Last night on NPR, I briefly listened to a discussion between two individuals on Iran and their response to the US.
One commentator, obviously a right-wingnut, said that the average Iranian was thinking "why is our money going to fund extremists, to buy nuclear missiles, and to support our crazy leader, rather than help us on the street?"
What outright nonsense. (What the other guy said in a second). That is exactly how the American right thinks: Everyone in the world is by nature American, and thus react to the same stimuli in the same way. Ergo, if we invade, take out their leaders, they'll spontaneously rise up and create America, just with a different language and maybe eating [insert ethnic dish] rather than burgers.
The other, who was a former Ambassador (not sure to where), made the point: Think of it like an Iranian. This bully, with a different language, different culture, different religion, and with a history of undermining governments it doesn't like, is saying you have no right to high technology. You have no right to defend yourself, even though you have nuclear-armed and crazy Pakistan on one side, and 100,000 American troops on the other. You're an axis of evil, in cahoots with your old enemy Iraq and that wierdo nutjob Kim Jong Il over in DPRK. You aren't allowed to be a regional power.
What would your response be?
Come on. At the slightest slight by the Americans, we Canadians fly off the handle. And we are more or less the same, cuturally, religiously, linguistically. Same with Europeans.
American foreign policy is so often (under Bush): "Just behave like we think you should, remember you're inferior to us."
Not exactly the way to win over hearts and minds, is it?