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Mar-22-2009 01:40printcomments

Perceptions of Americans in the World

Life is an entirely different thing for those who leave the confines of the U.S.

Americans working overhead
This image courtesy:
Inset photos of Tim King by Jean Paul de Vries in France, and Ryan Ahern in Iraq.

(SALEM, Ore.) - The perception of Americans in different nations around the world has the contrast of day and night. Economic, geopolitical and military factors largely determine why people feel they way they do about the U.S.

We convince ourselves of many things and justifications abound, but the truth is that the more we kill, the more we sanction, and the more we side with nations like Israel, the more our place in the international community sinks.

This is a serious subject, and our alliances and mistakes shouldn't be taken lightly. The more we are respected and admired in the world, the more our level of national security rises. Making sure people have food is far more important than plotting wars.

Knowing history doesn't hurt either. An understanding of cultural values can be gained in a library or on the Internet with ease. There are few excuses for people to not respect places they visit. A little research before you depart can go a long way in simplifying and enjoying your journey, be it one of peace or war.

If we can take the "kill them with kindness" approach in our daily interpersonal relations, then why can't we do the same as a country?

Maybe it is because of good old American ego, but any group that sees itself as superior to others is bound to fail.

The French

Tim King near Verdun, France

Americans have their own general views about other people, just as they do about us. Take the French for example. I could never count the number of people who have referenced how "the French don't like Americans".

It is true that there are plenty of pre-conceived notions about Americans, especially in Paris, but I have been treated perfectly in this city. Is it the approach? That seems like an easy answer that explains how and why people are received the way they are.

Here's the background: when World War One was in full swing in 1917 and millions were dying in Europe, the French appeal for U.S. aid was finally met. What the Americans asked for as a condition of support, erodes faith in the U.S.A. to this very day in France. Our government insisted that France implement policies of racism toward black soldiers.

The French were shocked and appalled, yet they were on the verge of losing the war to Germany, so they acquiesced and allowed the official discrimination of blacks in the ranks of the military for the first time.

After the war was over, Paris was overrun by American tourists, the majority of which sported some degree of racism. This grated at the French throughout the 1920's and into the 1930's.

Today many people in Paris don't know exactly where this animosity toward Americans developed, but I believe from experience that they generally save the poor treatment for loud, obnoxious American tourists, rather than world travelers with a sense of world understanding.

The Mexicans

One country that has plenty of people who like the United States and want to live in the United States, is Mexico.

My first thought on Mexico is based upon my relations with Mexican politicians, police and soldiers while covering stories in Mexico for KYMA (NBC) in Yuma, Arizona between 1995 and 1997.

That is that racism is alive and well in Mexico just as it is in other places. There are many types of people in Mexico, but the only people I saw holding office were light skinned men with obviously Spanish blood. It is sad how problems with racial prejudice are so ever-present in the world.

Anyone who ever lived in a Mexican border town knows the idea of halting illegal immigration in its entirety is a stretch, at best. The number of people that pass over the border every day and night is staggering.

The people of Mexico vary in their assessment of American citizens. I think they are some of the kindest and most honest people on the planet, and I am personally glad that I was able to spend so much time there during those two years.

I saw tears of appreciation flow during a ceremony where an American fire engine was donated to a Mexican fire department, and I have seen the desperation in people who are so poor and miserable that it is no wonder they want to move one country north.

One police/military exercise I covered in Mexico was titled "Disasters Know No Borders" and that name always stayed with me. I think we are so hung up on national borders that we forget what this life is supposed to be about in the first place.

I think it is safe to say that most Americans are liked in Mexico and vice versa. There are dangers but those are in every country. Once again, having an understanding of how and why things are the way they are, is very helpful.

The Iraqis

Tim King covering a patrol out of Balad, Iraq

Now let's look at Iraq; a place that George W. Bush told us really needed our help at gaining freedom from an oppressive ruler a few years ago.

The problem I found when I visited this place during the summer of 2008, was that only the people on the U.S. payroll would say that the U.S. occupation was a good thing for Iraq.

