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August 17, 2003

Views From Afar

A Response to 'Why Aren't They With Us?'

A while ago, I digressed from the usual fare of this web site to comment on e-mails I received expressing puzzlement at what anyone could find to object to in the US invasion of Iraq. It seemed that much of what the rest of the world was seeing and hearing was not getting a lot of coverage over there, and I gave some links to news services providing views from a selection of international sources.

Predictably, this didn't please some people. A number of responses dismiss these sites as examples of anti-American bias. But that was the whole point. Things aren't written in a vacuum. If the trend is that way, it's because that is what most of the world out here sees. Since I'm still being asked to provide specifics, below is a sampling of items that I suspect didn't make it through the approval process for mainstream domestic consumption.

What has really been going on in Afghanistan? Practically forgotten since the spotlight suddenly shifted.

Opposition at the beginning -- After the occupation of Baghdad, a friend reported an e-mail he received from a friend in California that chortled, "We won; you lost. Live with it." This totally fails to grasp what the opponents were opposed to. Nobody ever doubted a fast initial military victory.

Fantasies 1 and Fantasies 2 -- It's not just me who thinks so. Two home-grown accounts of the mass-media unreality industry.

Occupation close-up -- As seen from the other side.

Vietnam repeat -- Nothing learned.

Democracy to Dictatorship -- A German's view of the administration and its policies.

Oil Imperialism -- How many are aware that an Executive Order has been signed that gives oil companies immunity from legal proceedings concerning all actions in Iraq?

New link added August 23, 2003
Information Clearing House -- One of the most widely read UK newspapers. Millions across the world were saying it seven months ago.

New link added September 22, 2003
US media muzzled -- A journalist's assessment.

Note added September 2, 2003
A revealing glimpse of what the rest of the world sees can be had from a debate hosted by the British Broadcasting Corporation with 10 other national broadcasters about America's place in the world. As part of the What The World Thinks of America, 11,000 people in the UK, France, Russia, Indonesia, South Korea, Jordan, Australia, Canada, Israel, Brazil and the US responded to a poll asking their views and opinions on America, its foreign policy, cultural influences, and military and economic power. The graphs at the above link show American responses strikingly at odds with the rest. One result, widely commented on: in South Korea, in answer to the question "Who is more dangerous: America or North Korea?" 48% responded USA, 39%, North Korea.

 
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