDog on Thu May 18, 2006 at 04:13:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Not Surpising To Me At All (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HoundDog, napu

    Since 2000 many of my friends around the globe have questioned me about what has taken place in America.
    I started my answers by always blaming the GOP and the stolen election of 2000. I continued to do this even through 2004. However, I now am amending my explanation to included what I call the last big hurrah syndrome.

    There is an age demographic in the U.S. which are pre-babyboomer. I have a sister in that group who holds on to religion and a steadfast belief in certain things.

    For instance. Pre-baby boomers don't support abortion, have little tolerance for gays, blacks, latinos,jews and others who aren't WASP. Many did not even finish high school and they are getting older and looking at a world which they don't understand and cannot embrace as my generation and younger people can easily.

    These people are the heads of their respective governments ,township,county and state. They make up a large portion of the people setting in church pews on Sunday morning. They vote in a very big percentage. They hold a good size of the wealth at this moment in the U.S.

    The world has become more tolerant for the most part. America just has some growing up to do again.

    When the younger generation begins to achieve and assume more power there will be more tolerance and things will change.

    "It's Hard Work!" George Bush..."He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else." Bejamin Franklin

    by JellyPuddin on Thu May 18, 2006 at 02:37:58 PM PDT

    •  Don't count on it -- (0+ / 0-)

       I'm a "baby boomer" and find that as I get closer to retirement, I'm definitely getting more conservative in my views, agreeing with my parents more, and finding that I, too, find that it is increasingly difficult to keep up with the changes caused here in California by the population shifts and the technology changes.  
        I'm noting a lot of age discrimination in employment and an increasingly competitive life style that in no way suits me, and probably will not be easily tolerated by me in the long run.
        I once thought of myself as progressive, but as I become increasingly bitter, I find that I am less receptive to the ideas of being more accepting of others.  Maybe I am the 'liberal that has been mugged' and I can see it happening in many of my peers.  No longer happy campers. The joy is going.  

      •  Giving into bitterness? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        One thing I notice when I'm teaching the Baby Boomers about computers and how to work them is the lack of curiosity they have.  Yes, Woodstock and all that shit, but come on....if anything, Baby Boomers have bought into the idea that once you get to a certain age, you can coast on your laurels.  While that was true once, that doesn't mean that it's right or a satisfying way to live.

        Life is change and learning never stops.  Simply growing bitter and giving up on the world is the fool's way out.  I expected more from the Baby Boomers, but the more I learn about them the more I realize they are Americana in a nutshell:  wanting to follow the steps set before them, content to be just a generation wanting what the ones before had, and throwing a tantrum while doing nothing to solve it.

        No offense, but growing bitterness is not your solution.  Swallow your pride and get into the muck with the rest of us.  The fight's not over, and if you hold your principles dear then you might find a way out of it.  Bitterness is not an option.

        •  Come again? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          I for one am really tired of Boomer bashing.  Do you have any idea how ignorant you sound?  Try this on for size:

          "One thing I notice when I'm teaching Black people is the lack of curiosity they have.  Yes, Malcom X and all that shit, but come on....if anything, Black people have bought into the idea that once you get to a certain status in life, you can stop fighting the good fight and just rest on your laurels.  That really has never been true, and it's not a right or a satisfying way to live.  If you wonder about this just ask me, because I really know a lot about what is Right and Satisfying in this life.  I've never met you, and still my prescriptive powers are profoundly powerful!

          Life is hard and racism will tend to make the hard things just that much harder. But simply growing bitter and giving up on the world is the fool's way out.  I expected more from the Black people, but the more I learn about them the more I realize they are Americana in a nutshell:  wanting to follow the steps set before them, content to be just a generation wanting what the ones before had, and throwing a tantrum while doing nothing to solve it.  I mean, after '64, there was still a lot to fight for, and I for one expected you to keep leading the way.  

          No offense, but growing bitterness is not your solution.  (Again, we've never met, but there are some things I just know.)  Swallow your pride and get into the muck with the rest of us.  The fight's not over, and if you hold your principles dear then you might find a way out of it.  Bitterness is not an option.  Also, I know you will love the new pepperoncini-stuffed green olives at Trader Joe's.  Trust me on this one."

  •  Well, I understand their position (9+ / 0-)

    I don't travel abroad, but I can say I didn't like Americans very much the night of the election. I'm not too fond of many of my neighbors that are as arrogant as Bush is. It isn't hard for people around the world to wonder at our sanity when we let Bush and the government do what they're doing.

    We deserve what we got. We've earned it. I'm dismayed at the selfishness and arrogance of the American people. We've had it too good and now it is catching up with us.

    I do believe a new President could undo the damage rather quickly, but we need to prove to the rest of the world that we care what our leaders do. Imagine what a PR move it would be for us to impeach this asshole.

    At the moment, there is no accountability. I understand that Hayden will be confirmed soon. We have a government that has no desire to do the right thing.