So many of us could see at the beginning of this conflict that instability was the one sure thing the fighting and killing would accomplish, and it has certainly come to pass.

But even those Iraqi interpreters who are making money from the war effort, in my opinion, are running on borrowed time. The people we refer to as insurgents and terrorists aren't missing a trick.

When the U.S. pulls out for good, these people will be left to the dogs; a lot of good we will have done them.

Old problems between Sunni and Shi'ite Muslims have been reignited by the U.S. conflict and I was told by more than one Iraqi that there will be a deadly civil war after our forces leave. In the meanwhile the killing continues to take place.

These problems were under control before we invaded. The country was very western in many ways, and people lived in relative peace as long as they didn't cause problems for the government.

Now Baghdad is divided into "Red" and "Green" zones and people continue to die in the streets from roadside bombs in this historic place, and in firefights with Coalition soldiers.

So many who fight our forces used to be on our team; it is such a shame that our war in their country has turned them against us, but is it honestly a surprise?

Marine Corporal Brandon Arvin asks questions at an Iraqi
home in Anbar Province where this man lives with his family.
August 2008 photo by Tim King

One thing on the lips of conscious, thoughtful Americans in Iraq is, "Did you create a terrorist today?" and if that doesn't make the average American think, then nothing ever will.

It upsets my stomach to think of what a waste it will all end up being. Thousands of Americans and upwards of a million Iraqi people according to some estimates, have paid the ultimate price for our former President's delusions of weapons of mass destruction.

Then there are the casualties from the other Coalition countries.

Iraq is the big loser. The Americans disrupted life in this place and we will leave them again. How can anyone trust us? We did this after the first Gulf War and Kurds were slaughtered for listening to us and working with us.

Iraqi people are nice, they are frequently kind to strangers, even of an occupational government, and they are scared to death of what the future holds.

American people in the war theaters often have good intentions. Many deployed soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines have made large, positive differences in the lives of people here, but they have mostly done it on their time and on their dime. While their individual and sometimes random acts of kindness toward the Iraqi people are well-received, there is not enough of this, and yet there is too much of that.

The South Vietnamese learned all about it in 1975. It is as if we are developing a pattern of electing national leaders who don't have any idea how to select, fight or win a war. As a rule, it certainly doesn't make the people of the world fond of us.

I guess this brings us to the war in our "allied" nation, Afghanistan.

The Afghans

Tim King while covering the war in Afghanistan

Do we have a chance? Do the Afghan people have a chance? What is really best for them? We have been there for the better part of a decade and Kabul still looks like a fourth-world wasteland. The people are battered, their lifespan is a little over 40, and many have no idea how to do anything except plan for their immediate safety and their next meal.

The Soviets trashed the place so badly during their ten-year invasion from 1979 to 1989, that certain aspects of the culture and environment will never recover, at least in our lifetimes.

The Communists poisoned water systems, systematically killed over a million and a half Afghans, and they rampantly raped the modest women and girls of this country. The evidence is everywhere in the faces of the younger people; Slavic features are unmistakable.

The Russians learned the same lessons as the British in the 1800's. In spite of how poor they are, or mistreated or subjugated, the Afghan people are fiercely independent and they are willing to die for their cause.

In the end the answers are probably rooted in the fact that these people are all very different, and never intended to be grouped into a single country with a single flag. The Hazaras are nothing like the Pashtuns. Tajiks and Uzbeks are more similar, but they are all distinctly different. The country even has two languages; Dari and Pashtun.

Whether or not the Coalition can "win" in Afghanistan is a question of growing importance. The western world apparently thinks the Afghan government is competent and yet this country and Saudi Arabia are among the worst in the world when it comes to the treatment of women.

We're not talking about the Taliban. The Afghan government has taken some positive steps, but they are baby steps and that must end. I personally saw a major accomplishment for women in the Afghan National Army; I saw them go to the firing range and fire the AK-47 for the first time in history. I even met and interviewed an ANA female general.

But the conservative, religious people of Afghanistan are not behind these accomplishments for women. They don't like the more laid back and western styles present on the campus at Kabul University either. They don't like the American influence.

