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BS: What the world thinks of America

20 Jun 03 - 11:41 AM (#969746)
Subject: BS: What the world thinks of America
From: diesel

Just thought some of the mudcat folk might want to throw their eye over the results of a poll recently broadcast by the BBC.

Some many qustions with obvious room for arguments as to timing of poll/reasons particular countries answered the way they did etc.

But also if time taken to think, some fascinating results of which I would hope the various advisers and think-tanks to President Bush may wish to take on-board.

Eg: South Korea views the US as being more dangerous than it's neighbour/Enemy North-Korea.

Lots of info.lots of charts.....etc

rgds

Diesel

The homepage:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/wtwta/default.stm
And the poll results:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/spl/hi/programmes/wtwta/poll/html/default.stm


20 Jun 03 - 12:01 PM (#969760)
Subject: RE: BS: What the world thinks of America
From: artbrooks

The same information was in the news in the US. Since Dubya doesn't appear to care what many Americans think, why would anybody think he'd care about the opinions of them furreners?


20 Jun 03 - 12:03 PM (#969762)
Subject: RE: BS: What the world thinks of America
From: diesel

I wonder if 'furreners' is his way of saying non-texans ??


20 Jun 03 - 01:29 PM (#969794)
Subject: RE: BS: What the world thinks of America
From: John MacKenzie

Funny thing that, we have a Prime Minister here, who doesn't give fuck for the poor deluded people who elected him. Why should he worry what anybody thinks, he has a large majority, and a weak opposition. We've had again this morning, Peter Hain, one of our new portmanteau ministers, was quoted as being about to make a speech in favour of raising the highest rate of income tax. Well there was such an uproar, and next thing you know Downing St says, "We know nothing about this, it is not in our future plans" This is the same Downing St. that requires all its ministers etc. to submit speeches for vetting before they are made.It's the same old game, run it up the flagpole, see who salutes, and if nobody does so, deny that even the flagpole ever existed. I'm pissed off with being treated like an idiot by those we elected to run this shit hole of a country.
Disgusted....Giok


20 Jun 03 - 03:00 PM (#969845)
Subject: RE: BS: What the world thinks of America
From: Rapparee

Wasn't it the late Richard Nixon (or someone close to him) who said that the American people were children? Same must be true for the English.

Personally, I'd much rather KNOW what I'm facing than be lied to.


20 Jun 03 - 03:16 PM (#969852)
Subject: RE: BS: What the world thinks of America
From: Allan C.

Every time the goldfish makes the circuit of the bowl, it discovers the bubbling treasure chest all over again!

This is how politicians in general (in America and elsewhere) seem to think of their constituency. We are all goldfish.

The sad thing is that in many cases, they are correct.


20 Jun 03 - 06:59 PM (#969945)
Subject: RE: BS: What the world thinks of America
From: Little Hawk

Well, when a political system is carefully arranged so that those with the most money control the media, the major political parties, the main institutions, and the firepower....what do you expect?

It's the same game that has been played ever since ancient Rome and Babylon. If you can make people think they have democracy while you treat them like children, so much the better.

One can a good life not because of the political system, but in spite of it...if one knows how to. I don't expect much from politicians, generally speaking. I know the $ySStem that has them in its clutches too well for that.

- LH


20 Jun 03 - 09:20 PM (#970001)
Subject: RE: BS: What the world thinks of America
From: Rapparee

"...and when any government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and institute such form of government as they see fit...."


20 Jun 03 - 09:52 PM (#970008)
Subject: RE: BS: What the world thinks of America
From: Ebbie

A big part of the problem in getting the populace to realizing the situation they're in is television with its 'instant' news and entertainment. We've been trained to demand and accept quick resolution to any problem and those 12-second sound bytes seem to do it for us as long as those in power are in charge of the bytes. It's a lot easier to trust someone-in-authority's directive than to think it out, plus many people just can't handle political conflict. We even think that it's bad form to discuss politics except with those who feel as we do.

Oh, for the days when the Church told us all what to think, what to do and how to do it! TIC... (If you make the proper substitutions, that is about what we have today.)