    "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross." -- Sinclair Lewis

    by Dunbar on Thu May 18, 2006 at 02:41:28 PM PDT

    •  A new president who is a Statesman (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I do believe a new President could undo the damage rather quickly, but we need to prove to the rest of the world that we care what our leaders do.

      Someone who's well read and well traveled and cares about the country. Someone with true vision.

      It would be hard to come up with another ignorant, self important yahoo like shrub who had a chance though. That would take some digging. There are plenty of yahoos in the right wing but they're pretty much self eliminating.

    •  I disagree (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      April Follies, mariva

      with your comment that

      We deserve what we got. We've earned it. I'm dismayed at the selfishness and arrogance of the American people. We've had it too good and now it is catching up with us.

      The people who voted for Kerry don't 'deserve' Bush and his policies.  And my kids sure as heck don't deserve the looming disasters that this idiot has brought on.  The people who 'deserve' to suffer for Bush's 04 victory are the ones like the guy in the bright yellow Hummer with a Bush sticker who was in front of me in traffic today.  Unfortunately, they're the ones who will go on their merry ways, unaffected by the bad economy, gas prices, or general disdain for America and Americans around the world.

      "Going to church does not make us Christians any more than stepping into our garage makes us a car." --Rev R. Neville

      by catleigh on Thu May 18, 2006 at 06:26:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Indeed. (5+ / 0-)

    I just spent 5 months traveling through Latin America. Boy let me tell you there is some anger out there. I snapped this in the center of a town square in Honduras:

    Click here for full size

    "Bush genocide. Enemy of humanity. Kill the imperial invader"

  •  My own experience (5+ / 0-)

    While an expat in New Zealand several years ago, I really didn't experience anti-Americanism, but rather a feeling that Americans were "know it all", arrogant, and so forth.

    No question Bush's policies have affected these perceptions in the negative (I still keep in touch with Kiwi friends and they tell me this) but the perceptions were there pre-Bush.

    I made an  effort to try to adapt to Kiwi mores and cultures and found this made a difference in how I was accepted as well as their views of Americans. (there were very few in the region where we lived).

    In general, the younger people were more accepting of American business culture, commericialism, etc. that was rapidly being exported to the country. Older folks were not anti-American but were suspicious of American "ways."

    •  I think that's a pretty accurate assessment (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Canadian Reader, sjersey, mariva

      ...I think on the whole we Kiwis do see America as arrogant and selfish. I talk politics with a lot of people here, and while not everyone is as left-wing as I am, I have yet to speak with a single person here during the past few years who actually approves of Bush. Pretty much everyone here either dislikes him or actively loathes him.

      As far as our attitude to ordinary Americans goes, it depends what you're talking about.

      As a pretty eco-friendly and green nation I'd say a lot of us wholeheartedly disapprove of the way America uses up such a huge proportion of the world's resources, actively ignores the Kyoto Protocol and does all it can to discredit the theory of global warmimg.

      When it comes to American movies, TV shows and music, I'd say we embrace them like many other countries do, but we also have a very strong positive feeling towards our own musicians and our home-made movies like LOTR, Narnia and King Kong.

      But when you're talking politics, and the preceived political awareness of your "average American" I guess I'd have to say we're bewildered and bemused in a "how can they be so stupid?" kind of a way.

      We're a quiet, understated type of people - it's part of our national psyche (unless we're playing rugby of course!), so yes - I think you're right in perceiving that most of us would not be too impressed by a person - let alone a nation - that thinks it knows it all - when from the outside looking in, it most clearly does not.

      For evil to triumph it is necessary only for good people to do nothing - Edmund Burke

      by webweaver on Thu May 18, 2006 at 08:29:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Counter Weight (0+ / 0-)

    I don't suppose there's anything we can do to mollify this trend, is there?

    Does anybody know of a program of matching up pen pals of sane Americans with people in other countries?  It might be a good way to establish some personal interaction to counter image of bellicose Bush.

  •  Towards the end of the linked article it says (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Few analysts expect more than marginal improvements in global public opinion, short of another 9/11.

    I'm starting to hate this fatuous "only another 911" train of thought.

    "... in my empire, life is sweet, just ask any bum you meet. You may say that I ain't free but it don't worry me..."

    by lumpenprole on Thu May 18, 2006 at 03:09:45 PM PDT

  •  Thoughts.... (7+ / 0-)

    ~I think it has been a bit of a myth that we've always enjoyed some kind of inherent reverence throughout the world.  Americans have often inspired envy or curiosity, and our money and cultural exports have rarely been turned away -until recently.  And we have a large enough military to buy friends.  But because the majority of us do not travel abroad or learn foreign languages, it has been easy for us to believe the idea that we are the best nation in the world, and that the rest of the world loves us and wishes it were us.  Until there was internet access and the BBC in every home, it was very easy to shelter ourselves from the truth.