Nope, those liberal pro-woman progressive political positions assumed at university and in the Afghan military are certainly not going to fly very far in this place unless some big changes take place.

In order to continue to receive funding and aid, they will appease and show the Americans the good side of things, but in order to bring this country into the 21st Century, it needs a governmental renovation from top to bottom.

Yet they are our allies?

Intermittently in the gunsights of both the U.S. and Israel over contrived charges of nuclear weapon development, Iran is a country where, like Iraq, a more sensible and logical interpretation of Islam had been taken.

While they are seen, Iran is not a land of burqas like Afghanistan, where the slang western reference "T&A" with regard to women, means in this case "toes and ankles" because that's as much of the average Afghan woman that you are going to see. Some more conservative Iraqi women wear the black burqa but not all, and in both Iraq and Iran colorful dress can be part of the Hijab; which means "head cover and modest dress for women" in the Muslim world.

Decisions of the U.S. government over the past eight years will haunt this nation for a long time to come. How much we can really help a place like Afghanistan, is yet to be seen.

Wreckage of old Soviet tanks and APC's near Kabul
November 2006 photo by Tim King

In spite of popular myths, the U.S. government does very little to help rebuild the previously devastated infrastructure of this country. I spent eight weeks trying to access any one of "the schools" that conservative radio talk show hosts continually reference when speaking about things the "liberal media" ignores.

It's pretty hard to ignore what isn't there though.

That isn't to say that there aren't schools being built, there are and that is a fact, but I don't think there are nearly as many as there are touted. There is no connection between the military's desire to put that in front of TV cameras with the rhetoric of Rush Limbaugh and Bill O'Riley.

The truth is that the U.S., Canadians, the Brits and the Taliban have all built schools. It doesn't end up in a rosy setting however; the Taliban doesn't allow girls to attend school... and neither do most other schools in Afghanistan.

When it comes to the "good" things our military has accomplished in this ancient land, some roads and sewers have been built and medical missions for civilians are held by the military.

Mazur-E-Sharif: the place where the first American was
killed after the invasion of Afghanistan began in late 2001.
December 2006 photo by Tim King

But these "MEDCAP" missions are funded by donations, they are often international, and the U.S. government doesn't make any much-needed medical attention available for Afghan people on any kind of a regular basis.

The largest contributions from Americans for the people here happen in the spare time of our military forces, and they often funded through projects in churches and other community organizations in the U.S. The same is true in Iraq.

The war in Afghanistan was all but forgotten when I was there in 2006 and 2007. Today it is receiving attention but not nearly enough. The country in many ways, is little better off than before we arrived.

Our list of Americans killed and disabled in the current wars is growing, and the rate of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder among returning combat veterans in the U.S. is severely problematic and out of control. Staying the course in Afghanistan should only take place with a clear and concise plan and adequate provisions for the people there.

What do the Afghans think of us? More than the people of Iraq, that much is for sure. The ground we gained by defeating the Taliban in some areas early on is still appreciated. I'll never forget one 12-year old Afghan boy named Fadid who said, via about the Americans, "They're shooting the Taliban, so they came here and are patrolling the areas to bring prosperity, social justice and unity here in our country,"

Anyone who met this boy would also have read in his words that helping these people was the right thing to do. Still, it had to be done right or it won't work. Afghanistan's terrain is hostile, cold and full of landmines. The notion of winning must be clear and well-defined.


In Summarizing the question of what people think about Americans today, a dismal picture appears to be at hand. The world certainly thought far more of us during the Clinton years and you can take that to the bank; it is a fact.

Some will say that all the wars and the fighting on other shores was because of what happened on September 11th, 2001, but I counter with, What the heck did happen on September 11th?

Like it or not and to Hell be damned, the official story from the U.S. government about what happened that day is so full of holes it makes swiss cheese appear smooth.

There were no Air Force jets in the area when there normally would always be, experts say there is no physical possibility that all three New York buildings weren't rigged with explosives and imploded.

And yet the U.S. government spent more money investigating Bill Clinton's sex exploits than they on the most devastating attack on the United States in history? Personally, I don't know how to live with that.

