Re: Alert: Americans Worry about their image in the world


Martin Storey, a Frenchman who lives in Australia and travels all over the world, writes: If Randy Black thinks that people around the world claim to dislike Bush because of economic interests of their countries, he is deluded. The hatred Bush has managed to create around the world sadly extends to all "Americans" now - and that means Mr. Black too. And while I don't know about the background to his message (the survey, etc), it is somewhat irrelevant whether 15-year-old kids surveyed can vote in elections in their country.  It's a cheap thing to say maybe, but 15-year old can vote with bombs strapped around their chest - and whilst such youth may not fully realize what they are doing, their actions express what their elders feel too.  The survey quoted may not be very scientific (no credit to it for that), but it may still be a reflection of what adult people around the world think. 

In the past few years, the US has emerged yet again as grossly out-of-touch with the rest of the world, but more dangerously so (the current situation in Iraq was a sure outcome of an invasion in particular).  Does Mr. Black believe everyone around the world actually wants to vote?  For instance, do the Iraqis want to vote?  I would assume that this wish is pretty low down the list, compared to peace, security, education, health, etc.  What's happening in Iraq right now is a people experiencing abysses of despair, not unlike the Palestinians.  Hence similar explosions of hopelessness.  The Iraqis have been violated by the "Coalition" forces, like they have never been in modern times.  All Arabs are taking notice and feel for their Iraqi Arab brothers.  By extension, all Muslims take notice, and all people around the world take notice.  We see in the news, that Blair seems to be facing problems for his colossal error of judgement on Iraq (or was it on the USA?), but we don't see anything like that happening in the US: there, everything seems to follow perfectly the party cleavages, so only the political opposition, opposes the government's actions.  I'm not saying that this is actually the case, only that it is the perception we have from abroad. 

What does the fact that "71% of those asked which candidate they preferred, said either “they don’t know or do not see any difference between the two candidates"" say to Mr. Black?  The 2000 Florida vote swindle followed by Bush's disastrous presidency, have done more to harm the cause of democracy around the world, than any event of the past 50 years or so I can think of.  To say nothing of the American's image in the world. 

In closing, a suggestion that people around the world answer polls because of ulterior motives, coming from the US in pre-election times, is laughable and downright insulting. 

Martin, writing as a citizen of nowhere special, outside the USA.


Your comments are invited. Read the home page of the World Association of International Studies (WAIS) by simply double-clicking on:   http://wais.stanford.edu. Mail to Ronald Hilton, Hoover Institution, Stanford, CA 94305-6010. Please inform us of any change of e-mail address.

Ronald Hilton 2004

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last updated: November 19, 2004