    ~There may also be a perception on the part of the rest of the world that Americans enjoy more power to control what their government does than we actually do...  That's a myth that we ourselves have perpetuated though...

    ~He may have stolen the election, but nevertheless, roughly 50% of the voting public voted for Bush.  Twice.  We can't expect that fact to be lost on the world.  

    ~Hell, I have a low opinion of a lot of Americans.  I was watching the TV this morning and said out loud, "Stupid Americans!"  Not all, maybe not even most, but the vocal minority has well earned its image.  They disgust me.

    ~But at some point I also firmly believe that those who have a "low opinion" of Americans need to take responsibility for enganging in stereotyping.  Like any other country, and I'd argue, more so than most countries, this is not a homogenous nation.  We are extremely diverse and prefer, like most citizens, not to be judged by the actions of our leaders or the worst among us.  To say you have a low opinion of "Americans" displays the same level of intellectual laziness as saying you have a low opinion of Mexicans, Iranians, Russians, New Yorkers, Earthlings.  

    Americans share responsibility for what's happened to our country, but everyone has a repsonsibility to seek the truth and not be sucked into the comfortable Self/Other way of being in the world.  And we all, Americans and the rest of the world, have a responsibility to stop this insanity.  

    "Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities." -Voltaire

    by poemless on Thu May 18, 2006 at 03:15:39 PM PDT

    •  this, i think (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      is the tragedy inherent in america's geography.

      But because the majority of us do not travel abroad or learn foreign languages  

      if you drive for 8 hours in texas, not only are you still in the same country, you're still in the same state.  drive for 8 hours in europe and you could hit two or three passport checks.

      america exists in relative isolation - we have only two neighbors.  for how many other countries is that true?

      weather forecast

      The palaces of kings are built upon the ruins of the bowers of paradise. - Paine

      by Cedwyn on Thu May 18, 2006 at 08:05:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm sorry but... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    arlam, mariva

    This might get me hit with troll ratings, but I honestly don't think that any of this is really going to touch the American heartland unless all those countries suddenly issued no entry orders for all American tourists and businessmen.
    Cancel the Visa and you might see some action. But considering how deep we are in the pockets of other governments... I don't see that happening.
    Don't get me wrong here, I agree that it's a bad thing. But the point won't hit home until people actually get touched directly by it. Not on a large scale anyway.

    A vote for GOP is a vote for WW3

    by RElland on Thu May 18, 2006 at 03:19:16 PM PDT

  •  Nothing disgusts me more... (5+ / 0-)

    than the thought of the billions that have been squandered in Iraq, and the realization that that very money could have been used to effectively end poverty, fund research for alternative energy and create a school system that is the envy of the world.  

    If there is a hell (and I have my doubts), I can assure you that every asshole in this administration is heading there.

  •  One example: people in Sweden (6+ / 0-)

    , where I currently live and work, believe that most Americans are ignorant, racist, fundamentalist and greedy Bush lovers. Or that they act like people in Jerry Springer shows. They are hearing horror stories about people dying in the streets from lack of health care, fundies bombing abortion clinics and corporations polluting without being punished.

    Few people realise that there is another America which is much more in line with European values.

    Bonus info: The ruling Socialist Party is constantly bashing the center-right liberal opposition by calling them "Bush lovers" (which they are not) and a threat to  the Swedish welfare state ("If you hate Sweden then move to the US. They have the kind of society that you are looking for". Needless to say, this is taken as a grave insult by the opposition)

    Today "balance in the media" means a balance between political fact and conservative ideology.

    by Joe B on Thu May 18, 2006 at 03:40:08 PM PDT

  •  Me too! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    4jkb4ia, mariva, bee tzu

    Majorities around the world think Americans are greedy, violent and rude

    Wow! That's also what I think, and I'm an American!

    (-8.88/-7.64) Flirting with Feingold, Pining for Gore!

    by Joshua Lyman on Thu May 18, 2006 at 03:41:25 PM PDT

  •  DKos and Dog Shows Cured Me. (10+ / 0-)

    Prior to 2004 I used to (I sheepishly admit) freely throw about Anti-American rhetoric.  It really felt good, because everyone needs to feel superior, don't they.  Plus, it really helped me to fit in.  In 2004 I discovered DKos as I followed your federal election, hoping (against hope, as it turned out)that your electoral process would yield an acceptable result.  What I discovered here completely shattered the shallow, two dimensional stereotype of Americans I had adopted.  Around the same time I started going south for US dog shows.  The people I have met there are warm, thoughtful, friendly and generous human beings.  As much as I hope that you guys can get your government under control, I can clearly state my affection for Americans.

    Infidelity does not consist in believing, or in disbelieving: it consists in professing to believe what he does not believe.--Thomas Paine

    by peterborocanuck on Thu May 18, 2006 at 04:07:22 PM PDT

  •  Of course (8+ / 0-)

    No matter how America and Americans try to cover it up, everything we do worldwide has one motive. To sustain a lifestyle that is much more wasteful and indulgent than almost all the rest of the world.