My point is not to implicate the U.S. government, that is not the point. If terrorists attacked us that day, then they are the ones who planted the explosives, right? With millions around the world watching documentaries like "Loose Change" that uses hard and proven facts to point out shocking flaws and impossibilities with the official story, it would make sense to reopen the almost laughable investigation and learn what there is to learn.

One visitor wrote this comment about a prior Salem-News report on 9/11, "And figure out why that skank Ann Coulter was so intent on discrediting the widows of the 9/11 firefighter's widows while you're at it. If there is a conspiracy, then the only person we can be reasonably sure is part of it, is that un-American evil spawn Coulter woman."

We are so brutal toward our enemies, and in the case of Coulter toward other Americans, yet we don't seek out answers to questions about something as large as the 2001 attacks. People in other countries know all about the 9/11 controversy and that shapes their opinions of us. Yet we aren't supposed to touch it with a ten-foot pole as journalists in the U.S., or we are somehow dishonorable and obscene.

As far as the rest of the world, I guess the British think we're OK as well as the Canadians, though they without a doubt breathed a sigh of relief when Obama took office.

I've not spent a lot of time in Asia, but I think large numbers of people on that continent have a fairly decent opinion of us, probably because we haven't pointed our guns in their direction lately. Peace brings big paybacks and has led to few tensions in Asia during recent years.

That is unless you're talking about Kyrgyzstan, an Asian country that had allowed our military planes to operate out of an air base there since the invasion of Afghanistan, until recently that is. (see: Kyrgyzstan's Revenge - Justin Raimondo Special to

Ganci air base at Bishkek's Manas airport in Kyrgyzstan
November 2006 photo by Tim King

Kyrgyzstan recently announced that it was unilaterally canceling the contract granting U.S. access to the Ganci air base at Bishkek's Manas airport.

I'm not sure how our military is going to get people in and out of Afghanistan now; Kuwait is extremely busy and crowded and off the beaten path for Afghanistan. This has been a key link in the increasingly fragile supply lines that service U.S. troops in the Afghan War Theater.

I must admit I liked the people of Kyrgyzstan and it was amazing to see women dressed beautifully, wearing makeup, and presenting themselves as they chose.

A mural on the wall of a Kyrg cafe that I frequented had beautiful rolling hills, lakes, trees, and MiG jet fighters flying through the sky. I thought Kyrgyzstan looked like it was right out of a Grimm's Fairy Tale story, though the military jets told another story.

Militaristic thinking and behaviors may be necessary, but wars should only be fought as a last resort. The United States forgot that rule under the last President and a hefty price has been paid by all. People think less of us than they used to, but maybe that will change. I hope so.

Tim King is a former U.S. Marine with twenty years of experience on the west coast as a television news producer, photojournalist, reporter and assignment editor. In addition to his role as a war correspondent, this Los Angeles native serves as's Executive News Editor.
Tim spent the winter of 2006/07 in Afghanistan with Oregon troops. Tim recently returned from Iraq where he covered the war there while embedded with an Oregon Guard aviation unit. Serving the community in very real terms, is the nation's only truly independent high traffic news Website, affiliated with Google News and several other major search engines and news aggregators.
You can send Tim an email at this address:

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Daniel March 28, 2009 8:46 pm (Pacific time)

Tim i agreed with much in your article but think it should have been presented as a COMMENTARY by Tim King or TIMS VIEWPOINT . Something like the late Paul Harvey did on radio , and as a number of the old school news broadcasters did on TV . The story was more editorial than news , this may confuse some readers . When you do your web video commentaries you can have Tims love meter ! CF reminds me of the original Twilight zone episode with the guy who make hate phone calls and poison pen letters to the editor , if i remember correctly he shrinks down really small and his parrot get him .

Tim King: Daniel,  I completely understand your point; this is a story that should have been described more correctly with what you reference above, or "Political Perspective" since that is my standard description for these articles.  Thanks for the input. 

conservative March 23, 2009 7:11 pm (Pacific time)

I have a question. If everyone hates the US that much, why do people want to come here, legally or mostly illegally. We must do something right, because people still coming in this Country. If they hate it so much, why don't they stay away?

