What’s being said about us abroad

April 18, 2007 21:21 – 21:21

From http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18181477/site/newsweek/?from=rss:

“In Virginia at the age of 13, you can buy a revolver at a supermarket.”

—From the Italian newspaper il Messaggero, in an article headlined Pistole Facili (Easy Guns). Italian newspapers carried extensive comments from Marina Cogo and Giancarlo Bordonaro, two 23-year-old Virginia Tech students from Milan. Cogo is returning home, vowing not to return.

This is patent nonsense, of course.

The reactions from Iraq, however, bear thinking about:

“It is a big loss for the American people and I think that this is a message from Allah to them to stop and think of what is happening in Iraq. Thousands of Iraqis lost their sons or fathers and all of this was because of the so-called American democracy being exported to Third World countries.”

—Haifa Salim, a 34-year-old Baghdad housewife

“I feel sorry that there are innocent civilians getting killed for no reason. We in Iraq have tasted this curse and we know how difficult it is to lose a loved one. [But] at other times, especially when I’m emotional, I think, ‘Let the American people get a taste of what they brought us, death and tragedies and blood everywhere.”

—Khalid Mohammed, a 33-year-old civil engineer in Baghdad

While it is absurd to assert that this is a message from Allah or any other alleged deity, the perception is certainly at odds with our being “greeted as liberators.” We certainly don’t appear to be exporting anything worth having.

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