    And the most liberal of us are really unwilling to actually give up as much as it would take to rally level the field.

    We could live comfortably, but not have many of the extravegances thatwe view as necessities.

    However Western Europe, Japan and Australia dont get off scot free either.

    They also live in a materialistic style that far exceeds the standard of living in most of the world as well.

    Consider how pissed off the governments of Europe recently got over Evo Morales nationalization of the Bolivian energy industry.

    They demanded some sort of remuneration for their loss.

    Morales simply responsed that years of excess profit at the expense of the Bolivian more than makes up for any loss to the European investors.

    The little brown people of the world have gotten tired of slaving and being robbed so that Americans can have SUV's, Playstations, houses filled with wirelessly networked computers and entertainment systems, PDA's, cellphones, and on and on. ANd that Europeans can have economic status that is almost as good, preferring to provide themselves with massive social safety nets rather than the extra SUV and computers and cell phones.

    They certainly are tired of hearing that we are trying to bring them that arther insubstantial thing aclled democracy in exchange for the lifeblood of their nations economies.

    No, I think these nations would have gladly exhanged some of that wealth and their resources if they were to receive a fairer share of the economic gains that cod be gotten from them.

    But the western world is demands too much in exchange.

    Europe may have stopped acting as colonialists and imperialists by moving their armies out of their colonies...

    But they still are engaging in an economic hegemony in which they benefit more than those who they are entering into economic with.

    It is just a cleverer form of hustle, but it is STILL a hustle.

    •  SOME Americans live 'High on the Hog' (5+ / 0-)

       but there are lots of people living in poverty and retiree's stretching they're dollars as far as they go.  
       Stop watching all the excess that you see in the movies and on TV in the advertisements and take a drive through one of the less desireable areas of your city.  Or go ride a bus from one end of the line to the other and take a good look at an inner city.  Take the train and see the weird people talking to themselves at some of the stations.  
       You'll see old cars, crippled people, raggedy clothes, and run down houses.  Listen to people talk, their grammer,  and you won't consider Americans as wasting much money on education. I live in fairly afluent suburbs, and I know of five homeless people camping in park corners and behind shrubs.  
      Gee, just look at some of the people sitting in the bleachers at the ball games.  Fat, ugly, and not so smart looking.
       America is not nearly so rich for all of its people as it once was.

      •  and when the people we are borrowing from (0+ / 0-)

        decide to pull the plug it is going to get a lot worse

        "If standing up for the Constitution and rule of law is a "stunt," then I'll take it."

        by Jlukes on Thu May 18, 2006 at 06:13:27 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Even the poorest American (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        theran, mariva, FrankFrink, kidneystones

        are relatively well off on the world scale of poverty. I have been in the neighborhoods you speak of.

        I have WORKED in some of them, places where 47 percent of the adult male population are unemployed.

        But even in these communities most have enough to eat, some sort of shelter, even some rudimentary entertainment, a television, and so on.

        The conditions that you describe of the poorest of the poor in America again a small percentage, are widespread around the world, with more than a BILLION people living in conditions far worse.

        Still the poorest American in many ways has things that are almost unthinkable, unavailable luxuries to the peoples of Africa, some areas of Latin American, the Caribbean and Asia.

        •  Take a good look at pictures (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          of flooded out New Orleans.

          Notice all the cars.

          You would think people would have loaded them up and drove them out of town to escape a forecast category 5 hurricane.

          They didn't because they couldn't.

          The cars didn't run and the people couldn't afford to have them fixed at the time.

      •  Some guy once said that 'Americans are the (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Canadian Reader, April Follies

        ... spoiled child of the Western world."  At the time it really pissed me off (it was probably 8 or 9 years ago).  But now I see what he's saying!  I mean, I don't think it's a particularly nice way of saying it but...

        You know, I catch a lot of stuff.  I was in France right after September 11 and this Arab guy sees my ID (he was checking me in to a hotel) and said something like, "Sorry about September 11, what a pity about greed."  And my first reaction was, "What?" and I kind of got quiet mad. But only for a minute, then I just forgot about it.

        But you know we got to know each other and when I was leaving at the end of the week we were friends and we even wrote to each other after that.  My last day there we talked and he told me if I was ever moving to France, his family would help me get started (because of course I loved France so much, I loved Paris).  His family would open their door to me to help me get started?  And they would have.

        When I think about him, he was originally Algerian, I think about the secret prisons, and the disappeared, and I get so angry I feel trapped because of the secret and silent way we are...well, you all know what we're doing.  

  •  about the study (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    anonymousredvest18, mariva

    the link you provide (RAW Story) points us to an article in the NO Times-Picayune:

    "We found a rising antipathy toward Americans," said Bruce Stokes of the Pew Global Attitudes Project, which interviewed 93,000 people in 50 countries over a four-year span [my emphasis].