Editor: What story did you read?  People in Central and South America want to come here because left wing revolutions against greedy right-sing landowners and pillagers were dealt so many blows by the U.S.-funded right wing death squads that they ended up with few alternatives.  How's that for starters?  What about the United States being such a crappy neighbor to Mexico?  What about the CIA connection to drug running under Reagan?  It is all factual stuff  I am talking about.  People south of our border want to come here for a better life.  They are not the victims of a U.S. preemptive military strike.  I hope this helps you 

Henry Ruark March 23, 2009 11:38 am (Pacific time)

CF: You wrote: "Facts appear to be very painful for some.: Boiled down, with malign political fantasy removed, your longie comes to naught. IF you have facts to sustain and substantiate any one of what you recklessly, radically and irresponsibly charge, why not supply them in checkable form here, for all to see, share, learn from --and "evaluate with own mind" ? We work on that level, with any and all we publish open to same test, anytime,for anyone who can bring evidence open to that kind of check and public evaluation. Without that,as so obviously demonstrated neatly but surely not nicely by yours, your words are but tools to convey simplistic personal feeling, surely not qualifying in any way as an "informed opinion". Rationalization denied, as you inadvertently state, is truth compromised, concealed and congealed, for ease in obliteration intended or not.

Henry Ruark March 23, 2009 11:25 am (Pacific time)

Vic S: Denial of reality is truly symptomatic of serious mental complications. Check with any qualified counselor. You assume ACCURATE to be meaningless when you denigrate it by crude reference, thus ironically proving precisely the overall original point. If ACCURATE, how can it possibly be so denigrated ? If NOT ACCURATE, rational and reasonable dialog demands something more potent than senseless denigration. That proves itself pointless by its own potent mirroring of mental confusion demonstrated here. If INACCURATE, where's links to "see with own eyes" your evidence from authoritative sources, for "evaluate with own mind" for our readers ? That's framework of this honest,open, democratic channel, ignored by those unable to provide evidence and reduced only to crude, clumsy denial of reality observed and reported by skilled journalist at work. Critic's "right to speak" surely not at issue due to qualifications on public record here.See STAFF section. What's yours ? Where shown ? Words without foundation find little application here with readers who understand and appreciate demonstration of credibility via responsible, accountable content easily checked. Without something more than obvious personal feeling, no matter how motivated, dialog in this vein is abuse of the channel to simplify, satisfy and satiate obvious need for some kind of attention. Since nothing new offered except that personal feeling, it becomes obvious why such revealing response is made.

CF March 23, 2009 11:18 am (Pacific time)

Editor: We reserrve the right to refuse service to anybody.  I told you go away, go look for your next victim somewhere else feeble man.  You can always write to us at

C. Feibleman March 23, 2009 10:00 am (Pacific time)

Tim King there are literally millions of people who know more about the world than you could possibly imagine. We are smarter, better traveled and do not let rationalization cloud our thinking and engage in your type of myopic thinking, i.e. , we do take in new info when available and alter our viewpoints when credible information comes about. This is a process all educated people engage in who appreciate just how transitory knowledge can be, AKA, generally called "critical thinking." You appear to be completely entranced with your viewpoints, and engage in hate against those who provide alternative perspectives. Obama is 6' 1", standing in 10 feet of water. He is a puppet of those Zionist Jews you babble about. There are countless examples of who this individual really is when he is away from the teleprompter, and the Zionists who write his scipts no doubt are uneasy about his unscripted meanderings. Study the "Diasporas" and you may grasp how utterly arrogant his handlers are, and how dangerous they are. They will fail, they always do because of that arrogance trait they cannot overcome. They have storyboarded all his moves, and he will continue to spiral downward. He is a grifter, nothing more. In time you will learn, maybe. You are failing to assimilate reality Tim, and it appears you will simply be another casualty of those who belong to the group called Useful Idiots. Facts appear to be very painful for some.

Tim King: Do you even realize that you said that you "do not let rationalization cloud our thinking ". Do you realize what you are writing? For what it is worth I completely believe you; that you do not let rationalization get in your way.

