Saturday, January 28, 2006

While the World Watches

We Americans might have a short attention span, but we certainly do obsess over things until a new set of shiny keys distracts us. Right now we're fussing over the Alito nomination to the US Supreme Court (as well we should) with a little angst over the illegal spying on Americans by the NSA thrown in. I suspect the high-speed news turnover is a major reason for this condition. For whatever reason, however, we tend to forget that because we are the major player on the world stage, the rest of the world keeps a sharp eye on us. That's why I try to see what the rest of the world has to say about the US on weekends. Watching America is a useful resource for that.

Among the articles I read this morning was an editorial from the Tunisian newspaper Tunis Hebdo. The thrust of the piece has to do with that outrageous wall the House wants built as part of a bill passed just before the holiday recess in December. You remember that, don't you? The one that will secure our southern border from the hordes of illegal brown immigrants from Mexico, Central and South America. That bill (which hasn't reached the Senate floor yet) inflamed our neighbors to the south, which is certainly no surprise. However, that this bill is still resonating all over the world, including Tunisia did surprise me. What the article has to say, however, extends far beyond the concept of a steel wall being built to the tune of more than $1.3 million per mile.

The fear of terrorist attacks - which by the way, we denounce severely, no matter what the motivation behind it may be – has become so haunting, that the White House chief has been forced to take action on two levels: externally, by building insurmountable barriers; and internally, by subjecting the American people to all kinds of inspections and surveillance (phone-tapping, e-mail reading, automated cameras …).

The strangest thing is that Mr. George Bush still says he "doesn't understand" why his country is so "hated" and "detested" around the world. On this subject, everyone remembers his famous question: "Why do they hate us. We are such a kind-hearted people?" In reality, the American chief executive simply cannot be unaware of the answer.

The badly stained image of the country of Abraham Lincoln and Jimmy Carter is the result of radical warmongering international policies, now being applied [by Bush] without thought for the six years that he and his cartel of neoconservatives have been in the White House.

Even during the Vietnam War, America never scorned its own values as much as it does today, the same values it wishes to instill in others! Given this situation, it is no wonder that George Walker Bush is erecting towers and barbed wire, rather than bridges and bonds of friendship with the outside world.
[Emphasis added]

I think that's a pretty astute assessment of what is going on in this country. I just wish more Americans were as astute. Perhaps then they would put the scandal du jour in its context and do something about it. If that doesn't happen, the rest of the world will just assume that we are complicit in the Bush atrocities and will treat us accordingly.

It's amazing what one learns from other countries' media.


Blogger ntodd said...

I know this is all serious and stuff, but I had to chuckle when the article included Abe Lincoln and Jimmy Carter in the same sentence. Heehee!

4:59 PM  
Blogger konopelli/WGG said...

wunnerful analysis...and thanks GOBS for the WatchingAmerica link...invaluable...

sobering shit, dahlin...yu dun gud!

5:05 PM  
Blogger cabearie said...

'at's ok, old son, that coupling caught my attention too.

I suspect that part of the world has a greater respect for Pres. Carter than this country because he has spent so much time there working on elections.

5:07 PM  

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