Of course, this is a gross simplification; after all, under the previous administration we weren't such sheep and the opponents were viciously vociferous and vengeful. Maybe the problem is that the opponents of that administration, who today are what I consider ovine, were better organized and more cohesive then than we are today. I think Don Firth is right- we can wrench the country back to its roots and ensure a future of which to be proud.
If we are not pro-active, we, as a country, may have to just wait it out, kind of like letting an epidemic take its course. As with that hypothetical epidemic, I fear the cost will be too high.

Little Hawk- those who have the money have historically had the power, so there's nothing new there, is there? In olden, feudal times, 'we' probably agreed we needed direction, not democracy. I have no doubt that the rulers of the day got that idea across, then as now.


20 Jun 03 - 10:18 PM (#970017)
Subject: RE: BS: What the world thinks of America
From: GUEST,Sammy

The Pew Research Center recently completed a global poll on how the US is perceived in the post-Iraq war world, which you can read about here:

http://people-press.org/

They interviewed 16,000 people in 20 countries and the Palestine Authority in May.


20 Jun 03 - 11:17 PM (#970035)
Subject: RE: BS: What the world thinks of America
From: Bobert

Well, you got to give credit where credit is due. Here in the US of A, where this evil regime plans to continue, they aren't shy in their PR spending. Thing that bugs me is that's my hard earned atx dollars that are being spend to brainwash America. Hmmmmmm? Something really wrong here, folks....

Bobert


21 Jun 03 - 01:46 PM (#970245)
Subject: RE: BS: What the world thinks of America
From: John Hindsill

Who the hell cares what Europeans and others think of us. I don't live my life based on the approval of others...nor should the nation!


21 Jun 03 - 02:11 PM (#970253)
Subject: RE: BS: What the world thinks of America
From: Ebbie

John Hindsill, you've captured Bush's sentiments, exactly.


21 Jun 03 - 02:26 PM (#970260)
Subject: RE: BS: What the world thinks of America
From: John Hindsill

Ebbie--I recently returned from a European vacation. Their governments' actions, both within & without, ain't so terrific, either. So when push comes to shove, I choose us.


21 Jun 03 - 06:13 PM (#970319)
Subject: RE: BS: What the world thinks of America
From: GUEST

Spoken like a true nationalist there, John Hindsill. Us vs. them, only my people, my nation, and my culture matter and have meaning.

That's the spirit that keeps humanity imprisoned in the Odyssey of it all.


21 Jun 03 - 06:29 PM (#970327)
Subject: RE: BS: What the world thinks of America
From: McGrath of Harlow

The interesting answers in that poll were the ones where people were asked whether they wished they lived in America - and the overwhelming vote across the board was that they did not.

I thing that's encouraging. It's not anti-American, it's a verificatioin of the truth I've alwasy believed, that most people, even in rough situations, value home and family and roots, and would sooner stay and make things better if possible, rathere than give up and and start all over. And if the world is going to heal itself, that is the kind of attitude that is going to be needed.

That's no disrespect to America, or to people who go there, eagerly or reluctantly - but the ones who stay behind, and the ones who return when they can, are the ones who remake the old world. (And the same is true for other countries who've had lots of incomers, such as England. For most people - not all - emigration is a second best.)


21 Jun 03 - 07:39 PM (#970356)
Subject: RE: BS: What the world thinks of America
From: John Hindsill

Dear Guest (21 June, 6:13), who hasn't the courage to put a name, nor even a nickname to his/her posting, none of those things you said make any sense at all...unless you subscribe to those comments. I don't think we are necessarily culturally better, and we as a nation may or may not be better (although I think we are). If others like us, great; if they don't like us, great; I just don't give a damn either way. And I don't believe we should define ourselves based on surveys of othe peoples' feelings.

BTW, McGrath,if the people surveyed don't want to live here, maybe the wrong people are being surveyed. The USA has the greatest annual number of immigrants-legal and illegal-than any other nation. I wonder why...

And I do agree with you, if I read aright, that if people want to stay in their own country, that is a good thing all around. Would that all governments were benign and allowed for the greatest liberty and prosperity possible.


21 Jun 03 - 09:47 PM (#970398)
Subject: RE: BS: What the world thinks of America
From: Sorcha

Oh for pity's sake............


21 Jun 03 - 09:53 PM (#970404)
Subject: RE: BS: What the world thinks of America
From: Ebbie

I thing that's encouraging. It's not anti-American, it's a verificatioin of the truth I've alwasy believed, that most people, even in rough situations, value home and family and roots, and would sooner stay and make things better if possible, rathere than give up and and start all over. And if the world is going to heal itself, that is the kind of attitude that is going to be needed.

