Tag: foreign affairs

Dec 26

In Your Face: Spamerican Exceptionalism



A quote for discussion:

Most people can probably remember the moment when they first realised the seductive power and global pervasiveness of American culture.

I had bought a bootleg CD of The Beach Boys’ surfing songs in the remote north-eastern Russian republic of Sakha and had my photograph taken with a goat herder in Djibouti who was wearing a Six Million Dollar Man T-shirt.

It is an extraordinary form of soft power which will endure even if the looming powerhouses of China, India and Brazil come to overshadow America’s global economic dominance.

After all, even when you’re watching a Chinese flat-screen TV and driving an Indian car powered with Brazilian biofuels you almost certainly won’t be wearing Indian-style clothing or humming Chinese pop songs as you go. Or watching Brazilian movies either.

Next time you see television pictures of an anti-American demonstration anywhere on earth look closely at the crowd. Among the flag-burners you’ll almost certainly see someone wearing an LA Lakers shirt or a Yankees baseball cap.

Jun 06

What Are We Really Doing in Afghanistan?

So, what are we doing in Afghanistan? Let’s ask some intelligent Afghanis.

(Cross-posted at DKOS)

It’s near-impossible to find anyone in Afghanistan who doesn’t believe the US are funding the Taliban: and it’s the highly educated Afghan professionals, those employed by ISAF, USAID, international media organisations – and even advising US diplomats – who seem the most convinced.

Where does this story come from? The Guardian, which actually takes an interest in digging a little deeper than most U.S. media outlets: Afghans believe US is funding Taliban by Daniella Peled.

Americans are often baffled, if they bother to travel and interact with the natives in a realistic way, at how differently people view the world. For people in the rest of the world conspiracies are normal. False flag events, double-crosses, double-dealing are well known in cultures with long oral traditions. Indeed, had we in America been much interested in history we would realize that there are plots all over the place about all kinds of major and minor issues. Yes, people are not honest. Shocking.

Is there merit to their argument?