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Death to America
May 9, 2007 11:18 AM   Subscribe

Two podcasts from the BBC. Around the world, by every measure, America's reputation and image has never been so poor. Part 1: Venezuela; Part 2: Turkey
posted by adamvasco (43 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
Not a 200 word BBC fluff piece
posted by adamvasco at 11:23 AM on May 9, 2007


But...but...why?
posted by gottabefunky at 11:24 AM on May 9, 2007


Who can we torture to turn this around?
posted by DU at 11:29 AM on May 9, 2007 [5 favorites]


Well if the rest of the world didn't act so French, maybe we could get along.
posted by nofundy at 11:40 AM on May 9, 2007 [2 favorites]


Around the world, by every measure, America's reputation and image has never been so poor.

Have never. plural form, y'know.

Has the writer ever heard of a little blip in recent American history known as The Vietnam War?
posted by jason's_planet at 11:42 AM on May 9, 2007


What about Poland? You forgot Poland.
posted by Mister_A at 11:45 AM on May 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


But, who cares what far'ners think?
posted by miss lynnster at 11:46 AM on May 9, 2007 [2 favorites]


Well if the rest of the world didn't act so French, maybe we could get along.

The French just elected a Bush of their own, so things may be looking up for us there.
posted by spicynuts at 11:47 AM on May 9, 2007


Buh-but, I thought we were exporting democracy! I mean, all that Habeus Corpus didn't just disppear on it's own, now did it?
posted by yeloson at 11:47 AM on May 9, 2007


Venezuela is worrisome, but really, who gives a shit what the Turks think? Not even the Turks. [NOT FEZIST]

(Kidding, these are great, I love Ataturk and Turkish delight and delicious Turkey with gravy and stuffing)
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 11:51 AM on May 9, 2007


Furrniers smell funny and talk strange.
Who needs 'em?
posted by nofundy at 11:52 AM on May 9, 2007


Ah.... Venice!
posted by ZachsMind at 11:54 AM on May 9, 2007


I didn't listen to the broadcasts because I only read now. I've given up listening.

In any case, is America's reputation suffering, or is it the President's? Won't everyone be embarassed when America's reputation rebounds after the next election...
posted by ewkpates at 11:55 AM on May 9, 2007


We're doing enough evil right now that our reputation isn't going to "rebound". Hopefully a slow recovery. Things like the full extent of the Gitmo atrocities and global warming head-in-sandness will keep coming to light long after Bush is out of office, though, and that won't help.

Too bad no transcript link; I also am not likely to listen to the whole thing.
posted by gurple at 12:00 PM on May 9, 2007


Seen in the streets of Caracas (the capital of Venezuela for y'all).

(the sign says: Chávez is the president, Venezuela will never be a colony of Imperialism)
posted by micayetoca at 12:03 PM on May 9, 2007


I haven't seen any data, but I suspect it's possible to overstate the extent to which the vietnam war caused other countries strife (as opposed to America internally.) I personally know that a lot of people who're pissed about eg. Palestine haven't a clue about Vietnam.
posted by Firas at 12:11 PM on May 9, 2007


Also, while I'm at it, I think it's bizarre that so many Americans don't understand how important the I/P issue is to any sort of resolution between 'The West' and 'Islam'. Drive it into your heads! In terms of good-faith priorities (going by what animates a lot of US-hatred) Palestine is the. most. important. issue.
posted by Firas at 12:16 PM on May 9, 2007


I personally know that a lot of people who're pissed about eg. Palestine haven't a clue about Vietnam.

Because it's current?

Vietnam is pretty much a done deal: America lost, everyone pretty much agress that them getting involved in the first place was a bad idea. The end.
posted by Artw at 12:32 PM on May 9, 2007


Venezuela can keep its oil. Chavez will need some sort of lubricant if he's going to fit that fat head of his up China's colo-rectal tract.

While the PR machines of these pissant countries are decrying the U.S. for every little thing, tight-lipped Beijing, which is guilty of far worse human rights atrocities than we, is laughing all the way to the bank.
posted by tempestuoso at 12:37 PM on May 9, 2007


In any case, is America's reputation suffering, or is it the President's? Won't everyone be embarassed when America's reputation rebounds after the next election...

Who could fail to love the largely ineffectual?
posted by DU at 12:38 PM on May 9, 2007


...Beijing, which is guilty of far worse human rights atrocities than we...

The key to avoiding hell is like the key to avoiding bears. Just be less evil than the other guy.
posted by DU at 12:39 PM on May 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


Artw: sure, but I think it's more than that. Like, many people don't know enough about it to even have an opinion. Same with the Korean war, and so on. The historical frame of reference for many people across North Africa / Middle East / South Asia is very different from the historical frame of reference for—I hesitate to use terms like this, but 'The West'. For example, WWII was mainly interesting as a way to gain independence from European colonizers. In that mode of reference Vietnam may not figure any larger in one's mind than various other nations' skirmishes do in Americans' minds. There's clearly a difference in terms of class/education level/worldliness in having knowledge of world events, but my point is that it's not a frequent reference point.. which I suppose suggests you're right that its history at this point.
posted by Firas at 12:43 PM on May 9, 2007


"pissant countries". Great way to begin to convince people about China there.
posted by Firas at 12:45 PM on May 9, 2007


Journalist and broadcaster Michael Goldfarb
posted by adamvasco at 12:48 PM on May 9, 2007


The key to avoiding hell is like the key to avoiding bears.

