Last night I was up thinking about you "Amer'cans" and how different the news coverage is depending on where else in the world you live in (I gotta stop watching the news if THAT is enough to keep me up).
I'm from Canada. This means a LOT of the news I get is Americanized. But some isn't. What I find most interesting is not the big differences between your international news and... say... what is really going on in the world. What I find most interesting is the little things. Little things like the fact that a lot of U.S. headlines I see read "George Bush this" and "George Bush that" while internationally it is the "U.S. this" and the "U.S. that". Do you see the difference? I wonder how many of your country-men see it. Or understand it? Or care? My impression is that Americans in general do not care very much about what the rest of the world thinks about them. My impression is that this attitude is kind of part of the American Psyche. Maybe I am wrong but that is certainly how you are portrayed and what I hear in your news supports it.
My point, say for a moment I actually have one, is that while you folks dicker about democrat this and republican that and who did or did not fix the election/vote/blender, and whether foreign policy is "fair" and "right" and in your "best interests", the rest of the world sees you basically as one entity. America. The U.S. of A. The United States.
I see a lot of American news that says "Bush went to Iraq without U.N. Support and now Bush wants U.N. Help to save him". To me this seems like a cop-out for those of you on the side of "goodness" because youre missing the point that "America went to war without U.N. support and now America wants the U.N. to help them." (like stealing my car and then calling me for a lift when you crash it).
I see a lot of talk by the liberal left (and I agree with them) that things should not be the way they are in America. I think, however, that the enormity of how awful the country has behaved is partially lost to them due to the moral scapegoat they have found in Bush and his administration. I think that Democrats (and even good hearted Republicans) need to look wider than their own backyard and notice that they have been painted internationally with the same brush that paints their country. To me that puts the debate in a larger context than the "whoops we elected the wrong leader" stuff I see daily. The bigger picture is that America has become (or is becomming) a corrupt and dangerous nation. The bigger picture is not (even though it is important domestically) that "some Americans are creating an America that is dangerous and corrupt".
Only the history books in America will remember the large number of Americans who did not support the decisions of this Administration. In most of the rest of the world the history books will just say that America is not to be trusted.
War is not a domestic issue yet even those Americans opposed to it seem to treat it as such.
It is obvious that something needs to be done about Bush and his Cabal. It is equally obvious (to those outside "The" States) that something needs to be done for reasons that are not only domestic in nature. In treating Bush as a domestic problem (like it appears Americans do) you are assuming that America can get along without the rest of the world. This kind of thinking, in my opinion, has always been Bush's most significant error. It is an error that will continue to be made by America until you revise your ideas (at a personal level) regarding your place in the world.
Bush is not a domestic problem, he's an international problem. The reason America will grow more and more common as a target for international terrorists is not because Bush is making mistakes, it is because America is. As long as that portion of the American public opposed to Bush continues to think of him as a problem for Americans (and not a problem for everyone) the international cluster-fucks that he has started will not end. The next President (Republican or Democratic) will suffer from the same UScentric, myopic thinking that Bush is guilty of. Maybe with a new President foreign and domestic policies will change for the better but the basic flaw in the logic will still exist.
Bush didn't go to war with Iraq: America did. Bush will not be the one to suffer the consequences of that action: America will. You are not exempt from the consequences (moral or otherwise) of America's actions simply because you oppose Bush: You are responsible for them as an American.
Americans in general are responsible for the decisions of their government: and if you don't like them, change them - but don't just blame them on the guy in charge. You are personally part of the reason you live in the kind of society you do. More importantly for you (less so for me) - the backlash against Americans is not going to be aimed at only those who support Bush's foreign policies.
By printing headlines that state that "Bush did this" or "Bush did that" you are excusing yourselves from the moral implications of your own Nationhood. If the headlines read "We did this" and "We did that" I believe you would better be able to understand (and confront) the reality of the situation.
But that is just my opinion and it is just to keep folks talking. In the end, like many people in the world, I feel pride at the amount of pride Americans have. It feels good to see people be proud of their country (especially when you are from a particularly divisive culture). I feel badly for the young men and women who have to go to war and do what they are told is right. I feel proud of them too. But I do feel that something needs to change in your country and that change has to be deeper than just electing someone who is less of a terror than your current President. It haws to be a change in the American people and I think that this change could start with the removal of the domestic distinction between "us" and "them" and start with a real effort to take full responsibility for the society of which you are part.