    Now, I'm by no means a wiz at statistics but I kinda wonder at this sampling size and the abstraction which has led to this information being represented as generalized fact


    Don't get me wrong, I'm all about creating gross generalizations and monolithic representations which allow people to easily compartmentalize themselves and others into sanitary and well disciplined cubicles of demi-existance /snark

    but ...

    given that the world popualtion is now 06617179391 and growing ...

    and ...

    given that there are an estimated 192 countries in the world ...

    that means that they spoke with about 1.5% of the population from only apox. 1/4 of the world's countries

    now, maybe I need to upgrade my Reynolds, but it seems like this is more hype than it's really worth ...

    I mean, I thought they hated us for our freedom ... oh, that's right, that was those other Others who hated us for that /snark

    "There is no limit to what you can do if you have the power to change the rules." -Josh Marshall

    by grollen on Thu May 18, 2006 at 04:22:06 PM PDT

    •  You're missing the whole point of sampling (6+ / 0-)

      Looks like a pretty sizable sample to me. You don't measure the quality of a sample by what percentage of the population it samples. Heck, in a lot of probability theory the "whole population" is infinite, so you'd have to have infinitely many samples to get 0.01% of the population.

      Nevertheless, you can get a pretty good picture of the statistics of an infinite population with a sample size of a few thousand. The details of "what's a good sample" get pretty esoteric pretty quickly, but that's the source of those "margin of error" numbers we see in polls all the time.

      Think about the fact that we're used to seeing margin of errors of +-3 percentage points or so, on polls that typically sample 1000 people out of the entire population of the US, or about 1/300000 of the population (0.00033%) and purport to be describing the feeling of the country as a whole. And think about the fact that while polls differ, they don't differ too drastically.

    •  Statistics works - get over it (4+ / 0-)

      I hear this all the time. "There are x gazillion people and we only sampled 1000, 2000, 5000, ... 90,000 ... yada, yada, yada."

      What that really means is that you don't like the answer.

      Most people who raise this didn't like statistics when they took it in college. Or they avoided the course in college. Or they avoided any program of study that made them study non-intuitive (but true) stuff.

      Take a freshman course in statistics and try to get an B. You'll understand the power of the methodology. If you are really lucky, you will get to take a course from one of my colleagues down the hall. They will set you straight - and not one of them likes Bush. Hell, just take an intro course from the community college across town. The power, value and accuracy of professional random sampling is old, old, old, news.

      Of course, if the sampling isn't random or, worse biased, then .... nevermind.

      However, Kohut is top drawer and Pew's methodology is as good as it gets. I absolutely believe their results. Hell, I would bet my house mortgage that their results are spot on.

      Disclaimer: I have a PhD, tenure and my stats have passed peer review in top rank academic management journals.

      -2.38 -4.87: Maturity - Doing what you know is right even though you were told to do it.

      by grapes on Thu May 18, 2006 at 07:46:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Ya think? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tryptamine, Cedwyn, mariva

    This administration has made it so that we can't even display our flag on a team bus, at a sporting event, in a friendly nation, where we have airbases for crying the fuck out loud. Two and a half more years of this shit, who knows? Maybe it'll get so bad we can't raise Old Glory on our own lawns.
    Thanks Republicans.

    The Executive, except for recommendation and veto, has no legislative power. -U.S. Supreme Court, YOUNGSTOWN CO. v. SAWYER, 343 U.S. 579 (1952)

    by justme on Thu May 18, 2006 at 04:22:40 PM PDT

    •  I love this country...well, er (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Anna M, mariva

      But I began to get very much annoyed seeing the flag on everything from tee shirts to car antennas, to house windows after 9-11. I mean this went on for months.  It was most annoying in a little town called Prineville, Oregon. And that is definite Bush/Cheney country. Almost as gotta raise the flag to somehow make yourself feel better.  Again, American citizens choosing an easy way to alleviate their pain, to alleviate their own suffering. Raise up that flag and it shows you I am a better person.  By golly, I stand for something with that flag behind me.  I'm doing something here.  I put a damn flag on my damn car antenna.  Actually I got two on my vehicle now.  But I question whether alot of people feel anything here.  Numbed by everything else...we are not allowed to feel and certainly may not be allowed to think or speak anymore either without our thoughts and expressions being watched 100%. And to be honest, I really feel the majority of Americans don't look beyond tommorrow. How much am I going to have to pay for gas today? Except, that is their reality.  You can't knock someone for their reality.  I was standing in a grocery store line the other day and of course we have those tabloids staring at us with all the mundane popular topics about celebrities.  There were two women talking about one issue. One said to the, look at this,  so and so did this with so and so.  Do you believe that? The other one said to her, I don't know...Oprah says don't believe these things...they aren't necessarily true. So the other person responds, well, I heard that...but I've always believed them. I couldn't help but turn to them and say matter of fact, just believe what Oprah says, Oprah's right. And they both looked at me like I mentioned some goddesses words and kind of nodded in agreement.  Yes, we will believe what Oprah says.
      It's nuts I tell ya.  People are too lazy to formulate their own opinions.  It's not that they are stupid...but like another diary today attention.  Who is out there in this day that are willing to do that?  Hell, they are just struggling to get by most of the time anyway.  Well, either that or down at the local Wal-Mart shopping for the best bargains.