That's no disrespect to America, or to people who go there, eagerly or reluctantly - but the ones who stay behind, and the ones who return when they can, are the ones who remake the old world. (And the same is true for other countries who've had lots of incomers, such as England. For most people - not all - emigration is a second best.)


Beautifully said, McGrath.

And I do agree with you, if I read aright, that if people want to stay in their own country, that is a good thing all around. Would that all governments were benign and allowed for the greatest liberty and prosperity possible. John Hindsill

Indeed and indeed... And I actually agree with you, JH, about choosing the USA over other countries you've been in- better the devil you know...


21 Jun 03 - 10:12 PM (#970409)
Subject: RE: BS: What the world thinks of America
From: Little Hawk

The World is a community. A town is a smaller community. If there is one man in a town who simply doesn't care what the rest of the town thinks, and breaks its laws whenever he wishes, and enforces his lawbreaking by having more firepower than anyone else...he is an outlaw in that town. Eventually the town will find a way to stop him. If he's very well armed and has a large gang, it may take a long time for them to stop him. It took more than a few years to stop Hitler. It took a thousand years to stop the Romans.

The USA? Who knows. But the USA, internationally speaking, is an outlaw nation, and the World knows it perfectly well at this point, but is not well armed enough to do anything about it...yet.

The USA isn't the only outlaw nation, of course. There are a number of others. But it is the biggest one. Some outlaws hide behind a facade of righteousness, but their goals are all the same: the acquisition of someone else's money, power, land, and resources...gotten through force or the threat of force (blackmail)...and gotten through murder, if gentler methods fail. The most clever of outlaws gets people's support by telling them he is protecting them from some other outlaw (and sometimes he may be). It doesn't change the fact that he is still an outlaw at heart.

Hitler was "saving" Europe from Communists, Jews, and terrorist agitators, remember? Millions and millions of people swallowed that line of propaganda while they supported naked aggression and looked upon it as national defence. Some of Hitler's key opponents (like Stalin) were just as undemocratic as he was. The past replays itself in no uncertain terms. Same drama...different players.

Ordinary people pay the price...and support the outlaw who rules over them...or get called "traitors" or something like that.

- LH


22 Jun 03 - 07:34 PM (#970620)
Subject: RE: BS: What the world thinks of America
From: mg

possibly there is more than one grocer in Iran (from an editorial today by Thomas Frieman)

My grocer keeps on saying, `When are the Americans coming here? They fixed Afghanistan and Iraq and we are still miserable. . . .' "


23 Jun 03 - 12:52 AM (#970743)
Subject: RE: BS: What the world thinks of America
From: Little Hawk

Your grocer will probably get his wish reasonably soon, Mary. Hitler, after all, did not stop at Poland, and the Romans did not stop at Cisalpine Gaul nor did Alexander stop at the borders of Persia. Expect the Americans to arrive in due time.

They will not bring democracy, they will bring destruction, theft, and loss of national sovereignty...and the people will continue to be miserable.

If your grocer waves an American flag when the tanks roll through, he might snag a cushy job with the occupying forces. It worked for Sudetenlanders in 1938, so why not him?

- LH


23 Jun 03 - 07:25 AM (#970848)
Subject: RE: BS: What the world thinks of America
From: McGrath of Harlow

if the people surveyed don't want to live here, maybe the wrong people are being surveyed. The USA has the greatest annual number of immigrants-legal and illegal-than any other nation. I wonder why...

No contradiction whatsoever. The polls showed there was a sizeable minority who said that they would like to live in America, as you'd expect, and on top of that there are many reluctant emigrants.

My point wasn't particularly about America. It's equally about the United Kingdom. Every day the papers here have stories and letters sniping away at immigrants, more especially refugees, which totally fail to recognise that emigrating to a strange and often hostile country is not a matter of free choice, so far as a lot of people are concerned, it's a desperate and heartbreaking gamble, forced on them by social or economic circumstances.


23 Jun 03 - 08:38 AM (#970869)
Subject: RE: BS: What the world thinks of America
From: artbrooks

The Sudetenlanders waved American flags in 1938?