Victor Smorez March 23, 2009 1:16 am (Pacific time)

One's man's excellent ACCURATE report is another's load of over ripe horse hockey. OMG, half-truths wrapped around stereostypes mixed with an unbalanced scale of judgement. Please, next time, spare the virtual tree....

Chris S March 22, 2009 4:25 pm (Pacific time)

Tim, Interesting article. As a journalist and Executive News Editor, your article is very opinionated. I think the pictures of you covering the wars are great! However, instead keeping it factual, you tend to let you own opinions lead or conclude your statements.   You mention Bush's delusions of weapons of mass destruction. But honestly, wasn't it Saddam who was trying to convince the world he had the nukes (similar to N. Korea)? Well, you say you have a gun under your jacket, better be prepared is someone believes it and takes action. Which Bush, our congress (yes democrats too) and other nations did.   Popular Mechanics debunked the Loose Change theories. Also search the internet; you'll find other photos not shown by Loose Change of plane parts scattered around and in the Pentagon minutes after the incident (take a look, they are not too hard to find.   A journalist (and anyone else) should question why they were not included in the documentary.

Tim King: Chris, you always manage to come up with things that take me aback.  I think being in the middle of the road is the answer, but that doesn't mean switch hitting your way through life.  First of all, the Popular Mechanics article is the biggest joke that publication ever, ever published.  You have one government flack admitting that there is practically no wreckage at all...

The first statement is from a professor at Purdue, the university that interestingly to many, has been receiving enormous amounts of federal money in recent years. That professor named Mete Sozen, says there was no wreckage because `the plane flowed into the structure in a state closer to a liquid than a solid mass." The statement is actually written by the author, and sandwiched between quotes from the professor, but it is clearly attributed to him.

 He and a team from the university were also selected to create the computer `simulation" of the 757 crash for the federal government, which is supposed to demonstrate `what really happened" and surely carried a big price tag from Purdue. The big money for Purdue has been on the minds of many, and the relationship between this institution and the Bush administration is automatically brought into question by the contradicting statements of the so-called `experts" selected to talk nationally about Flight 77.


Then there is the Blast expert in the PM article, Allyn E. Kilsheimer, who said "I held parts of uniforms from crew members in my hands, including body parts. Okay?"  So now you have one talking head in the article saying it turned to liquid and another one saying he held human body parts in what would be a biological hazard zone?  The body parts would have been connected to the people in the front of the airplane.  There would have been nothing left, since the entire plane disappeared.  Sure, there are photos of little three-foot long pieces of wreckage on the lawn exists, but no sign of any kind that an aircraft of the type described hit the Pentagon.

I want you to know that your criticism of me shows here because I elected to go ahead and put it up.  It is all up to me.  You are leaving comments here all the time but apparentely you miss the fact that we aren't triving to fit into the molds that you are used to pulling your news out of.   Don't you know that Saddam had to present an appearance of being strong and not weak toward Iran?  Do you know what happens to animals when they become weak or break a limb?  They become part of the food supply very quickly.  Bush meddled into another country's affairs and sacrificed thousands of American lives and over a million Iraqi people.  What were you doing while that took place?  Do you skip over the parts where I write that Iraqi people don't see our occupation as an advantage?  What have you been doing for the last eight years besides leaving comments on reporter's stories and complaining about things?

Man, you do not know what the people of the world have gone through, and you will never know.  I know just a little bit more because I have taken the time to spend a little over three months covering stories in Iraq and Afghanistan.  What I did is nothing next to any soldier or Marine, but damn it I went there.  Seriously, if you don't know more about things, then you my friend are the one who should be looking them up.  


