Saturday, May 06, 2006

Open Thread for Fur'ners Only

I was watching this week's brand new Real Time with Bill Maher with former Canadian Prime Minister Kim Campbell, among other guests, and it occurred to me that one of the greatest failures of the Bush team is that they are trying to figure out why so much of the world hates (or at least dislikes, disrespects, or deeply resents) the United States, but without asking anyone who's ever been much farther than Tijuana or Toronto.

This blog has had readers from over 90 countries across the world, ranging in population from the People's Republic of China to Liechtenstein, in size from Russia and Canada to Saint Lucia and Malta, on every continent except Antarctica, in heavily Christian, heavily Muslim, and heavily neither-of-the-above countries. A few of you I have met personally in my travels, but most of you found this blog from a link or a search engine or a random "next blog" click.

I want to know what you think about America, and what you think America should do. Please keep the tone civil; suggestions that America just fuck off and die already will not be welcomed. On the other hand, suggestions about how America can be a better neighbor and a better participant in the community of nations, will be given serious consideration.

I'm asking that this thread have comments only from foreigners, although I'll let foreign-born Americans slide by if you were old enough to be aware of things in your home country before you came here. As for you Americans, you can add a comment saying, "I would like to comment on XYZ's post about PDQ." (No more than a one-sentence "raising your hand to speak" comment, please.) If there is interest in a particular topic, I'll split it out into its own open thread.

I put it out there, though, that the only way for America to win the so-called War on Terror is by winning more friends than enemies, as well as by not making enemies faster than we can kill or torture them. (Hey, if we can run a national debt of $10 trillion — that's 1013 U.S. dollars — surely we can just keep using the old military charge card, too, and just keep throwing thousands of lives and hundreds of billions of dollars at the problem instead of thinking about what would be the smart way to beat the terrorists.) While we still have friends in the world, we need to ask them to give us some honest feedback. It's not a matter of do the pants make our collective ass look fat, it's more like how do we not push the bullied students to come to school with guns and bombs.

Please, all you godless heathen foreigners who didn't have the good sense to be born in the Yewess O'Vey [U.S. of A.], talk to us. I'll do my best to help with your English if that's a concern.


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