23 Jun 03 - 11:37 AM (#970974)
Subject: RE: BS: What the world thinks of America
From: Little Hawk

Ha! No, Art, no...read between my lines. I am drawing a parallel. They waved Nazi flags in '38. Some of them may also have waved American or Russian flags at a later date, but the same principle applies. It's called "jump on the bandwagon"...or..."if you can't beat 'em, join 'em". There were probably plenty of people who sucked up to the Romans too, when they marched in. A lot of people just naturally feel attracted to a winner.

- LH


23 Jun 03 - 02:00 PM (#971052)
Subject: RE: BS: What the world thinks of America
From: McGrath of Harlow

A lot of people just naturally feel attracted to a winner

And vice versa of course. I suppose that's one of the ways you can classify human beings, according to which way they are likely to jump - the ones who attracted toward winners, and the ones who feel alienated from them. Over and above the particular circumstances.


23 Jun 03 - 05:52 PM (#971203)
Subject: RE: BS: What the world thinks of America
From: GUEST,petr

the sudetenlanders wanted Germans to come in, which is why the Czechs
kicked them out after the war. DUring the communist years if you could show German background and wanted to emigrate to the west you were allowed. Not so for the rest of the population.
petr.


24 Jun 03 - 04:39 AM (#971419)
Subject: RE: BS: What the world thinks of America
From: John MacKenzie

"Whatsoever King may rule,
I'll still be the Vicar of Bray sir!"

It's called taking the line of least resistance, or going with the flow. It's easier to be a sheep than a goat.
Giok


24 Jun 03 - 06:29 AM (#971451)
Subject: RE: BS: What the world thinks of America
From: Pied Piper

"To robbery, slaughter, plunder, they give the lying name of empire; they make a desolation and call it peace."

PP


24 Jun 03 - 07:50 PM (#971854)
Subject: RE: BS: What the world thinks of America
From: McGrath of Harlow

It's easier to be a sheep than a goat.

No it isn't. If you're a goat to start with, it would pretty hard being a sheep; and vice versa.


25 Jun 03 - 04:11 PM (#972300)
Subject: RE: BS: What the world thinks of America
From: GUEST

I don't give a fuck about America as long as the bastards stop trying to force their filthy GM foods on the rest of the world to make a few extra dollers for Monsanto.


25 Jun 03 - 04:37 PM (#972307)
Subject: RE: BS: What the world thinks of America
From: GUEST, heric

People prefer inertia to action, generally. And circumstance is the primary motivating factor to overcoming inertia. Doesn't mean they don't like the end result after taking action.

People fear what they don't know. I didn't want to go to Italy for fear that I would be robbed daily. Fortunately, due to circumstances, I have learned that Italy and the US are the world's two greatest places to hang out. (Not that I've been everywhere, yet.)


25 Jun 03 - 09:33 PM (#972413)
Subject: RE: BS: What the world thinks of America
From: Little Hawk

Actually, most places can be absolutely great to hang out in, if you know some good people there. That's what I've found. I had a marvelous time in Cuba, for example, and also in Trinidad, and also in the USA at various times. I'm not so sure about North Korea, though. :-)

- LH


25 Jun 03 - 11:55 PM (#972462)
Subject: RE: BS: What the world thinks of America
From: Amos

Anyone who tries to attribute a singular point of view to an unbounded generalization -- such as "the world" -- is trying to make matters worse.

There is no "world" opinion. Opinions are generated and held by individuals. Let's not lose sight of waht these terms mean, eh?

Nor is there some large collectivity called America which acts with a single will.

These gross, hamhanded generalities simply spin things up, which is kind of what they are meant to do.

A


26 Jun 03 - 03:22 AM (#972524)
Subject: RE: BS: What the world thinks of America
From: diesel

As Heric points out - people prefer inertia to action. But in regarding circumstance as being the primary motivating factor he neglects to say that public opinion freely formed is what drives circumstance.
But public opinion is fickle depending on how and by whom it is formed.

One thing for sure though - when Govt's try to tell you what your opinion should be - and in this I do mean Bush+Blair, though all govt's to some extent will be the same - public opinion does change - fast. If in line with Govt. then fine for change, but sometimes it's the govt. policy that public opinion is hardened against.

And that's called unpatriotic....?

Now where was I going with this.......

Diesel