I'm sure hell has plenty of room for everyone. :)

We're not perfect, obviously, but at least American ideals support self-examination and individualism. I (perhaps naïvely) like to think they do, anyway.
posted by tempestuoso at 12:49 PM on May 9, 2007


"pissant countries". Great way to begin to convince people about China there.

I apologize for my use of the word "pissant." I meant "magnanimous."
posted by tempestuoso at 12:55 PM on May 9, 2007


I apologize for my use of the word "pissant."

Since you actually wrote that in a thread about the perception of America abroad, I was assuming that was humor. I guess not. Boo.
posted by gurple at 12:58 PM on May 9, 2007


In that mode of reference Vietnam may not figure any larger in one's mind than various other nations' skirmishes do in Americans' minds.

All very good points but I wasn't addressing the larger view of history held by people in developing countries. I was comparing the anti-American outrage generated by the Vietnam war to the anti-American outrage generated by the current war (Oil War Two) and finding the phrase:

Around the world, by every measure, America's reputation and image has never been so poor.

to be a bit overblown. And ahistorical.
posted by jason's_planet at 1:06 PM on May 9, 2007


Buh-but, I thought we were exporting democracy! I mean, all that Habeus Corpus didn't just disppear on it's own, now did it?
posted by yeloson at 2:47 PM on May 9


Like most American exports, the quality control was lacking.
posted by Pastabagel at 1:09 PM on May 9, 2007 [3 favorites]


[image]
posted by taosbat at 1:11 PM on May 9, 2007


I'll have a Venezuela on Turky samich with French mustard.
posted by MapGuy at 1:19 PM on May 9, 2007


They're just jealous.

But those of you that feel bad about it, why don't you just start sending them your paychecks.
posted by tadellin at 2:05 PM on May 9, 2007


Also, while I'm at it, I think it's bizarre that so many Americans don't understand how important the I/P issue is to any sort of resolution between 'The West' and 'Islam'. Drive it into your heads! In terms of good-faith priorities (going by what animates a lot of US-hatred) Palestine is the. most. important. issue.

I wonder if, in fact, many Americans DO realize how important this issue is. But perhaps they've picked the Israeli side. I imagine that the default reaction for most Americans is in that direction, anyway. I could be wrong.
posted by Midnight Creeper at 2:28 PM on May 9, 2007


We're not perfect, obviously, but at least American ideals support self-examination and individualism.

American ideals, perhaps. American reality, however, is another story.
posted by leftcoastbob at 2:29 PM on May 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


Midnight Creeper, sure. That's the point: that the do-nothing position is effectively a pro-Israel position. It's true that even when the US does get in as an honest broker lots of people won't trust them. I still think that working towards a resolution is both possible and useful.

(The attitude I don't get is the one that says, ah, "Palestine is just a political symbol. If that wasn't there they'd pick something else to be upset about." It doesn't make sense at all. From what I can tell, the second-most-gnashed about issue [before Sep-11 & Afghanistan & Iraq etc. all happened] is Chechnya, where the US' position is aligned with the Arab position.)
posted by Firas at 2:40 PM on May 9, 2007


But those of you that feel bad about it, why don't you just start sending them your paychecks.

Works for me. Do you want me to give you my address?
posted by micayetoca at 3:16 PM on May 9, 2007


I think it's very actually healthy for the rest of the world to turn away from America right now. (And I'm not just talking about turning their heads so they can't see what we're doing to ourselves)

There are many areas where America is in deep decline, and a lot of others where decline is inevitable so somebody else had better start picking up the pace. I don't like being so pessimistic about my country of birth; we were in a unique position to truly be 'that shining city on the hill', but we blew it. And any country that uses us as an example right now is in for a great deal of hurting. If I could see another nation anywhere that was in a position to replace the U.S.ofA. as a Good Example, I'd be studying their language and selling off everything I couldn't carry through Customs.

Okay, now I am really depressed. Thanks, BBC.
posted by wendell at 5:08 PM on May 9, 2007


In any case, is America's reputation suffering, or is it the President's?

No, it's the whole country. Bush has made people look at the US 'opposition', and wonder why it never seems to oppose anything.
posted by pompomtom at 10:02 PM on May 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


...is America's reputation suffering, or is it the President's?

It's not like you're North Korea.

Nope, we're way better fed.

posted by taosbat at 10:21 PM on May 9, 2007


It's odd; before leaving the US, I thought that anti-American sentiment abroad was largely Bush's fault.

I was wrong. It's LOTS of things; Bush is just the proverbial straw...

Bowie's song 'I'm afraid of Americans' resonates... I also recall Johnny Depp's famous comment wherein he compared the US to a puppy... an apt statement which he sadly pulled back from.
posted by chuckdarwin at 5:43 AM on May 10, 2007 [1 favorite]


Hey wendell, do you know any German?
posted by chuckdarwin at 5:44 AM on May 10, 2007


If I could see another nation anywhere that was in a position to replace the U.S.ofA. as a Good Example, I'd be studying their language and selling off everything I couldn't carry through Customs.

Well that's traditionally the way it works. People leave places of persecution for more hopeful shores. America is growing less and less friendly toward a greater and greater number of its own residents. Some other bastion of tolerance will start picking up that slack, to be sure, including the next generation's bright minds.

Once upon a time, that was the Netherlands. Once upon a time, that was America.
posted by dreamsign at 9:49 AM on May 10, 2007


but really, who gives a shit what the Turks think?

That's nobody's business but the Turks.
posted by Spike at 5:36 PM on May 11, 2007


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