Henry Ruark March 22, 2009 4:05 pm (Pacific time)

DJ: There is simply no doubt re American loss of face and trust around the world. To so contend is simply to reveal a shocking failure to understand the realities involved. To measure this via those who still seek refuge here is simply to reveal some of the damages done widely, from which they retreat wisely. In their shoes, if possible, where would you chose to go ? For many decision is never doubted due to connections here anyhow; for others, as with huge investments flowing here, this is the world center for security, enough to draw anyone if possible for them. Re what Founders intended,no disagreement except what the three branches have allowed to happen. Congress has been more than overwhelmed for a long time via undue development of an "imperial presidency" false face,fashioned long before Bush but driven to heights of ridiculous impact for his 8 years, shaped,manipulated, paid for in many way by Cheney esp. via his Halliburton shenanigans now become ever more obvious. War crimes surely will ensue one way or t'other, by our conscientious action or by the decision of world authorities, surely driven by precisely the substantial, documented,public record exposed in large part by Tim here,from direct personal contact in the field, and with plenty of "see with own eyes" proof. What exposure have YOU had, sir ? Where's your personally produced proof, if any ? What can you cite proving up any possible claim our U.S. reputation has improved in past two or three decades ? Since Vietnam, for example, to make question specific. If so, trot out links for our evaluation here. Easy words re common facts about our governance system mean little on this topic --reality is out there, for all to see, perhaps even to understand for what it is reaping as lost trust now that the world faces ultimate collapse caused by our own ineptitudes in managing those who packaged trash-paper into ostensible AA-quality mortgage "derivatives", sold worldwide and the basis for very large part of that collapse. Refusal to accept reality as it doth truly exist is very poor basis for any rational, reasonable, now-demanded very complex solution to world problems we have caused, ever since original Reagan/Bush I Iraq/Contra, setting off what has become root, branch, and hugely threatening limbs of world-tree ever since. Are you familiar with now-notorious neocon Project for New American Century ? If NOT, check it out for extremely close-fit to the facts outlined here, and those reflected in Tim's ACCURATE report. Allathis part of the now overwhelming "big picture" which we must first understand and then deal with, starting with world economic collapse for which our own dereg-driven stupidities have been a major, perhaps THE major, cause.

I know March 22, 2009 2:12 pm (Pacific time)

No matter who, no matter what religion, no matter what race. He, who brings justice must rule the entire World! Otherwise, humans will be kicked out of this planet.

Dennis Jette March 22, 2009 1:19 pm (Pacific time)

There certainly has been no slow down of people wanting to come and live in America. That also includes those who come here to retire and who have financial independence, so it isn't for economic reasons entirely. Poll taking around the world regarding peoples feelings about us really don't seem to stop them from taking our money or assistance during times of emergency, plus any info they receive about us to form their opinion, how accurate is it? The poll taking itself, easily skewed, like it is here. I would like to add that the absolute genius of our Founders was to create three "independent" branches of government. They did not want us to have a king, so the president must face the voters every 4 years. They also knew something about human nature, in that they knew if one branch was doing something wrong, the other branches [hopefully] would see to it that the "wrong-headed" branch would fail. Please note how the legislative and executive branches are currently challenging the other. Could this be the American "voter" making their views known and their representatives are responding? 2010 election is not really that far off.

Henry Ruark March 22, 2009 10:46 am (Pacific time)

To all: March's response to Tim's strong, excellent ACCURATE report makes me think of that old truism: "You can lead any horse to water, but there are some who will still xxxx on you !" The American public has only itself to blame for the many malign situations we have, for decades, allowed to happen in this republic/democracy. We hold in our hands the one power needed to shape,manage and control government --The VOTE !-- if we will understand and then use it wisely. The Founders left us that unique, potent personal power. Open, honest public report on major issue, events, policy and decision is the heart of all we do for ourselves and the world. When we misunderstand that reality, allow and participate in open abuse and mis-use of still-open honest, democratic channels, we shoot ourselves right in the most fatal part of our own democracy: The First Amendment. Never has there been a more potent truth than "USE it or LOSE it !" Applied to our still-open democratic channels, that is a responsibility surely the other side of that golden coin engraved as "freedom."

Richard March 22, 2009 8:47 am (Pacific time)

The BAD Perception of the USA has come about by the Constant Bashing of the USA by the Democrat Party via the N.Y. Times. It is Never ending

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Sean Flynn was a photojournalist in Vietnam, taken captive in 1970 in Cambodia and never seen again.

Special Section: Truth telling news about marijuana related issues and events.

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