  •  I'll be amazed... (4+ / 0-)

    if the Democrats, once back in power, show any leadership at all on global warming or anything else.

    I know the fear (certainty, actually--not just fear) among progressive independents is the Democrats will accomplish absolutely nothing when they get back in power.

    They'll still be afraid of their own shadows and of losing power once again, and they won't be able to agree amongst themselves on a program.

    They will be too concerned with staying in the middle, when it's actually only the left wing of the Democratic Party that stands for anything new and for solving problems in any but the most cosmetic of ways.

    There is also the fear that rather than correct the abuses of power the Republicans have committed in the past five years, that the Democrats will quietly take advantage of them for their own gain.

    So, while I absolutely support a Democratic takeover in 2006 and 2008, I also know that Dailykos and others will need to keep a hawk's eye out for irresoluteness, policy paralysis, opportunism, and personal corruption among Democrats after the Republicans finally lose power.

    Business as usual is unacceptable, as we all know around here.

    I have an old friend whose voting policy has always  been simply to vote against the incumbent in any election, regardless of party, figuring that you got only about one election cycle from any official before he/she became corrupt.

    If that's still the best theory of government we can come up with at this late date, we are all truly screwed.

    •  That's why they need to read (0+ / 0-)

      Crashing the Gate.


      Mariva's Guide: Stuff for the mind, for passing time, for sharing, for yourself, for fun.

      by mariva on Thu May 18, 2006 at 08:51:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  if the Democrats (0+ / 0-)
      piss away the 2006 and 2008 electoral mandate the American people are about to give our politicians, while I think that the Democratic Party is going to be dead by 2010 because if this happens, both the American people and Democratic activists will give up on it... that's going to be one of America's minor problems.

      Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

      by alizard on Fri May 19, 2006 at 02:09:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I hope it's not true... (3+ / 0-)

    I risked everything I have/had after 9/11 to stay in Morocco.  I was a US diplomat and on that day knew that I had to leave the government, stay in Morocco and do something to show what true American values were...I could see the xenophobia ahead, but couldn't even imagine the diabolical path that would misdirect the war on terror to Iraq.  Nevertheless, I opened Rick's Cafe in Casablanca to remind Americans and the world of a time when our country was called upon to be noble, to sacrifice, and our voluntary acts made us loved throughout the world.  Still here in Morocco people differentiate between "American Policy" and Americans.  It can't last forever...but certainly the folks in Washington have failed us in ways, the magnitude of which, we still don't know.  The first step has to be the rejection of Hayden as head of the CIA.  Then the indictment of Karl Rove.  Impeachment proceedings - perhaps a two-fer - are the logical third step.

  •  vote (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    matt n nyc, mariva, s marie

    I bet someone mentioned this; forgive me for not reading all the 126 comments. But, for all outward appearances, we (and by we, I mean idiot brain dead xenophobes and others and not me or you) also voted him in a second time. I'm sure that message went along way.

    Say no to hate, bigotry, and the author of the Fed. Marriage Amendment, Marilyn Musgrave. Please donate to Angie Paccione.

    by OLinda on Thu May 18, 2006 at 05:23:22 PM PDT

  •  Yes (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Hey I am an American yet I hate Americans.(yes there is a context implied in that)
    My salvation was an expatriot assignment.
    And I can only say that here, certainly not on, redstate or some other wasteland known as freeperville.

  •  I got to work with many Russians in Kosovo (4+ / 0-)

    when I was in the army (working as a Russian linguist). I remember hearing them talk about how many of the Americans would smile to their face - and then say really rude things behind their backs, assuming that they didn't understand English.  American hypocrisy is a big theme with the Russians - the reason they are writing about our demise (like the old USSR).  Here is a Eulogy for America from Pravda, which has been writing quite a bit about America lately.

    •  Well... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cedwyn, Anna M

      I don't know how quick I'd be to cite Pravda, ahem, but you are spot on about the Russians & American duplicity...  This was certainly the impession I got long before Bush ever got into office.  (Although I believe their scepticism stemmed from more than just American lies...)
      One of the biggest lessons I learned in Russia was the value of brutal honesty.  

      Anyway, I think it is specifically Cheney's hipocracy which has the Russians bemoaning American hipocracy at the moment.  And not just Pravda...

      "Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities." -Voltaire

      by poemless on Thu May 18, 2006 at 06:24:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  We look worse and worse all the time (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The arrogance is wearing thin.

    •  My husband used to have 3 bumper stickers (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cedwyn, mariva, trashablanca

      on his car:  "God Forgive America"; "With George W. Bush in the White House, I'm Embarassed to be an American," and "Ignorance and Arrogance are Bad Foreign Policy."

      Somebody scraped off the first two last year (at least they didn't key the car).  I still don't know if they agreed with the third, ran out of time, or didn't understand all those big words. . .

      But the arrogance is apparently unending.

      "Going to church does not make us Christians any more than stepping into our garage makes us a car." --Rev R. Neville

      by catleigh on Thu May 18, 2006 at 06:34:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  two things from a Canadian standpoint... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mariva, terafnord

    I travelled to Disneyland in FL last year.  I was fully expecting to have to do battle with entitled selfish brats and loudmouths the whole time... but aside from the fact that literally dozens of 5 year old boys on our buses were named "gunner, storm, hunter or connor" I didn't find any of the "american sterotypes" to be true.  And when I was in NYC (Long before Guiliani) people were much friendlier there than in Toronto (and I love Toronto)

    Secondly - Americans are trying to educated the world about democracy.  Surely then, it follows that anything American leaders do will be pinned on the American people... being that now, so many new middle-easterners are aware of the democratic process.  ?  just a thought.

  •  I couldn't repeat what I hear coming from them. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cedwyn, Anna M, mariva, lumpenprole

    I travel a lot and talk to a lot of people from other countries.  Nice everyday people.  Muslims, Chinese, Japanese.  I ask them what they think and feel.  I couldn't repeat it even here because, well, I feel uncomfortable saying it.

  •  America is still number one (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    in the hearts of many. I travel a lot and from my experience, for all its faults, America remains the cultural beacon of the world, whether it's Bill Gates, Apple Computers, the Yankees, Hip-hop or Harley-Davidsons, Manhatten or Disneyland.

    Yes, I agree emphatically that the election of Bush in 2004 removed any doubt that America, not Bush, must ultimately accept the responsibility for the mistakes of the folks elected.

    The good news is that Americans also get to take credit for all the good done by Americans around the world, good that far outweighs the bad, in my opinion.

    Getting rid of Bush will be a great step in the right direction. But the environmental disasters in China and Russia, most largely under-reported, make the US record appear sterling.

    40% of Quebec youth regarded America as "evil" during the last election. Folks there still drive US cars, buy US products and drive over the border to shop.

    The US is a big target and makes big mistakes. But the world would be far worse off without the positive influence of America in most areas around the world.

    And lest there be any doubt about the "evil" influence of America in the Middle East, the British, French and Turks were invading folks there for more than a century before the US showed-up. That in no way excuses American support for dictators, such as Saddam. But evil did not come into the world with Bush or the Americans and it won't leave when Bush is thrown onto the ash-heap of history. Any vacuum created by an American diplomatic retreat in the region will be filled by folks every bit as unscrupulous as the current gang.

    Or worse.

  •  Here's the PEW poll (link) (0+ / 0-)

    Hi, I'm bopping through different sites, so I apologize if somebody has linked to the PEW poll already.

    The PEW POLL shows a clear decline among important groups in key countries.

    But to get a clearer understanding of where America fits vis a vis the rest of the world, we'd need to see what folks think of other countries.

    For example: which country would you like to have as a neighbor?

  •  A couple of obsevations. (3+ / 0-)

    There does seem to have been a shift from solely disliking the American administration and Bush in particular to a more generalised dislike of the American people, although this does not translate necessarily into hostility towards individual travellers. Actually a US tourist in Europe might find themselves more welcome as breaking what is becoming the stereotype of the insular, profligate and  selfish American. Carrying a backpack for example immediately identifies you as not a "if it's Tuesday we must be in Italy" type tourist.

    If you want to trace this trend you could start with Bush's rejection of Kyoto (Incidentally, look at the good will Russia got by being the country that tipped it from Accord to a Treaty status when they ratified it.) Then we have 9/11 where many of the victims were not US citizens. If I remember correctly several of the manual workers in the towers were illegal immigrants. Yet despite this, the attack is portrayed as one solely on Americans. At some stage it might be useful to examine the comparisions  between the US assumption of "vicitim" status to justify external aggression and the image Israel seeks to promote of itself.

    After Kosovo, the USA was seen as willing to listen to  the international community to use its status of having the greatest military power in order to protect the oppressed and stop fighting. This sort of "gunship diplomacy" might be an acceptable ultimate sanction if soft diplomacy failed. The Afghan invasion got the support it did from the rest of the world precisely because the 9/11 attack was seen as a failure of dipomacy. Actually, it was not quite that as the Taliban were quite willing to give up "the Arabs" who they had become increasing pissed off with for their arrogant strutting around the country being "holier than thou" in imposing Wahhabist values and claiming for themselve the sole credit for freeing the country. A few million dollars here and there to the "warlords" together with the promise that they would be able to go back to the drugs business as usual and the US was able to walk into the country virtually unopposed and with very little actual combat.    

    Because so few Americans have travelled apart from during times of war and, until comparatively recently, there was not the opportunity for mass tourism into the USA, much of the image of the US has been formed by popular culture, in particular films and later television. You might want to note that this has not always been positive. In post-war Britain one film about WWII which portrayed the Americans parachuting into Burma to liberate it provoked such anger that it was withdrawn and has only recently been shown on TV for its historical interest (there were very few Americans and no parachute operations in the Burma campaign, operations being conducted by foot from India)

    So we have the image of the noble American fighting the wicked English to liberate the USA, protecting the innocent wagon train women from the evil native Americans, liberating the rest of the world for democracy and providing his fellow citizens with prosperity and happiness under the rule of law. In short, the "shining city on the hill". Unfortunately increasingly in recent years the reality of the slums and the homeless on the streets of the shining city have been increasingly shown in news coverage. (Both metaphorically and literally in the case of New Orleans)

    So if the screens have changed from showing the USA as a utopia to a distopia, surely the increasing number of tourists visiting will counter-act this? The problem is that the main tourist areas are those offering popular entertainment. Florida is the largest long-haul holiday denstination for the British (Thailand is second). The reason for this are the theme parks and the very cheap package tours that can be purchased. Florida is in fact a very cheap holiday destination for the British. If you consider the inclusion of a hire car, the costs are comparable to a couple of weeks in southern Europe. In a holiday report programme on BBC1 on Thursday, the point was made that the price of fuel for the hire car is amazingly cheap (at $3 a gallon at the time the report was filmed). These were all reasons given to encourage people to consider the offers that tour companies are offering at the moment - a large number at half price and lately a two week package with 2* hotel and car for £260 per person including the flight (under $500) Why are they so cheap? Well partly because of the trend away from inclusive package tours but mainly because of the hostility encountered when their friends have landed. The  Homeland Security regulations mean lines of up to 3 hours at some airports just to pass immigration with its fingerprinting and photographing. This hostility by the way is not new, for some reason the USA has always had a bad reputation and I have seen it a couple of times. I had the temerity to visit friends twice within a year and was questioned about why I was returning. The recent nail in the coffin seems to be the delays.  

  •  I have to say i LOVED this post (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    as a foreigner in the US - someone who came here in 1999 and is a proud new American, someone who LOVES this country, I am so glad that people inside the US are starting to see this... I grew up in a world that loved America, that joined in the chant of USA at random sports events, that remembers the Olympics hockey versus the red machine...

    but i still travel abroad extensively and see where things are going... and it isn't to a happy place...

    please take this post VERY VERY seriously...

    If no-one around you understands start your own revolution and cut out the middle man...

    by ResponsibleAccountable on Thu May 18, 2006 at 08:57:48 PM PDT

  •  Not turning against - just turning a bit away (0+ / 0-)

    I think most people feel just disappointed and/or taken for dumb, which of course they neither like nor understand. But it's not cause to turn outright AGAINST Americans, it's cause for confusion. In most simple terms, people don't understand why Americans believe in things many other people around the world don't believe in.

    People might not like or start to resent your died-in-the-wool belief in the superiority of your democratic system and economic/military might. Many overseas judge your superiority feelings as being either over-confident or hypocritical. US people's lecturing and missionary tendencies are not that welcomed as well, as it goes along with moral self-righteousness and imposing rather short-sighted value judgements on other cultures. That might turns people off, but not really against Americans.

    People around the world are shocked that a country and a people that thinks as highly of ourselves as we do, appears callous to the plight of hundreds of millions of the worlds children around the world dying of diseases such as diarrhea, wasting disease, or lack of clean water that sometimes can be remedied by pennies a day per child in salt tablets.

    I don't believe that is really the case. What they resent is that many Americans claim that they are the most generous donor country for fighting problems of hunger and diseases in the world, though that is not always true. I think it's the lies that are resented, not the lacking amount of help or interest, which I don't think as being the case, BTW.

    I also wouldn't think that the above paragraph hits the nail. I think people are more shocked about the fact that Americans treat their own people inside their own country without compassion for the common good and with much disregard for social equality. You might have lost other country's respect for your political, educational and judicial system.

    That doesn't mean that people will still come to the US and try to get an education here and make a living.  

    I am convinced that this shall pass as soon as a brave new administration will introduce significant change in American policies, not only in foreign policies, but also in amending and modernizing your constitution, electoral and judicial system. Why would the world trust your government and democratic system of check and balances, if you yourself don't and can't trust it either. It looks you have difficulties to get a handle on your form of political representation to renew and self-clean from within.

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